Friday 18 December 2020 6:23 pm

Nike to score sales increase on digital fitness demand in lockdown

Sportswear giant Nike is expected to buck the retail trend to report a jump in second-quarter sales this evening, profiting from a surge in demand for health and fitness products.

Analysts have forecast that the retailer will report a 2.2 per cent rise in sales in the second quarter.

Nike’s stock has risen around 40 per cent this year and it reported an 82 per cent increase in digital sales in its first-quarter results in September.

While most retail companies suffered this year due to widespread store closures during the coronavirus pandemic, Nike has largely ridden out the storm.

The brand – which already had a strong digital presence – actively engaged with changing health and fitness trends during lockdowns.

It launched campaigns such the “living room cup” at the height of lockdown in April.

The contest involved Nike-sponsored athletes, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, posting Instagram videos completing various fitness challenges and challenging their followers to beat them.

The firm also made its Nike Run Club app free, resulting in 15.4m downloads between January and November, according to Sensor Tower.

Meanwhile, the retailer’s web traffic has soared 66 per cent this year as more consumers switched to online shopping.

Michael Faherty, portfolio manager at Sielern Investment Management, told Reuters: “Early in the pandemic, Nike made in-app workouts for its Nike Training Club app free.

“This was a masterstroke… They know everything – exactly what you’re searching, where you live, what your credit card details are, how much you’re willing to pay.”

Nike is also able to use this information to determine if shoppers will tolerate higher prices, according to Mary Hildebrand, head of Lowenstein Sandler’s privacy and cybersecurity practice.