Nike Inc, which touted its ability to navigate the pandemic earlier this year, is finding it’s not so easy.
The world’s biggest athletic brand posted a surprise loss and disappointing sales in the fiscal fourth quarter, a sign that shuttered retail stores across the US and much of the world took an even bigger toll than expected.
Revenue declined 38% to $6.31 billion in the period ended in May, well short of the $7.38 billion estimated by analysts. Its loss amounted to 51 cents a share, compared with a projection for earnings of 10 cents.
The results marked an about-face from earlier this year, when Nike beat Wall Street’s expectations even as many consumer brands struggled.
The company made the case to investors that it was prepared to deal with Covid-19 because of its experience operating in China during the initial breakout of the virus.
Like many brands and retailers, it invested in online platforms to make up for stores being closed. But booming e-commerce sales weren’t enough to make up for the brick-and-mortar slump.