Nike has made an official announcement of their first-ever UK retail partnership with JD Sports Fashion Plc as part of their Connected Programme.
What is the Connected Programme?
Nike’s Connected Programme is a transformative integrated loyalty programme initiative launched by the sports giant last year in the United States with Dick’s Sporting Goods.
The programme allows its members to access “member exclusive products” like select products, experiences and offers.
It’s an integrated rewards programme that relies, heavily, on the competitive nature of the sneaker and athleisure market, and the aspirational value attached to accessing in-demand products.
JD and Nike
This first-ever UK partnership of the Connected Programmes is a step toward, “strengthening a long-standing successful strategic relationship.”
Nike picked JD for its well-known skills to forge strong relationships with brands in the past and the clear advantage and potential of tapping the British retailer’s worldwide reach.
While the programme is limited to the UK only, for now, JD has around 3,400 stores across 35 territories in Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific.
JD’s benefits from this partnership go beyond the potential increase in its sales.
By linking the two companies, JD believes that this will deliver “unmatched value” for its consumers as it means the expansion of “JD’s unrivalled Nike product offering” and at the same time, will ensure both the companies’ omnichannel experience is enhanced entirely.
The collaboration also means that JD’s customers will have several benefits.
If they choose to link their Nike and JD membership through the JD mobile app, the programme will allow them to access select member-only footwear and apparel.
This will also unlock an instant reward bonus and curated collections for the members. In the future, connected members will also have the opportunity to benefit from exclusive experiences and services.
JD has commented on the partnership and said that the two companies will “harness their technological and digital expertise” to better serve consumers.
The deal is meant to highlight JD and Nike’s ability to deliver a “compelling and differentiated proposition both in-store and online through a deep understanding of their consumers.”
CEO of JD Sports, Régis Schultz, also said, “that this amplifies the combined strength of the Nike and JD brands with our shared consumers, by leaning into their behaviour and journeys and creating new, richer and more engaging experiences.”
New European Partner As Well
There seems to be a trend in the industry where industry giants collaborate with smaller but more important partners, which is something that is highly desirable for multi-brand retailers.
Not only did Nike partner up with JD Sports for a UK debut, but it also partnered with Zalando to give access to Nike member-exclusive products and other benefits to the European e-tail giant’s customers as part of its Connected Programme.
And although Zalando is not a sports retailer, the partnership is said to “brings together [our] unparalleled customer experience and deep e-commerce knowledge, serving over 49 million customers across 25 markets with Nike.”
The German online retail company already shares a longstanding strategic relationship with the American sports giant and is thrilled to take their partnership to the next level and at the same time give their customers exclusive benefits on Nike products.
The connected programme under the collaboration will be spread across several countries, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, and Poland.
It will allow the member shoppers to experience a seamless on-site shopping experience from an expanded selection of footwear and apparel from the sportswear brand.
The experience is set to go live in all 10 markets of Nike and Zalando’s connected partner programme will be launching in October starting with Austria.
David Schneider, the co-CEO of the German online retailer expressed that the partnership is their attempt to strengthen their efforts to, “best serve customers with Nike’s innovative sportswear products and providing connected members with benefits and distinctive experiences.”
Demand for Jordans has Decreased?
On Thursday this week, the brand announced that the gross margins would remain “under pressure” all throughout the year.
The sports giant, in its massive fall in the second quarter, expects to see a decline in its full-year gross margins between 200 and 250 basis points.
Analysts have deduced that the demand for “Nike’s brands including Jordan and Converse ” has decreased significantly due to a lack of enthusiasm from sneakerheads because of the cost-of-living crisis.
Substantial markdowns will be seen from the brand this year, analysts have predicted.