Nike will reportedly cease to permit international shipping among its retail partners around the world starting January 1, 2020. This information first came to light in leaked emails several months ago, in which Nike apparently expressly forbid its retail partners from shipping “outside of their trading territory.”
Now, Attitude Inc, a Colchester, England-based independent skateboard and streetwear store, has confirmed on its Instagram story that it will no longer be able to ship Nike products outside of the EU (presumably its pre-agreed trading territory). This information has also been corroborated by a few reputable retailers.
The supposed Nike communication states: “Shipping to consumers internationally is in violation of Nike Terms & Conditions of Sale. Violation of Nike’s distribution policies may result in corrective actions up to and including discontinuing Retailer access to Nike product.”
This move comes following an increased focus by brands to generate excitement around localized drops. adidas has repeatedly released geographically-locked YEEZY drops, while Louis Vuitton has also dropped region-exclusive capsules. The notion of exclusive products is nothing new, and stretches back decades, though in the age of internet shopping consumers will feel its effects much more.
One of the biggest changes for consumers is access to already limited product. Whereas previously consumers will have been able to enter online raffles or try their luck at online drops around the world, Nike enforcing of its Terms & Conditions means local consumers will have a better chance at securing high-heat product, while global consumers will see their options limited. This, in theory, will make certain drops rarer and more coveted again.
For retailers, the general consumer base will shrink, though they will be able to sell to a more concentrated group of local buyers. That could potentially result in a much more tight-knit community and, in turn, a more loyal consumer base. Whether these changes will take place as advertised is another issue, as one retailer confirmed to Highsnobiety that it will continue to be able to ship internationally, even after receiving the Nike communication.
Highsnobiety has reached out to Nike for comment.
Stay tuned for updates regarding this developing story.