Demand for Nike gear holding up, but headwinds remain

Nike on Monday said "demand for sneakers and sportswear largely held up in the fiscal fourth-quarter, despite a Covid lockdown in China and a tougher consumer environment in the U.S.," notes CNBC. But the company said "challenges like higher transportation costs and longer shipping times are persisting."

Shares "fell about 3% in aftermarket trading, despite the company topping Wall Street's earnings and sales expectations." In North America, Nike's largest market, total sales fell by 5% to $5.11 billion in Q4.

Nike is "in the middle of a strategy shift, as the company sells more merchandise directly to shoppers and trims back the amount sold by wholesale partners like Foot Locker." Its direct sales grew 7% to $4.8 billion in the quarter versus the year-ago period. Nike's wholesale business trends "were the opposite," as sales in that division dropped 7% to $6.8 billion. 

Nike CFO Matthew Friend said the most recent fiscal year was Jordan Brand's biggest ever with "epic" growth potential ahead. 

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