Nike predicts 40% boost in women’s sales in the next 2 years

Nike predicts 40% boost in women’s sales in the next 2 years

Nike expects its women’s footwear and apparel sales to grow 40 percent over the next two years, from $5 billion to $7 billion, company officials said at an event Wednesday in New York City.

Nike chief executive Mark Parker made the projection as he unveiled the company’s spring/summer 2015 women’s collections.

“Sport and fitness are powering a new lifestyle shift for women around the world,” Parker said. “Our relationship with our digital community of 65 million women, coupled with great product innovation, is driving our momentum.”

This year, in particular, it may seem like sportswear brands such as Nike and Under Armour are discovering women for the first time. Wednesday’s event in New York as well as Under Armour’s major push this year into the women’s category is in part an effort to chase a market that previously had not been addressed in such a targeted way.

Some analysts also see the shift as the big brands’ response to women’s sportswear brand Lululemon. Locally, even the Trail Blazers have boosted their offerings for women this season.

In addition to sales, though, Nike has other numbers to back up its claims to market leadership in the women’s category. The company noted at the New York event that its Nike+ Training Club App for women has been downloaded 16 million times and nine million women have downloaded the Nike+ Running App.

Wednesday’s event featured 27 Nike-sponsored athletes including Olympic gold medalists Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross and Adelina Sotnikova; two-time tennis Grand Slam champion Li Na; and professional basketball star Skylar Diggins.

Nike also revealed its collaboration with Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço, a collection of training apparel and footwear that blends performance with a unique interpretation of style.

“Today we’re introducing the most comprehensive and innovative women’s collection Nike has ever created,” said Amy Montagne, Nike women vice president and general manager.

— Allan Brettman