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.


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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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The Chicken Sandwich Wars Continue

The Chicken Sandwich Wars Continue

April 26, 2021

The Great Chicken Sandwich War began on August 12, 2019. Popeyes introduced its new chicken sandwich.  Chick-fil-A tweeted about its chicken sandwich being the original. Popeyes responded with, “Y’all good?”

This was the beginning of a social media war that brought a great deal of attention to Popeyes’ chicken sandwich.  Other restaurants joined in the social media war, including Wendy’s and Shake Shack.

The attention, along with outstanding initial reviews of the sandwich, led to long lines and shortages of chicken sandwiches at Popeyes.  Demand for its chicken sandwich was so great that Popeyes had to stop selling it to adjust its supply chain to the unanticipated demand.  The chicken sandwich didn’t return until November 3, 2019.

Popeyes’ sales have been boosted by the chicken sandwich, with system-wide sales increasing 19% in 2020.

With the popularity of the chicken sandwich, a variety of competitors have either launched a chicken sandwich, or developed a new chicken sandwich.  These competitors include KFC, Chick-fil-A, Church’s Chicken, Wendy’s, Zaxby’s, BurgerFi, Jack in the Box, Carl Jr., Sonic, Shake Shack, Boston Market, McDonald’s, and Burger King.

The most interesting addition is Taco Bell’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco.  Limited distribution Continue reading

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Hormel’s One Supply Chain Initiative Unlocks Capacity

Hormel’s One Supply Chain Initiative Unlocks Capacity

Hormel Foods has succeeded in unlocking supply chain capacity to shift operations to meet higher and sustained demand for all four of its food segments. That is despite lower production volumes caused by plant closures, and despite increased costs to accommodate enhanced employee and food safety during the pandemic.

The company’s success is attributed to a supply chain initiative called One Supply Chain that sought to improve production efficiencies, integrate new capacity, and leverage strategic partnerships to increase production across the SPAM, Skippy, Hormel Commpleats, and Herdez brands.


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This post is based on the Forbes article, Hormel Foods Unlocks Supply Chain Capacity To Drive $2.5 Billion Sales Growth, by Rose Celestin, March 16, 2021, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: gojak/iStock/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the production challenges that Hormel Foods faced due to COVID-19 disruptions?

Guidance: The challenges included fluctuating demand, fluctuating plant capacity utilization, changing food consumption trends, and increasing supply chain disruption costs.

2.  How did Hormel Foods respond to these production challenges?

Guidance: Hormel Foods implemented Continue reading

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