It's official: Nike will soon begin selling its products directly on Amazon and Instagram.
Nike CEO Mark Parker told investors on Thursday afternoon the partnership with Amazon is still in its early stages, but the company says the direct sales program will allow it to better control its sales and its brand. "We are looking to improve the Nike consumer experience on Amazon by elevating the way the brand is presented and increasing the quality of product storytelling," Parker said.
The athletic apparel brand is among retailers that have only sold their products on Amazon through third-party vendors. Meaning that up until now, brands like Nike were struggling to control how the merchandise is priced and distributed. According to Fortune, as part of the deal to sell on Amazon.com, Nike will be able "to more strictly police counterfeits and restrict unsanctioned sales."
As the top selling brand on the e-commerce marketplace, Fortune also notes that Nike's revenue could jump up by as much as $500 million in the U.S. alone.
Amazon has announced a series of moves in recent weeks that have spooked retailers across industries, with its decision to snap up Whole Foods and new Prime Wardrobe offering that allows apparel customers to "try-before-they-buy." And this latest pilot program between Amazon and Nike is no different.
If the plan succeeds, it would be a blow to stores like Foot Locker and Finish Line, which carry Nike products. “If it wasn’t bad enough already, talk of Nike selling direct on Amazon … would clearly have a negative impact on the department stores, particularly Reduce-Rated JCPenney and Kohl’s,” Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom told Retail Dive.
But Nike wouldn't be a first. Under Armour already sells directly on Amazon.
The news comes as the sporting goods company looks to boost its e-commerce sales. Earlier in June, Nike 1,400 jobs cuts and a 25 percent reduction of their product lines worldwide.