The footwear retailer didn’t say how many jobs would be eliminated as a result of the strategy shift. Plus, Marks & Spencer plans to cut 950 jobs.

(Bloomberg)—Job cuts at Nike Inc., No. x in the 2020 Digital Commerce 360 Top 500, will cost it between $200 million and $250 million as the world’s largest athletic brand refocuses on selling directly to consumers.

The footwear company, which had already announced in June a new phase in its ecommerce push called the Consumer Direct Acceleration, didn’t say how many jobs would be eliminated as a result of the strategy shift. It said in a statement the online push was “expected to lead to a net loss of jobs across the company” resulting in the one-time charge.

The company didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

Nike’s strategy shift comes as the pandemic expedites a rethink of physical storefronts that had already been bubbling for years. Bricks-and-mortar stores, in particular mall-based ones, have been some of the hardest hit by coronavirus as scores of consumers turn to online shopping. Ecommerce sales were a bright spot for Nike last quarter, growing 75% at a time when overall revenue plunged.


Nike also announced Wednesday a series of senior leadership changes supporting the direct-to-consumer shift, including new leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and in its Asia Pacific and Latin America division. Additionally, Craig Williams, president of the Jordan brand, and G. Scott Uzzell, chief executive officer of Converse Inc., will join Nike’s executive leadership team.

The company said the new structure and leadership changes will give it a “nimbler, flatter organization,” allowing it to make decisions faster.

Marks & Spencer to cut 950 jobs

Marks & Spencer Group Plc, No. 41 in the Digital Commerce 360 Europe 500, plans to cut 950 jobs in yet another blow to British shopping districts reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

The clothing and homewares retailer said the job losses would come from central support functions in its property and field operations as well as its store management network. The cuts represent about 1.2% of its workforce of 78,000.


M&S follows department-store chain Debenhams Plc, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s drugstores and the John Lewis Partnership Plc, owner of the upmarket grocer Waitrose, in announcing drastic job cuts. Britain’s retailers are struggling to return to normal after months of store closures as lockdown measures have been progressively eased.

The move could be controversial, given that M&S took government support when furloughing 27,000 workers during the pandemic. The stock slumped as much as 2.6% in London trading.

In an effort to avoid significant job losses, the U.K. government has since offered businesses a 1,000 pound ($1,250) bonus for every employee who returns to work, but the measure failed to stem the tide of job cuts. M&S said it hasn’t decided whether to accept the bonus for employees who have returned to work.


The retailer has been trying to turn around for at least the last decade. When it announced its results in May, CEO Steve Rowe said the crisis may accelerate turnaround efforts at a business with a “history of slow cultural change.”

The company disbanded many working groups and committees in favor of a smaller top team that can make decisions faster, and employees in stores and support centers are working more flexibly, according to Rowe. Wider strategic goals such as reducing its clothing range and working with a smaller set of suppliers have also been hastened by the crisis.

M&S has struggled in a highly competitive grocery market and after failing to keep up with online “fast fashion” rivals. In May, the company said it was outperforming its worst-case coronavirus scenario after reacting quickly to the pandemic, canceling about 100 million pounds ($122 million) of clothing and home orders.