Earlier this year, Foot Locker hinted that Nike's focus on direct-to-consumer sales was straining its own inventory. Foot Locker's CEO Richard Johnson lamented the "limited availability of innovative new products," without naming names, in the retailer's second-quarter earnings call. But whatever rough patch Foot Locker was going through, it's over now.
Nike and Foot Locker announced Friday, Nov. 17, an "elevated partnership model," starting this week with a pop-up shop in New York City that features about 20 limited-edition classics and soon-to-be released products, including the Field Air Force-1 Mid "OBJ" and the Air More Uptempo Volcanic.
Dubbed Sneakeasy, the shop opened to public on Wednesday, Nov. 22 and will remain so till Dec. 1. Every shopper will be assigned his or her own store associate, who will be a "guide" on each product and the curated space. On any given day, the display and offering of products differ. See the slideshow below for an assortment of Sneakeasy's featured shoes.
More of these store associates will soon be working in Foot Lockers in New York and New Jersey as so-called experts on Nike exclusively, according to Tony Versa, the vice president of sales for Foot Locker. If the position proves to be effective, the program will roll out in other locations, he told TheStreet recently.
Foot Locker had a tough second quarter this year, but shimmied off the bad sales numbers in Q3. Sales are still declining — it posted a 3.7% drop in comp sales. The retailer did see upticks in the basketball and running categories, all thanks to Nike.
It's unclear if Foot Locker will carry more Nike products than it did before in 2018. Spokespeople for both declined to comment on the matter. Last year, 68% of Foot Locker products were Nike, according to its annual report.
Have you ever owned a pair of Nike's most iconic shoes?
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Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 22.