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Nike Promising Renewed Focus on Road Running


The Swoosh, perhaps irked by the recent success of smaller rivals in Hoka One One, Asics and On in the road running space, is vowing to put a renewed focus on the running category over the next 6 to 18 months. Since Nike stopped detailing its yearly running footwear sales in annual reports more than two years ago, it has witnessed major category market share growth by others.

Deckers-owned Hoka, for example, is forecast to have more than 50 percent sales growth for its current fiscal year ending next week. Asics reported a 24 percent increase in FY22 running revenues to the equivalent of $1.89 billion, and On, which does most of its business in running shoes, generated a 69 percent sales improvement in FY22 to the equivalent of $1.32 billion.

Citing its Run Club app, its inroads in the trail subsegment and its new Invincible 3 model, Nike executives told analysts that the company is positioning itself for share gains in the category. Over the last year, Nike has pared its road running business to six models and updated the Invincible. Now the brand is planning major updates to the other five styles and vowing “to put a lot of focus” on the run category over the next 6 to 18 months.

In Q3 ended Feb. 28, Nike reported double-digit growth in all product categories, led by a 31 percent increase in footwear sales to more than $3.32 billion. The region’s overall sales rose by 27 percent during the period to more than $4.91 billion as the brand’s digital business grew 25 percent. Third quarter net income declined by 11 percent to $1.24 billion despite 14 percent total revenue growth to $12.39 billion on a 10 percent unit increase. Average Selling Price (ASP) also improved during the period despite the company’s efforts to clear aged inventory that caused gross margin to decline by 300 basis points to 43.3 percent.