Trying to do it
Nike is still having a tough time in China.
In its latest set of results, Nike reported that sales in Greater China had fallen almost 20%, as COVID disruptions continue to play havoc on parts of the country's supply chain. That result, plus a cautious outlook for the coming quarter, sent Nike shares down 7% yesterday, wiping more than $11bn from the company's market cap.
But Nike can't blame everything on COVID. Indeed, there is an increasing amount of evidence that Chinese consumers are starting to turn away from western apparel companies, towards homegrown brands like Anta, Li-Ning, and Xtep. Front Office Sports reports that for the year ending January 31, 2022, domestic Chinese brands saw sales grow by 17% while foreign brands saw sales decline by 24%.
Endless growth in China is no longer a certainty for Nike and other western consumer brands — even if COVID and supply chain disruption is fully resolved.