Nike, an American manufacturer of sports shoes and clothing, did not renew the contract with the largest franchisee in Russia, Inventive Retail Group. IRG will be forced to close all of its Nike-branded stores.
Vedomosti writes about this with reference to a letter from IRG President Tikhon Smykov to company employees.
It is noted that Inventive Retail Group owns the largest mono-brand chain of stores of the American retailer in Russia. IRG will be forced to close all of its Nike-branded stores.
In the letter, the American company’s decision is explained by Nike’s inability to organize deliveries of goods to Russia “in the near future”.
“As inventory is depleted, IRG will be forced to close all its stores under this brand,” Smykov said.
According to him, these messages were the same blow for him as for all employees. Smykov recalled that the joint business with the American partner was started 10 years ago, all this time “the best chain of stores in the country was built with love”, but now it will not be able to exist.
IRG PR Director Lyudmila Semushina confirmed to Vedomosti that deliveries of Nike products have been suspended, and the goods themselves are in short supply.
She said the company would not be able to “continue to maintain mono-brand stores” and would be forced to close them. Semushina refused to comment on relations with the manufacturer.
A spokesman for the US retailer, in response to a newspaper inquiry, said that Nike had decided not to continue existing or enter into new business relationships, including UP&Run (part of IRG), due to operational difficulties.
Business activity in Russia has been suspended, but the company continues to make all payments to its employees, a company spokesman said.
According to the director of the Core.XP retail department, Marina Malakhatko, the refusal to renew the agreement with IRG, in general, may mean Nike’s exit from the Russian market.
From March to May, the number of Nike mono-brand stores in Russia has already decreased from 116 to 56, according to the company’s website. Of these, 19 are temporarily closed. IRG operates 37 Nike outlets. From the information on the group’s website, it follows that nine stores are not yet open.