The importance of Nike’s wholesale channel

The wholesale channel is the largest channel for Nike’s (NKE) sales. Sales through retailers Foot Locker (FL), Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), Macy’s (M), Walmart (WMT), and Kohl’s (KSS), accounted for 75.7% of sales (XRT) for the Nike brand in fiscal 1H16, or $11.5 billion. Nike also has shop-in-shop arrangements through House of Hoops and Fly Zone with Foot Locker. Nike’s competitors Under Armour (UA), Adidas (ADDYY), and Puma (PMMAF) also sell some of their products through retailers and have shop-in-shop partnerships with select retailers.

What Can We Expect from Nike’s Wholesale Channel in Fiscal 3Q16?

Results at wholesalers

Foot Locker is Nike’s largest wholesale partner. In the last reported quarter, Foot Locker (FL) reported same-store sales growth of 7.9%, while comps growth came in at -2.5% for Dick’s Sporting Goods. The quarter ended on January 30, 2016, for both retailers. FL also reported strong sales in basketball and running footwear, notably in signature lines Jordan and Kyrie Irving. Several new House of Hoops and 30 new Fly Zones were opened in the quarter in partnership with Nike.[1. Based on comments by Foot Locker president and CEO Richard A. Johnson]

Sales projections

Nike is expecting sales made through wholesale channels to grow at a mid-to-high-single digit CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the next five years through fiscal 2020. The company is looking at about 1,000 new premium doors through partnerships with retailers over the period. The increase in wholesale doors in fiscal 3Q16 and the success of its basketball and running shoe models in the quarter should boost sales from this channel in North America and Europe.

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