US sporting goods giant NIKE Inc has backtracked on plans to invest in its Goodyear, Arizona, footwear-making facility.

The US$184m investment into the new Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation (Air MI) facility was expected to generate more than 500 full-time jobs and would have represented Nike’s third manufacturing centre dedicated to its Nike Air sole cushioning technology.

However, the company said in a statement shared with just-style today (29 July) that due to the impact of Covid-19 it was shelving plans for the investment.

“We are experiencing unprecedented times and due to the Covid-19 impact we will no longer be investing in our Goodyear facility. We are repositioning our resources to further invest against our biggest opportunities and Air MI will continue to be an important part of Nike’s growth strategy.”

Nike has other Air MI plants in Missouri and Oregon, where the company is based.

“We thank the city of Goodyear and the team we have worked with to date,” Nike said. “They have been outstanding partners.”

Last week, Nike announced plans to streamline its organisation – including its corporate leadership team – as the sporting goods firm looks to become  nimbler and flatter. It announced a series of senior leadership changes to support its Consumer Direct Acceleration (CDA) initiative launched in June to “digitally empower” the company for long-term growth and profitability.

Nike was hit hard in its fourth-quarter as store closures and a 38% drop in sales pushed it to a loss. For the three months to 31 May, the company swung to a quarterly loss of $790m, compared with net income of $989m a year earlier, while revenues fell 38% to $6.3bn.