For years athletic wear was something sold in speciality shops to the “athletic upper crust”. But now – common people are wearing athletic wear – not for sports but just to the grocery store. Nike knows this and is expanding its sales direct to customers – squeezing out small retailers.

The WSJ writes, “The world’s largest maker of sportswear and sneakers is making a renewed push to boost its direct-to-consumer sales that has smaller athletic retailers feeling squeezed. Independent sportswear companies, already struggling with the expansion of online sales and industry consolidation, now worry that they may not be able to compete toe-to-toe with vendors, such as Nike.”

It’s not just that Nike is going direct, but also big box retailers are selling more sportswear.

What a dilemma. If you’re a small retailer – make sure you get CLOSE, MUCH CLOSER to your customers and SERVE their needs like never before.

Technology can help retailers – such as iPad based Point of Sale systems and CRM and reading Jay Bear’s book – Hug Your Haters.

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