Nike under fire for axing online shopping, Nike app in New Zealand

Composite of Nike storefront in Auckland with text overlaid
Photo credit: Nike / Getty Images

Sportswear giant Nike has announced that online shopping via its official website will no longer be available for New Zealand customers, with access to its app also being revoked. 

Subscribers to its email list were informed on Thursday morning that the Nike App and online shopping via will cease service in New Zealand from 12am NZDT on Tuesday, October 3.

Orders placed on or before 11:59pm on Monday, October 2 will still be processed and delivered, it noted. 

It's understood the announcement first appeared as a banner on its New Zealand website on Wednesday, leading to an article outlining the imminent changes

"At Nike, we're constantly evaluating our marketplace to best serve consumers through premium products, experiences, and services," a Nike spokesperson said in a statement to Newshub.

"Starting October 3, 2023 00:00 NZDT, online shopping and the Nike App will no longer be available in New Zealand.

"We will continue to serve consumers in New Zealand our latest products at physical Nike-branded stores and our multi-brand retail partners."

Nike EDM email announcing the changes
Email list subscribers were informed of the changes this morning. Photo credit: Newshub

The Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club apps will continue to be available in New Zealand, the spokesperson confirmed to Newshub, and members' access will not be impacted by the change. 

Nike's decision to put an end to online shopping in New Zealand has already prompted backlash online, with many expressing their outrage on social media.

"Disappointing as the range you can get online is significantly better than what is in stock in their physical stores. I assume it is just a cost-saving measure, you didn't have to buy much to get free shipping, and almost every order I placed seemed to come from Europe (and often take wild routes to get to NZ)," one weighed in on Reddit.

Others wondered whether the popularity of online shopping had put a strain on its physical retailers, with the move hoping to encourage more customers to shop in-store.  

"This locks us out of high-end running shoes unless we pay massive import costs," said another, with a third adding: "Really sad about this. I have US16 foot and the Nike retail stores don't stock my size."

Nike shoe store in Auckland, February 26, 2018.
Nike shoe store in Auckland, February 26, 2018. Photo credit: Getty Images

"What a backward step, even if their objective is to drive more in-store sales," a fourth said, with another agreeing: "That seems so... backward of them."

Backlash to the decision has also appeared on Twitter, with several noting that for customers without access to a brick-and-mortar store, it would severely hinder their ability to access quality athletic gear and running shoes. 

"For customers who don't have access to physical stores, this is the wrong move," said @4TESLANZ.

"I'm really pissed about this. No Nike stores in South Island and resellers have f**k all stock, never in my size and charge huge markups," said @Jiu_Jase.

"I love how you decide to cut NZ off from online shopping, but in the same breath you tell us to go spend our money at your Nike stores. Yeah, nah... no thanks. I'll spend my money elsewhere," tweeted @TheWarriorholic.

Nike did not comment to Newshub about the reasoning for the changes.