Nike pulls popular sneakers from America’s largest shoe chain

The footwear giant will pull sneakers from Finish Line, a chain with more than 600 stores in the US, in the latest sign of a severe downturn in the industry

Nike will stop selling sneakers at one of America’s largest shoe chains, the footwear giant announced on Friday, in the latest sign of a severe downturn in the industry.

Runners around the country are facing a sneaker shortage: hundreds of sneakers are sold out around the clock, and shoppers searching for sneakers are spotted at the corner of Second and Spruce in New York’s Flatiron district.

“Over the last two years, Finish Line has been shopping around with us for a new long-term partner for delivery to its stores and online,” Nike said in a statement. “We feel Finish Line has an experienced team and strong vision in place. We remain committed to our Finish Line fans.”

The announcement follows reports of slumping sales at Nike and Adidas over the past two years, in part due to a lack of excitement around some new models.

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Other footwear companies have also faced shrinking profit margins. Nike – which announced profits of $1.51bn for 2017 – downgraded its sales outlook for the quarter ending on 26 April. Adidas saw profits fall 25% in 2017, and said its newest product, the Boost, has failed to excite consumers.

The struggling clothing company Under Armour, which has struggled to compete with Nike and Adidas in recent years, recently posted its fifth straight quarterly loss. Nike in 2017 forecast a return to growth in 2018.

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In March, the athleisure-style apparel brand Lululemon announced that it was looking to hire 400 new employees as part of a “significant cost-reduction and productivity-optimization initiative”. One of the major initiatives will help the company reduce its inventory by $100m a year.

But another statement on Friday suggested that the slump in shoe sales could continue for a while.

“We are confident that the strength of our brand and our innovation pipeline will enable us to continue to take a step forward each quarter and deliver innovation that customers will enjoy and share with their friends and family,” said Mark Parker, chairman and chief executive officer.

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