The world’s largest sportswear company, Nike has shed a chunk of its workforce in the country, asked many employees to join its Southeast Asia operations, and has scrapped plans to open a large back office in Bengaluru, as per a TOI report.
A Nike spokesperson confirmed to the daily that the company “had a few people leave last week” as part of the direct-to-consumer plan announced in June.
Nike’s consolidation in the country comes on account of COVID-19 as well as is a part of its global strategy to shift focus to online sales.
The move follows its similar move in 2016, when Nike had shuttered 35% of its stores in India and made further reductions to around 150 stores last year.
While Nike will continue to remain in India, its diminishing presence points out to the fact Nike did not localize its products for India, as a result of which it found t difficult to cut losses. COVID-19 seems to have exacerbated it further given its huge impact on the retail sector in general. Further, Nike announced that it will lay off approximately 700 workers at its world headquarters by Jan. 8, 2021, as per a filing the company made on Nov. 2. The layoffs, which began several weeks ago, represent a 200 job-loss increase from the original forecast made in the summer when the company previously announced plans to lay off 500 employees.