Nike announced yesterday (September 26, 2017) first quarter 2018 revenues were $9.1 billion, no change from the year prior. At the same time, it’s gross margin was 43.7 percent, a decline from last year. The brand performed well globally, but it continues to struggle in the United States, where sales are down in part because of much deeper competition from Adidas, as well as a shifting retail landscape.
On the call, executives called out the connected jerseys made in association with its new ownership of the NBA license, along with the success of VaporMax and AirMax 97 silhouettes. Nike also cited positive response to its ZoomX and React cushioning platforms, plus the launch of Flyleather, a “fully sustainable leather.”
For women, the brand’s Cortez and Air Max Jewell were called out as leading Nike Sportswear sales.
Nike’s collaboration with Off-White was also praised on the call, receiving a mention first from CEO Mark Parker and then from President Trevor Edwards, who stated, “We launched Off-Campus, a collaboration with Virgil Abloh. There we introduced new energy for 10 of the most iconic shoes, while engaging with those who love the design and function of sneakers.”
Addressing its lackluster U.S. sales, which were down 3 percent, Nike said it plans to focus on growing its own direct to consumer sales.