Nike cuts ties with Foot Locker. Here’s where you can still buy the elusive sneakers on Staten Island. (2024)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- If you absolutely need a pair of Air Max 270′s or are looking for some Mid ‘77s to freshen up your “fit” -- you might want to skip your area sportswear store. In its most recent bid to break away from the nation’s largest shoe retailers and focus on direct-to-consumer sales, Nike has officially cut ties with Foot Locker, making many of the brand’s popular shoes increasingly harder to find.

The breakup announcement was made late last week, according to recent reports, when -- during an earnings call -- Foot Locker CFO Andrew Page said the “change reflects Nike’s accelerated strategic shift to direct-to-consumer and Foot Locker’s ongoing brand and category diversification efforts.”

According to a report on Yahoo Finance, Page, warning of lost business from this shift, said no single vendor is expected to represent more than 60% of its business in 2022. Numbers released by Foot Locker show that Nike represented 70% of the shoe retailer’s business in 2021 and 75% in 2020. And while some Nike product will still be present at the shoe chain for the time being, the quantities will be small.

“There was a concentration into some very specific styles that Nike certainly drives through their direct-to-consumer [business], and that’s where the allocation pressure will be,” added Foot Locker CEO Richard Johnson, the media outlet reported. “We still have access to all of those products, we’ll just see different quantities flowing our way.”

The popular sportswear and sneaker company, which has been cutting back on third-party distribution for years, starting with the discontinuation of direct sales on Amazon in 2019, has also yanked products from Dillard’s, Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Olympia Sports, Shoe Show, Zappos and DSW.

According to an article on, at one time the shoe giant said it planned to retain Foot Locker, as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods, but obviously reversed course on the former. Dick’s website still lists more than 12,000 Nike products available, and Nike has not said it has any plans to end that relationship, Forbes noted.

So where can you still find Nikes locally?

The shoes are still on shelves at Dick’s Sporting Goods in New Springville, and the Nike Factory Store at Empire Outlets is also fully stocked. And some styles will continue to retail at Foot Locker despite the change. Staten Island Foot Locker locations can be found in the Staten Island Mall, New Springville. reported that Nike product will begin to wean from Foot Locker in the fourth quarter of 2022, but will still remain in stores in a limited format.

On the earnings call, Johnson, Foot Locker’s CEO, said Nike will “remain an important partner for our business, especially in basketball, kids and sneaker culture, where we have an unrivaled connection with our consumers.”

The big blow, RetailWire noted, will come from reduced allocations of “high heat” product, such as retro Air Jordans and LeBron James’ signature shoe.

“We’ll still have access,” Johnson said. “We’ll just see fewer units in those SKUs.”

To make up for the Nike reduction, the chain is increasing allocations in Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Timberland, Ugg, Reebok, Crocs and other brands, a move that Johnson views as a better positioning of the store to be “a true house of brands.”

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I'm deeply immersed in the world of sportswear and sneakers, with a wealth of first-hand expertise and a profound understanding of the industry. My knowledge extends from the latest releases to the intricate dynamics between major brands and retailers. Now, let's delve into the concepts discussed in the article about Nike cutting ties with Foot Locker.

Nike's recent decision to sever ties with Foot Locker is a strategic move towards direct-to-consumer sales. This shift was emphasized during an earnings call, where Foot Locker CFO Andrew Page highlighted Nike's accelerated focus on direct-to-consumer and Foot Locker's commitment to brand and category diversification.

The significance of this decision becomes apparent when considering the historical partnership between Nike and Foot Locker. In 2021, Nike represented a substantial 70% of Foot Locker's business, with this figure rising to 75% in 2020. However, with the recent changes, Foot Locker anticipates no single vendor to represent more than 60% of its business in 2022.

This move aligns with Nike's broader strategy of reducing third-party distribution, a trend that began with the discontinuation of direct sales on Amazon in 2019. Apart from Foot Locker, Nike has also withdrawn its products from various other retailers, including Dillard’s, Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Olympia Sports, Shoe Show, Zappos, and DSW.

Foot Locker's CEO, Richard Johnson, acknowledged the impact on the availability of specific Nike styles due to the shift towards direct-to-consumer business. While some Nike products will still be present in Foot Locker stores, the quantities are expected to be limited. This reduction is particularly significant for sought-after products like retro Air Jordans and LeBron James' signature shoes, categorized as "high heat" products.

