January 09, 2020

NKE - Nike Limits Global Shipping for Wholesale Partners

By Lois Sakany
Nike has announced new shipping rules for wholesale accounts, stipulating they may no longer ship product outside prescribed borders as of January 2020.

Nike Inc. continues to refine distribution and has issued new global shipping rules for wholesale accounts. In late December, the athletic giant let it be known through its online business-to-business portal that retail partners would have to agree to a border-specific shipping agreement in order to proceed on the site. Prior to January 2020, retailers with Nike accounts could set up their own shipping rules; now they are limited to shipping to regions designated by Nike.

In an increasingly global market, the new rules give Nike greater control over the movement of its product, especially its most coveted launches, which are often purchased across borders and resold at a profit by resellers. At the same time, there is a growing number of resellers who purchase marked-down Nike product for resale on platforms including Ebay Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. 

According to the new rules, U.S.-based retailers cannot ship outside the country. One online account said the chain has reached out to Nike for further details on whether it can ship to Canada. In Western Europe, retailers may ship only to countries that are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. EEA consists of members of the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Among U.S. and European retailers with online shops, the rule change amounts to a reduced customer base, and the brand's most engaged sneaker consumers, who are used to shopping on any site in any country, will discover a more hemmed-in marketplace.

The news first surfaced through Spanish sneaker boutique Foot District, which sent its customers an email informing them it could no longer ship worldwide. According to the email: “From this New Year 2020 on, Nike and Jordan have reduced the number of retailers selling their products. As a result of this brand strategy, Foot District will only ship Nike and Jordan product to member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Non-EEA countries, with the exception of Switzerland, will not be able to purchase Nike and Jordan products from the Foot District online store."