If you wanted to make big money off of Nike (NYSE: NKE) this week, the New York Stock Exchange was not the place to invest. Instead, you should have been on the company’s SNKRS app trying to get your hands on a pair of one of the hottest shoe designs to come along in years.
The Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB “Chunky Dunky” shoe was released Tuesday and sold out in a flash. Then the value of the $100 shoes soared on the resale market, with some sellers seeking as much as $2,000 in online marketplaces like eBay and StockX.
The pre-sale buzz for the limited edition shoe was strong. Would-be purchasers had to first win a lottery to even attempt to buy a pair on the app. Or they could find them in “select Nike SB retailers around the world.”
The whimsical sneakers cannot be mistaken for a pair of Jordans. They resemble a container of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, with a pastoral image evoking cows in a meadow, and a splash of tie-dye inside. And the Nike swoosh has some drips as if it were made out of melting ice cream.
— Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) May 23, 2020
Consumers who bought the shoes for $100 on Tuesday and sold them for a relatively modest $1,000 on Wednesday pocketed a return on investment of 1,000%.
Investors who bought one Nike share of stock at Tuesday’s closing price of $96.62 and sold it at Wednesday’s closing price of $99.87 captured a profit of 3.36%. So the retail play was far more lucrative than the Wall Street play.
Nike’s Skill in Apparel Marketing
The Chunky Dunky shoes illustrate Nike’s genius for marketing in the apparel industry. The company partnered with the beloved brand Ben & Jerry’s to create a highly unusual looking shoe. By limiting the supply and making the shoe particularly difficult to obtain, it created a buzzworthy moment that broke through even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shoes certainly had Nike followers talking. People took to social media to either gloat about their success in snagging a pair of the sneakers or to lament coming up empty-handed.
— Ke1 (@WestsideKe) May 28, 2020
Yes, I wanted the Ben & Jerry’s x Nike ‘Chunky Dunky’ shoes. No, I didn’t get them. No, I don’t want to talk about it.
— Phil Ranta is 🏠 (@PhilRanta) May 26, 2020
Nike has not been immune to the business slowdown that set in around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic. Like many companies, Nike saw its share price plunge in March, one of the worst months in the history of the S&P 500. But it has been climbing back relatively steadily but slowly. Wednesday’s closing price was only about 6 points off the high recorded in January.
Although its stock has not been leading the recovery, Nike remains one of the largest consumer products companies in the world. It may be a bellwether as to how consumers will navigate post-COVID shifts in the retail environment around the world.
Gradually Reopening Bricks-and-Mortar Stores
Nike has reopened all of its company-owned stores in China and South Korea. Most of its partner stores there have also resumed operations. With reduced hours and other safety measures in place, store traffic is below that of previous years.
Outside China and South Korea, most Nike-owned and partner stores shut down in mid-March. Nike has started reopening some company-owned stores as various U.S. states and some countries have begun to lift stay-at-home orders. Stores have reopened in more than 15 countries, including Brazil, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Lines reached 40 people at a Nike store in Atlanta after it reopened last week, an analyst for Raymond James reported.
Nike’s strong online presence has also been a plus during the pandemic, with demand growing there.
For Nike’s share price, the 52-week high is $105.62 and the low is $60.00.
The company with headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, is expected to report its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings for the last fiscal year in June. Wall Street analysts are anticipating $0.18 earnings per share (EPS) on $8.09 billion in revenue. That compares with $0.62 in EPS and $10.18 billion in revenue last year.
For the full fiscal year, consensus estimates are $2.18 in EPS and $38.85 billion in revenue. The previous year’s figures were $2.49 in EPS and $39.12 billion in revenue.
John Thompson Retiring From Board of Directors
After the markets closed Wednesday, Nike announced that John Thompson, 71, former head coach of Georgetown University’s basketball team, is retiring from the board of directors.
Thompson has been a member of the board since 1991. His retirement becomes effective May 31, the end of Nike’s fiscal year. He will then be designated director emeritus.
“I’ve known John Thompson for almost 50 years and Nike would not be the company it is today without his many contributions,” said Phil Knight, Nike co-founder and chairman emeritus. “He’s long been recognized as a pioneer, a leader and a hall of famer in the game of basketball. For Nike, it’s his wisdom that sets him apart and I know as director emeritus he’ll continue to provide the board with the unique insights that have defined him.”