Nike’s New Distribution Strategy

November 2018

In response to the difficulties in the wholesale market, especially in North America, Nike is implementing a new distribution strategy that focuses on its direct channels and only 40 differentiated retailers out of its 30,000 retail partners. This report explains what the new strategy is and the lessons for brands and retailers.

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Nike’s new retail strategy

aims to improve innovation, speed and distribution. This was followed by an Investor Day in October 2017 where top executives unveiled the details of the strategies for innovation, speed and distribution. Below is a guide to Nike’s terminology used throughout the report:organisation called the Consumer Direct Offense. This re-organisationIn June 2017, Nike announced a re-

Consumer Direct Offense

This is Nike’s new strategy to serve customers with greater speed and personalisation at scale. It is driven by its Triple Double Strategy where the company will double the cadence and impact of innovation, double its speed to market and double its direct connections with customers.

Nike Consumer Experience (NCX)

This is the term that Nike uses to describe its new distribution strategy. The new distribution strategy focuses on Nike’s direct sales channels to consumers (both online and offline) and 40 wholesale partners (both online and offline).

Nike Direct

This refers to Nike’s own channels, both online and offline, where consumers buy Nike products directly from the brand.

Nike Network

This is the 40 retailers that Nike has chosen to focus its relationships on out of the current 30,000. These retailers meet the brand’s demands for differentiation in the retail landscape.

Differentiated Retail

Differentiated retailers offer the best in assortment, exclusive services and unique shopping experiences (either online or in store). These retailers offer superior customer experiences, quality service or powerful storytelling.

Undifferentiated Retail

The retailers do not offer compelling differentiation in the minds of consumers and compete only on broad product access.


Nike’s free loyalty programme. Data gathered from the programme will impact many aspects of the business from assortment to new product development.

An introduction to Nike’s new retail strategy
Why read this report?
Nike Consumer Experience (NCX) will focus on differentiated retail
The new distribution strategy is no surprise
NikePlus is at the centre of Nike Consumer Experience (NCX)
Nike Direct overview
Nike Direct: digital overview
Nike Direct: physical overview
Nike Network overview
Nike Network: digital overview
Nike Network: physical overview
Key takeaways for the retail ecosystem
Nike experiments with new modes of commerce…
…and innovative brand activations
Lessons for retailers and brands
Best practices for retailing from Nike


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