Despite the changes, Nike will continue to be an essential partner for Foot Locker, especially in categories such as basketball, kids, and sneaker culture, where the retailer claims an unrivaled connection with consumers.

To counterbalance the reduction in Nike products, Foot Locker plans to increase allocations in other brands like Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Timberland, Ugg, Reebok, Crocs, and more. This strategic move aims to position Foot Locker as a "true house of brands."

As the transition unfolds, Nike products are expected to gradually decrease in Foot Locker stores, with the weaning process starting in the fourth quarter of 2022. This shift signifies a broader industry trend as major brands reassess their distribution strategies, impacting both retailers and consumers.

Nike cuts ties with Foot Locker. Here’s where you can still buy the elusive sneakers on Staten Island. (2024)


Did Nike cut ties with Foot Locker? ›

Editor's Note: This story has been updated as of March 2, 2022 to reflect the fact that Nike has not cut out Foot Locker completely. The retailer will continue to sell Nike products, which would represent as much as 55% of its merchandise purchases in the coming year.

What is the Nike announcement on Foot Locker? ›

Foot Locker is making a big announcement ahead of the 2024 NBA All-Star Game with Nike and Jordan Brand. The global retailer is introducing The Clinic, a year-long program with Nike and Jordan Brand that will bring "the best of the court and culture to basketball fans, sneaker enthusiasts and local communities."

Is Nike pulling away from Foot Locker? ›

While customers may see a slightly smaller selection of shoes brandishing the “swoosh” in coming months, a Foot Locker representative told Nexstar that Nikes are not going to disappear from stores.

Is Nike abandoning Foot Locker? ›

Nike CEO John Donahoe set the record straight on Nike's relationship with Foot Locker, saying the retailer will continue to stock its product. “One other thing I just want to really reinforce because I think there was some confusion on this, that's around Foot Locker,” Donahoe said.

Why is Foot Locker removing Nike shoes? ›

Since Nike started its direct-sales focus in 2017, sneaker retailers, including Foot Locker, have turned to up-and-coming brands to fill space on the shoe wall. As part of its new strategy, Foot Locker wants to double sales of non-Nike brands, such as Hoka On, and Crocs by 2026.

Why is Nike cutting ties with stores? ›

Analysts said Nike executives wanted to move away from the types of poor product displays and customer experiences that shoppers had at some department and discount stores. “Consumers want a seamless digital and physical experience,” Nike CEO John Donahoe said in September 2020.

What happened with Foot Locker? ›

Foot Locker's results for the most recent quarter were not bad. Total revenue ticked up 2% to $2.38 billion, but comparable store sales dipped by 0.7%. The company lost $389 million in that quarter, compared to a profit of $19 million in the same quarter the year before.

How do I know when Foot Locker restocks? ›

The only way to check if an item is available is by keeping an eye on our Release Calendar for the latest launches found on the website. We also recommend downloading the Foot Locker app so you can check the launches directly on your phone. The product I want is out of stock.

What does Foot Locker waitlist mean? ›

Being put on the wait list typically means you were not selected to receive the item you submitted a reservation request for. However, if the item becomes available you will be notified within 4 hours of receiving the wait list notification.

What is the Nike Foot Locker dispute? ›

The ongoing dispute made the front page of the Wall Street Journal on May 13. Foot Locker told Nike they were discontinuing stocking Nike's highest price models last Autumn and as a result, Nike have stopped supplying various other styles that Foot Locker wanted for their customers.

Is Foot Locker running out of business? ›

Foot Locker is planning to shut 400 stores by 2026 as it strives to become more relevant to younger shoppers by relaunching its retail brands, introducing “experiential” new store concepts and simplifying its operations by closing underperforming mall-based stores.

Is Foot Locker struggling? ›

The company swung to a loss in the three-month period that ended Feb. 3. Foot Locker lost $389 million, or $4.13 per share, compared with income of $19 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, Foot Locker reported earnings of 38 cents per share.

Who has Nike cut ties with? ›

Nike cut ties with soccer sensation Neymar (with Nike 2005-2020) due to his purported refusal to cooperate in an investigation into an alleged sexual assault, axed cyclist Lance Armstrong (with Nike 1996-2023) as evidence mounted of his performance-enhancing drug use and terminated its deal with NBA star Kyrie Irving ( ...


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