Nike wants to be more nimble on its feet. The sneaker maker plans to sell more shoes directly to customers online as part of a restructuring in which it also will cut about 1,400 jobs, the AP reports. And it's reducing the number of sneaker and clothing styles it makes by a quarter to focus on hot sellers. Nike said the moves will help it offer more products to customers faster. It will make its sneaker-selling apps available in more countries at a time when many big retailers are closing stores as more people shop online. The company said a main focus will be the 12 key cities in 10 countries that it expects to represent more than 80% of its projected growth through 2020. Those cities include New York, Paris, and Beijing.
"We're getting even more aggressive in the digital marketplace," said CEO Mark Parker. But the shake-up, announced two weeks before Nike releases its financial results for the most recent quarter, seemed to make investors nervous. Its stock fell 3% in afternoon trading. Christopher Svezia, a footwear and apparel analyst at Wedbush, said that when companies announce job cuts and restructuring ahead of earnings reports, it doesn't typically bode well for how business is going. "We'll learn more in two weeks," he said. Nike said the layoffs represent about 2% of its 70,000 employees around the world. It declined to provide additional details about the cuts. (Read more Nike stories.)