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If you thought Amazon’s retail domination would slow down any time soon, you were mistaken.
Just a day after it announced it’ll let Prime shoppers try on clothing at home for free before charging them, Goldman Sachs notified clients that Amazon is inching toward a wholesale partnership with Nike. Until now, Nike has only been available on Amazon through third-party sellers. Competitors Adidas and Under Armour already sell directly to Amazon, but Nike is one of the many brands that have held out, likely because of Amazon’s rampant counterfeit problem. According to Goldman Sachs, Nike is “close to commencing a direct relationship selling product on Amazon.com.”
This partnership could give Nike $300 million to $500 million more in revenue. As Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom notes, the impact of this new partnership would be devastating to other stores. It could essentially wipe out a massive chunk of business for struggling department stores like Kohl’s and J.C. Penney, which are in a dire state and rely on business from popular and approachable brands like Nike. Stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Foot Locker, businesses that mainly rely on a brand like Nike, could also see colossal effects.
If Nike really does go all in on Amazon, the move signals a truly seismic shift in retail, something way bigger than companies shutting down stores by the hundreds. With more and more customers choosing to shop either direct-to-consumer or Amazon, it’s doubtful any third-party retailer will survive.
Update: June 29th, 2017, 5:54 p.m.
On an earnings call on Thursday, Nike confirmed the new partnership, telling investors it will sell selected products directly to Amazon. CEO Mark Parker said the deal is in early stages, and that the company hopes to "improve the Nike consumer experience on Amazon.”