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Nike Shifts Game Plan For Women's Market

Nike Inc., the huge Beaverton, Oreg.-based sports- and fitness-equipment manufacturer, is betting a growing interest in women's sports will fuel a growing demand for its products. CEO Philip H. Knight announced Aug. 21 a new initiative to integrate the design, merchandising, marketing, and retail processing of women's footwear, apparel, and equipment. Clare Hamill, a 20-year veteran of the company, will head the initiative. "We're going to start with a focus on the consumer and translate that into high-impact product collections," says Hamill, vice president, women's business. "All of this will be validated by a new feedback loop to bring in consumer input, and will be supported with targeted marketing and exciting new retail concepts." The company says with the growing popularity of the WNBA, women's soccer, and female Olympic athletes, the interest in women's sports and fitness is at an all-time high.

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