Athletic giant Nike (NKE) - Get Report and online marketplace behemoth Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report are parting ways, with the shoe and apparel maker no longer selling directly on Amazon's website but focusing on its own online offerings just ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season.
"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," the company said in a statement obtained by the he Wall Street Journal. "We will continue to invest in strong, distinctive partnerships for Nike with other retailers and platforms to seamlessly serve our consumers globally."
Some big brands have chosen not to sell on Amazon's platform, where counterfeit merchandise has continued to flourish and unauthorized re-sellers have offered the real thing at discounts, undercutting prices. Under the pilot program, Nike acted as a wholesaler to Amazon rather than just letting third-party merchants hawk its products.
The split, which comes almost two years after the two companies began the pilot, is taking place as Nike recalibrates its retail strategy to focus more on selling directly to consumers rather than via third parties like Amazon.
Shares of Nike took a hit last month after it successfully poached former eBay (EBAY) - Get Report CEO John Donahoe to replace longtime boss Mark Parker at the head of the world's biggest sportswear group - a signal that it may be turning its sights to a more digital future.
90.61 USD+1.11 (1.24%)
Shares of Nike were up 1.24%, or $1.11, at $90.61 in trading on Wednesday. Shares of Amazon were down 0.94%, or $16.76, at $1,761.24.