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October 3, 2022

Nike promotes importance of retail with Zalando strategic partnership

Sports brand Nike, Inc. has named European fashion online retailer Zalando as its latest strategic partner, which highlights the ongoing importance of retail despite its overarching focus on direct to consumer.

By Shemona Safaya

Nike has entered into a strategic partnership with Zalando in a bid to offer its customers access to member-exclusive products.

The announcement follows on from Nike confirming a similar Connected Partnership with sports retailer JD Sports last week to enhance its customer shopping experience.

The new Nike-Zalando partnership is said to bring together Zalando’s customer experience and deep e-commerce knowledge with Nike’s footwear and apparel assortment.

“Nike has always been an important partner in delivering customer excitement and inspiration for Zalando. We are thrilled to now take this partnership to the next level by offering our customers exclusive benefits when shopping for Nike on our platform,” says David Schneider, Zalando Co-CEO.

He added: “As the starting point for fashion and lifestyle, we want to provide customers with best-in-class experiences and flawless choice. Engaging in this new connected partnership we strengthen our efforts to best serve Zalando customers with Nike’s innovative sport lifestyle footwear and apparel, compelling connected member benefits and distinctive experiences.”

Zalando customers in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy and Poland can link their Nike account to access an expanded selection of Nike footwear and apparel.

Carl Grebert, Nike EMEA’s vice president and general manager, commented, “We know consumers’ expectations are higher than ever before. Our goal is to engage with them however, whenever, and wherever they want to do sport, shop sport, and be inspired by sport. With partners like Zalando, we can serve them with more speed, convenience, and connection to our brand and sport than ever before.”

Zalando believes the long-term partnership with Nike reflects a mutual passion for innovation and providing a pioneering customer experience. It says the two companies share similar values of sustainability, diversity and inclusion, with both Zalando and Nike having made concrete long-term commitments with regards to more sustainable assortment, reducing their environmental footprint in operations, as well as creating an inclusive experience for customers.

The experience will go live in the ten markets where Zalando’s partner programme with Nike is present, starting this month in Austria (October).

Emily Salter, GlobalData’s apparel analyst recently commented on Nike’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing strategy as being the chief reason for the brand’s success. It has enabled the sports brand in building a strong shopper loyalty.

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