Nike Inc’s online sales of Air Maxes and other shoes in North America drove quarterly profit and revenue ahead of Wall Street estimates and led the world’s largest athletic shoe maker to forecast better-than-expected sales for the year. Shares rose 13% and are set to open on Wednesday at an all-time high of about $132.
Nike’s brick-and-mortar sales have fallen since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as malls and department stores were shuttered around the world. To combat that, the footwear maker has turned its focus to direct-to-consumer sales, especially through its own website and apps.
The brand’s digital sales surged 82% in the first quarter ended Aug. 31, with at least double-digit rises recorded in all regions. In the prior quarter, Nike reported a 75% increase in online sales – nearly a third of total revenue, a goal Nike had previously set for 2023.
“We know that digital is the new normal. The consumer today is digitally grounded and simply will not revert back,” Nike Chief Executive John Donahoe said.
Nike said it expected fiscal full-year revenue to rise between high single digits and low double digits versus last year, saying second-half sales would be “up significantly,” even though first-half growth would be flat. Analysts forecast a fiscal 2021 sales rise of 5.9%, according to Refinitiv IBES.