NIKE’S FALL GAME PLAN
Byline: Rosemary Feitelberg
NEW YORK — With a Seventh Avenue veteran heading up its apparel business, Nike is trying some new moves for fall.
First off, the brand is taking a more aspirational approach to business, translating that message through its products, merchandising and advertising. Look for more sportswear-inspired styles, this fall’s major push to display product as art and more cross-merchandising.
Mindy Grossman, Nike’s vice president of apparel, who joined the company in October after stints at Polo Jeans and Tommy Hilfiger, is the point person behind the brand’s new plan. During a meeting last month with analysts in New York, Grossman said Nike’s worldwide apparel sales were up 30 percent, and U.S. apparel sales climbed for the first time since 1998.
Nike has reclassified its women’s apparel into three groups, and will improve merchandising with more of a lifestyle twist, set up more accounts with automatic replenishment, reduce skus and raise the average price of the apparel, said Grossman.
Performance-oriented apparel falls under the black label called Active, while sport-influenced styles are now silver label, and Fusion, more directional styles, are under the white label.
Nike will open two NikeGoddess stores, a new concept that plays up the product versatility and six sport lifestyle shops in Federated Stores’ better sportswear areas this fall.
There are also plans to open more concept shops at Nordstrom, bringing the total to 31 by year’s end.
Nike’s U.S. sales force is also being reorganized to focus on geographic regions instead of distribution channels.