Eighteen hours ago, Graeme Campbell published an article titled “Community? Nike doesn’t care about your family run store” which dives into a family run sports store which had a partnership with Nike for more than fifty years. As of earlier today, Nike has decided to put their fifty year partnership on the back burner and cut ties with the Bronx based sporting company. Owner, Moe Stein, stated how he “knew Nike when they had nothing” he also feels that Nike is “putting down the Bronx because its not an elite place for them.” Although this is pretty sad, the 92-year-old owner is not alone on this issue. There are dozens of independent sports retailers who are going through the same exact hardship. Even a London based retailer said that “They want stores done up lovely or you are not good enough.”
What all these retailers have in common are how they do not wish to have the fancy custom sporting items, which has been a big trend in the sporting world for the past five years or even further back. Many sports from Soccer to Basketball have started to offer personal customization to their equipment. Since this has been in high demand in more recent years, big companies like Nike have started to use micro marketing to adapt to consumer trends. Opposed to the big companies, the small retailers have not quite adjusted to the times and still use undifferentiated marketing tactics. They just want the basics! Nike seems to be pulling away from these smaller mom and pop sporting stores because “they are not trendy enough.” Is it their fault for not adapting to new consumer taste and trends?
The more important question is what are these retailers suppose to do when this happens to them? As mentioned earlier, most of these owners are older, like 92-year-old Moe Stein. This implies that this business is a big part their life. So what happens to them when a big company stops doing business with you after decades of partnership? Also with Covid still around, whats next for them?