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Tough to find Nike, Adidas and Ralph Lauren?

Looking to buy Nike sneakers, Adidas sweats, Crocs clogs, Polo shirts or Canada Goose parkas? You need a better luck these days snagging them from their own stores or on their websites than at mom-and-pops and smaller chains. These major brands are all cutting back on the number of outside retailers that carry their goods, and concentrating their efforts on getting customers to buy directly from their own channels.

The shift means shoppers will find fewer places to buy leading brands and also puts pressure on retailers that will no longer be able to stock highly-sought after shoes and clothes on their shelves, according to retail experts. Selling to customers directly allows brands to make more money, control their prices and showcase products exactly the way they want in their store displays. They also can prevent their labels from being discounted too heavily, which could weaken their brand image and pricing power.

In fact, brands have used the pandemic to accelerate plans to grow directly through their own channels, especially online. At the beginning of the pandemic, for example, stores were closed, with no choice but to push customers to buy online.

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