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Report: Nike to Limit Retail Partners’ Ability to Ship Products Internationally

According to a recent report by streetwear publication, Highsnobiety, Nike may be limiting its retail partner’s ability to ship the brand’s products internationally in an effort to double down on its push for a more localized product assortment.

Highsnobiety first caught wind of this news when a retailer in Colchester, England—Attitude Inc—announced the policy change on its Instagram account. The retailer said it would no longer be shipping Nike products outside of the EU beginning on Jan. 1.

“Although in the short term we may lose some business due to this new policy, I respect and understand this decision taken by Nike to protect the brand, which in turn will no doubt benefit us as a Nike stockist in the future,” Alvin Singfield, head buyer and general manager of Attitude Inc, told Highsnobiety, adding that he believes the policy will be “for the best.”

In a message from Nike to its retail partners recovered by Highsnobiety, the company said: “This communication is to inform you that effect (sic) January 1, 2020 Nike will not permit international shipping (defined as shipping outside of your trading territory) of Nike products to consumers…Shipping to consumers internationally is in violation of Nike Terms & Conditions of Sale. Violation of Nike’s distribution policies may result in corrective actions up to and including discontinuing retailer access to Nike product.”

It does appear, however, that retailers will be able to continue doing business in already-open markets as long as the final destination of the product is within a predetermined trade union.

“For clarity, under their terms & conditions and applicable distribution policy, retail partners in the European Economic Area and Switzerland will continue to be free to sell and ship to consumers or authorized Nike resellers throughout the European Economic Area and Switzerland,” Nike’s message continued.

If put into effect, the new policy will likely be an extension of the brand’s efforts to create seeming shortages for certain products, like sneakers, by using geographically-locked releases, a method also employed by Kanye West and the Yeezy line in 2019.