Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nike announced yesterday that the two companies are looking to deepen their relationship with a “first-of-its-kind collaboration” that will offer customers of both companies a connection to exclusive offers and loyalty benefits via Dick’s mobile app.

The idea behind the move is to make the shopping experience simpler, giving Dick’s customers access to exclusive apparel and shoes through the retailer’s app instead of having to go through Nike. Dick’s customers will be prompted to use their app to connect their Dick’s ScoreCard and Nike membership accounts “for exclusive member-only product, experiences and offers.” The companies pointed to Nike-member exclusives such as today’s Nike Air Force 1 and Blazer launch as one example. Updates will be added on a regular basis.

The two will also host in-store events at Dick’s locations including two planned this month and next at Dick’s House of Sport locations in Rochester, NY, and Knoxville, TN.

The trading partners have said they will add new features to the program going forward to possibly include allowing Nike-direct customers to pick up or return online orders at their local Dick’s stores.

Nike, which has reduced its roster of retailer trading partners in recent years — ending relationships with Belk, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Dillard’s, DSW and Zappos — is not looking to abandon traditional wholesale relationships altogether, as evidenced by this announcement.

“Nike Membership is how we serve our consumer personally — it fuels deeper engagement and greater access to the very best of Nike,” said Sarah Mensah, vice president and general manager, North America, Nike, in a statement. “We’re helping consumers connect with sport and our products whenever, however and wherever they shop Nike. Our partnership with Dick’s is just another example of how we are reimagining how people connect with Nike across an increasingly digital and connected marketplace.”

Lauren Hobart, president and CEO of Dicks’s Sporting Goods, said, “Dick’s and Nike have a long and successful history of working together, and this partnership represents a significant strengthening of our relationship. We are both focused on delivering best-in-class experiences and products and creating the best omnichannel experience for our athletes.”

Sales of Nike merchandise represented 19 percent of Dick’s total last year, making Nike the retailer’s largest vendor, reports CNBC.



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