Jordan Brand, the iconic sneaker and apparel line created in partnership with NBA legend Michael Jordan and Nike (NKE) back in 1997, continues to achieve slam dunk success in the world of sportswear. Guggenheim analyst Robert Drbul has indicated that the brand is on track to secure its position as the second-largest footwear brand in North America. Drbul’s insights were presented in a recent client note titled “Lots of Air Left in Brand Jordan.”
The fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report for Nike showcased the enduring popularity of the Jordan Brand, which contributed a staggering $6.59 billion in revenue. This impressive figure accounted for 12.9% of Nike’s total sales for the fiscal year 2023, reaffirming Jordan Brand’s prominence in the sneaker industry.
The holiday season is set to witness a major resurgence of the Air Jordan 11, originally introduced in 1996. Priced at $230, this iconic sneaker is highly anticipated by sneaker enthusiasts, and Nike plans to unveil new colorways and editions, including the “Gratitude,” “Defining Moments Pack,” and “Concord” variations. Analyst Robert Drbul anticipates that these releases will generate substantial buzz, further solidifying Brand Jordan’s status among Sneaker Heads.
Brand Jordan’s remarkable relevance after nearly three decades is a testament to its enduring appeal, even amidst challenges within the footwear market. Total searches for Jordan Brand-related keywords have surged on leading retailers’ websites, based on data from Guggenheim and SimilarWeb, encompassing searches on platforms like Google (GOOG), Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
Key findings include a 24.8% YoY increase in searches on JDSports.com, a 17.1% rise on Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), a 16.4% spike on Foot Locker (FL), a 10.6% boost on goat.com, a 2.7% increase on eBay (EBAY), a 1.4% uptick on Amazon’s website (AMZN), and a 0.2% growth on Walmart.com (WMT). However, fightclub.com has experienced a 39.4% decline in searches compared to the previous year.
Nike’s appeal to Gen Z is also noteworthy, as the brand leverages social media and innovation to capture their attention. Additionally, Nike benefits from secular lifestyle trends like health and wellness. Nevertheless, despite the enduring popularity of Jordan Brand and Nike’s innovations, Nike’s stock has experienced a 14% decline year-to-date.
This recent dip in Nike’s stock price coincides with a 7% drop following disappointing results and a downward revision of full-year projections by Foot Locker. Nike has historically accounted for over half of Foot Locker’s total sales, as reported by Yahoo Finance’s Josh Schafer.
One notable concern for Nike is the decline in monthly downloads and usage of SNKRS, an app created by the company. However, Drbul suggests that weaknesses in mobile and web traffic for sneaker resellers indicate that this issue may not be specific to Brand Jordan.
In recent years, Nike has also grappled with reconfiguring its wholesale distribution network, a challenge acknowledged by Oppenheimer senior analyst Brian Nagel. The company has had to adapt to shifting market dynamics and reconsider its partnerships within the wholesale sector.
Investors and enthusiasts alike eagerly await Nike’s first-quarter fiscal 2024 financial results, which are scheduled for release on Thursday, September 28. As the brand continues to evolve and navigate the ever-changing landscape of the sportswear industry, its ability to maintain its position as a powerhouse remains a topic of significant interest.
Source: Yahoo Finance