Nike says it's going to make cooler, cheaper sneakers as sales soar

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Nike storeAP/Wilfredo Lee

  • Nike CEO Mark Parker said on Thursday that Nike will begin a new focus on "moderately priced" footwear.
  • Parker made his comments during an earnings call discussing second-quarter results that beat expectations, including sales rising 10%.
  • The company sees even great opportunity in cheaper sneakers, however, to grow those numbers even more in 2019.

Nike is doubling down on cheaper sneakers in 2019.

CEO Mark Parker said during an earnings call on Thursday that Nike will begin a new focus on "moderately priced" footwear. Nike beat expectations for the second quarter, including sales that rose 10% thanks to growth in digital.

Now, the company sees even greater opportunity in what Parker calls "core" category sneakers, to grow those numbers even more in 2019.

"As we broaden platforms across categories, we're also broadening them across price points to bring them to more people," he said during the call. "We see greater opportunities for moderately priced footwear from Nike right now."

Parker did not say specifically what price point the new models would be. Most of Nike's newest shoes are sold above $100, including the Air Max and React - platforms that Parker called out as being especially hot for the company right now.

Read more: Nike gave us a glimpse into the store of the future this year

Parker said the new initiative would be a combination of selling cheaper versions of shoes people already love from Nike, like the React and Air Max, as well as completely new, "unique" shoes targeted at that price point. He also said that Nike would improve the "storytelling" around these cheaper models, likely implying they will be marketed to consumers more aggressively.

Parker said the opportunity for these sneakers is mostly in North America, though Nike sees opportunity in other areas of the world where it sells as well.

Parker also announced that Nike will release a new line of yoga clothing for men and start integrating RFID chips in shoes to help with inventory management.

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