Introduced in 2017, the Nike-Amazon deal was intended to both help the Swoosh combat the flood of fake sneakers sold on the marketplace by third-party vendors and access more data about its customers. A little over two years later, Nike has announced plans to stop selling its shoes and apparel on the website.
"As part of Nike’s focus on elevating consumer experiences through more direct, personal relationships, we have made the decision to complete our current pilot with Amazon Retail. We will continue to invest in strong, distinctive partnerships for Nike with other retailers and platforms to seamlessly serve our consumers globally," Nike said in a statement issued to Bloomberg News.
According to Bloomberg, Nike's decision was not a sudden one, and Amazon had been anticipating the breakup. Amazon has reportedly been recruiting new third-party sellers so that Nike's product will remain available to consumers. It's also said to be working on new anti-counterfeit measures.
Along with Nike's decision to pivot to more direct-to-consumer methods, there were other reasons it ended up pulling the plug. Despite its crackdown on fake products, third-party sellers managed to circumvent takedowns by simply relisting product under different names. Furthermore, Nike's own products had less reviews than those offered by other sellers, which had a negative impact on its search result positions.
There's no word how this will affect Zappos, which is a subsidiary of Amazon. As of publishing, Nike sneakers and apparel are still available on Zappos.