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Yep, Nike Is Still Planning to Hit $50 Billion in Sales by 2020

Analysts had predicted it will fall about $10 billion short, but Nike isn't concerned.
Showgoers wearing Off-White x Nike Foam sneakers during Milan Men's Fashion Week. Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Showgoers wearing Off-White x Nike Foam sneakers during Milan Men's Fashion Week. Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Back in 2015, Nike famously announced its plans to reach $50 billion in annual sales — a 63 percent jump from where it was at the time — by 2020. In the two years since, the Portland-based athletic giant has seen its hiccups, as has been the case across the broader retail sphere, leading analysts to predict that Nike will fall short of its initial goal by approximately $10 billion.

But at Nike's 2017 Investor Day at its Beaverton campus on Wednesday, its first since 2015, it reaffirmed its original plans — all $50 billion of them. 

Mark Parker, Chairman, President and CEO of Nike, Inc., told CNBC that it will cross its $50 billion milestone "within the next five years," reporting $34.4 billion in sales for the 2017 fiscal year. That still leaves $15.6 billion, which is a long way to go by any estimation, but Nike isn't concerned. 

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How will they get there, exactly? The company told investors that it has invested in a new, snappily-named Triple Double Strategy to double the growth within three core areas of its business: innovation, speed and the direct connections to its consumers. In the case of the former, innovation has always been a tenet of Nike's business — but now, the company expects for its innovation platforms (i.e., snazzy new projects) to drive more than 50 percent of revenue growth going forward. Nike kept mum on any details, but we can likely expect for this to at least take the form of continued collaborations with in-demand creatives like Virgil Abloh, who's known to generate unparalleled hype when it comes to moving product.

This isn't the last we'll hear of the Triple Double Strategy: Nike is also relying on it to increase digital revenue, drive higher, more consistent full-price sell-through and accelerate its overall product creation timeline, especially as sportswear competitors are ramping up their sales machines. Adidas, for one, recently surpassed Nike as the number-two sneaker brand in America, creating even more ground for Nike to make up. And despite rumors that Kering is looking to offload Puma, the German activewear giant is still enjoying continual sales successes — 15.9 percent this quarter.

If Nike is, in fact, going to cross that $50 billion finish line anytime soon, let's hope its Triple Double Strategy is its best bet.

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