Nike and Direct-to-Consumer: Just Doing It

Nike and Direct-to-Consumer: Just Doing It

May 5, 2021

Nike continues its march towards more direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, notifying seven more distributors that they will no longer be selling its products.

The last shipments to DSW, Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Big Five, and several others are likely to go out in October 2021. The move follows Nike’s cut of nine wholesalers last fall, and continues a push towards more digital sales.

Its DTC model that began about a decade ago has been accelerated and positively affected by the pandemic.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Retail Dive article, Nike drops DSW, Urban Outfitters, Macy’s in quest for more DTC sales , by Cara Salpini, March 26, 2021; the Retail Dive article, How Nike is using DTC and data to expand its empire, by Cara Salpini, March 23, 2021; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Paulaphoto/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. How will Nike reach consumers if it bypasses the many wholesalers and retailers on which it has traditionally relied?

Guidance: Nike plans to use more digital sales in its app-driven stores, and it plans to open about 200 Continue reading

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Annie’s Product Redesign: A Case for Ethics and Safety

Annie’s Product Redesign: A Case for Ethics and Safety

April 24, 2021

Annie’s Homegrown organic Mac and Cheese products came under scrutiny because very small traces of phthalates were found in the dairy products and packaging it uses.  Other U.S. cheese products have faced similar findings.

Some research suggests that phthalates can be linked to problems with male fertility and the health of babies, including neurodevelopment and behavioral problems.  While the levels found are below the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA’s) thresholds for human consumption, Annie’s is nevertheless committed to continuing to review the research in this area and help find ways to deal with this issue.


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This post is based on the Food Packaging Forum article, Annie’s to eliminate phthalates from products, packaging, by Vanessa Srebny, February 23, 2021; the Fox News article, Annie’s removing a chemical in mac and cheese linked to fertility issues, by Kayla Rivas, February 26, 2021; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: FoodCollection

Discussion Questions:

1. What is value analysis and how does it pertain to this issue?

Guidance: Value analysis is the process of Continue reading

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Gender Neutral Mr. Potato Head

Gender Neutral Mr. Potato Head

April 8, 2021

Hasbro’s iconic “Mr. Potato Head” is being rebranded as simply “Potato Head.”

According to a company spokesperson, this allows children as young as its target audience of two- and three-year-olds to create whatever gender potatoes and families they wish.  A “family-pack” will include two large potatoes and one small one with over forty pieces for children to use to create the families of their choice.

While some welcome the change in the name of inclusiveness, others are raising an eyebrow to this level of “political correctness” in a toy targeted towards small children.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Fast Company article, The iconic Mr. Potato Head gets a 21st century rebrand, by Dr. Elizabeth Segran,  February 25, 2021, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: D. Hurst/Alamy

Discussion Questions:

1. What is the product life cycle and where are Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, soon to be known simply as “Potato Head,” in that cycle?

Guidance: The product life cycle depicts the various stages in the life of a product, beginning with the introductory phase, Continue reading

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