Amazon is giving Nike a run for its money

Amazon leapt over Nike for millennial shoe shoppers.
Amazon leapt over Nike for millennial shoe shoppers.
Image: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
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The top shoe-shopping destination for millennial men isn’t Nike or Adidas. It’s Amazon.com.

Men “consistently rank Amazon as their top retail destination” across retail categories, analysts at Goldman Sachs reported in a research note. Those categories include clothing, handbags and briefcases, shoes, and luxury (goods). Men put Amazon as their second-favorite place to shop for athletic apparel, underwear, and grooming items, according to an annual survey of nearly 1,500 US consumers ages 13 to 34 that Goldman conducts with Condé Nast.

It’s not particularly surprising that Amazon has become a destination for male shoppers. Amazon is a shopper’s dream: quick, convenient, and incredibly comprehensive in its inventory. Still, Goldman’s analysts considered it notable that the e-commerce giant overtook Nike this year as the preferred shoe retailer of young men, and also crept up on Nike in the athletic category. (Goldman has been conducting this survey with Condé since 2013.)

Nike partnered with Amazon in June 2017 to start selling its products directly through the site, initially with a small assortment of its footwear, apparel, and gear. Nike formalized the deal shortly after it came out that top rival Adidas would take part in Amazon Prime Wardrobe, a perk Amazon had debuted earlier that month to let Amazon Prime members order, try on, and return clothes for free. Making its products widely available on Amazon meant Nike risked losing cachet, but the sales potential was hard to ignore.

In December 2017, Nike CEO Mark Parker announced the company would be expanding its Amazon partnership. “We’ve seen good sell-through on the limited selection of products that we have offered,” he told investors at the time. Parker had relatively little to offer when Nike reported its latest quarterly results in late June this year, telling investors, “on Amazon, I would just say that our partnership is progressing well.”