(NEXSTAR) — You may have heard the rumors that Foot Locker is giving Nike the boot, or maybe you’ve heard that Nike is pulling all of its products from Foot Locker shelves.
Don’t believe everything you hear.
Like most rumors, some truth lies behind the shift in the longstanding relationship between the retail store and its best-selling brand; however, the facts are a bit less exciting than the tweets that appear to indicate Nike is “removing all its products from all Foot Locker stores.”
While customers may see a slightly smaller selection of shoes brandishing the “swoosh” in coming months, a Foot Locker representative told Nexstar that Nikes are not going to disappear from stores.
In 2021, Nike made up approximately 65% of total Foot Locker spending and 70% of total sales. In a February news release, however, the shoe retailer said it “does not expect any one vendor to represent more than 55% of total supplier spend” for the fourth quarter of 2022.
Foot Locker told Nexstar that Nike is expected to represent 55% of store business for the fourth quarter, “which will still make them our biggest partner.”
While the February news release did not mention Nike by name, it did say the fourth-quarter change “reflects the accelerated strategic shift to [direct-to-customer] by one of the Company’s vendors.” This was approximately a month after Nike announced it would be “transforming its supply chain to best serve consumers.”
In a press release issued by Nike, the company explained that it was seizing “the opportunity to accelerate a transformation in its operations” after the pandemic drove more consumers online.
“We believed that the immediate and significant shifts we were seeing in consumer engagement would be systemic,” said Andrew Campion, Nike’s chief operating officer. “So we took decisive action and began building a digital-first supply chain to power Nike’s more direct, faster and precise service of consumers, all while prioritizing sustainability.”