"The company can cut its product creation cycle time of six months in half, but also has opportunities to reduce its total end-to-end cycle time of 18 months even further," wrote Barclays analyst Matthew McClintock in a note Thursday. During a lunch this week in Los Angeles, the bank hosted Nike executives, Nitesh Sharan, vice president, treasury and investor relations, and Shane Wilson, senior director investor relations.
As an example of the company's renewed fleet-footedness, its LunarCharge sneaker went from design to market in weeks, noted McClintock. "We believe that consumers desire freshness and newness in today's environment as information flows are accelerating," he added.
Another example, wrote McClintock, "The HyperAdapt 1.0 was meant to seed the market with new technology that will also lead to future products that don't necessarily require waiting for the next Olympics to launch."
Recently, the company launched a sportswear line for plus-size women, serving a demographic in retail that most companies ignore.
Nike rivals Under Armour (UA) - Get Report and Adidas (ADDYY) may be taking note of the company's renewed focus on innovation: each athleticwear company is testing ways to get products to market even faster, too.
Should investors balk at Nike's funds spent for innovation, McClintock noted, "Many lifestyle products today were actually performance products in the past, demonstrating that the commitment to both can drive long-term sustainable growth."
A representative from Nike was not available for comment.
Editor's Pick: Originally published Apr. 6.