Amazon reportedly to sell Nike shoes directly via brand registry designed to block knockoffs

It’s unclear how much more Nike merchandise might ultimately flow through Amazon, but the prospect of a special relationship between the two companies sent shoe-retailer stocks tumbling.

Amazon.com will begin selling Nike shoes directly through a brand-registry program designed to keep counterfeit goods off the site, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The approach lets Nike take greater control over how its products are sold, helping ensure that knockoff shoes aren’t offered by third parties on the e-commerce marketplace, said the person, who asked not to be named because the arrangement isn’t yet public.

Shoes are popular products for counterfeiters, and Nike’s global brand is an especially alluring target. That’s put pressure on the athletic-apparel giant to police online sales more aggressively.

Lindsay Drucker Mann, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group, said earlier that Nike may be near to forging a closer relationship with Amazon. Currently, Nike is available on Amazon’s Zappos site, but not directly through the parent company.

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It’s unclear how much more Nike merchandise might ultimately flow through Amazon, but the prospect of a special relationship between the two companies sent shoe-retailer stocks tumbling.

Foot Locker stock, which plunged as much as 11 percent during Wednesday’s session, closed down 5 percent while The Finish Line sank 4 percent. Dick’s Sporting Goods closed down 3.8 percent, after dropping more than 9 percent earlier Wednesday. European sellers Sports Direct International and JD Sports Fashion declined as well.

Nike gained 2 percent to $52.59 Wednesday, bringing its year-to-date gain to more than 3 percent. Amazon gained 1 percent to $1,002.23.

The Amazon partnership is part of Nike’s push to boost sales directly to consumers to revive slowing growth that has weighed on its stock. Just last week, Nike…

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