It has been reported that Nike will close ‘approximately half’ of their stores in China due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, while the remaining locations will operate with reduced hours.
‘In the short term, we expect the situation to have a material impact on our operations in greater China,’ Nike said in a news release.
The move is significant for Team Swoosh, especially considering China was Nike’s third-largest, but fastest-growing, market in the most recent fiscal year. The company made a total of $6.2 billion in sales, representing a 21 per cent increase.
‘First and foremost, our thoughts are with the people affected and we remain focused on the health and safety of our teammates and partners,’ said Nike CEO John Donahoe.
‘Despite this difficult situation, Nike’s long-term opportunity to continue to serve consumers in Greater China with inspiration and innovation remains exceedingly strong. At the same time, we continue to have extraordinary brand and business momentum in all other geographies.’
Nike shares were down by more than three per cent following the news.
At this stage, it is unclear whether the coronavirus has impacted Nike’s factory operations. The brand currently has 11 contract factories in China, employing an estimated 153,000 people, accounting for approximately 23 per cent of its footwear and 27 per cent of its apparel.
Stay tuned for updates.