Nike to terminate sales in Israeli stores

As one of the most popular sports brands in the world and in Israel, the loss of those sales will weigh heavily on the businesses of hundreds of sports stores across the country.

  People walk past a store of the sporting goods retailer Nike Inc at a shopping complex in Beijing, China March 25, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/FLORENCE LO/FILE PHOTO)
People walk past a store of the sporting goods retailer Nike Inc at a shopping complex in Beijing, China March 25, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/FLORENCE LO/FILE PHOTO)

Israeli retailers are fuming after international sporting goods giant Nike on Sunday said it will stop working with them to market its products. The measure will come into effect on May 31, 2022, Nike said.

As one of the most popular sports brands in the world and in Israel, the loss of those sales would weigh heavily on the businesses of hundreds of local sports stores.

In a letter sent to store owners on Sunday, Nike said: “Following a comprehensive review performed by the company and considering the changing marketplace, it has been decided that the continuation of the business relationship between you and the company does no longer match the company’s policy and goals.”

 Football - Hapoel Tel-Aviv Training - Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow - Scotland - 06/07 , 21/2/07 General View / Nike Mandatory (credit: ACTION IMAGES / LEE SMITH VIA REUTERS) Football - Hapoel Tel-Aviv Training - Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow - Scotland - 06/07 , 21/2/07 General View / Nike Mandatory (credit: ACTION IMAGES / LEE SMITH VIA REUTERS)

The decision is in line with Nike’s global plans to reduce the number of stores it works with, preferring to direct customers to buy its shoes, clothing, and gear on its website and in company-owned stores.

Nike believes it can earn much higher profits and control its premium product experience by managing the entire sales process itself. The company also ended its relationship with Amazon in 2019.

Nonetheless, stores in Israel say the move would harm their abilities to remain profitable. Some may opt for parallel imports, receiving Nike products from independent suppliers, but that would raise prices.