How Nike’s Newest Acquisition Could Help It Understand What Consumers Really Want

Nike is making a big data move to help the company understand what its consumers really want.

The athletic giant, in its latest tech-driven acquisition, today snapped up Celect, a Boston-based company engaged in retail predictive analytics and demand sensing.

“With the acquisition of Celect, Nike greatly accelerates our digital advantage by adding a platform developed by world-class data scientists.” Nike COO Eric Sprunk said in a statement. “As demand for our product grows, we must be insight-driven, data-optimized and hyper-focused on consumer behavior. This is how we serve consumers more personally at scale.”

Celect, which was founded in 2013, said on its website that it transforms retail inventory decision-making through AI-powered optimization.

In a statement, Nike said the move will help fuel its Consumer Direct Offense. The firm revealed the strategy on a conference call in June 2017.

Nike confirmed the Celect team will be integrated into its global operations team and that its co-founders will continue as tenured professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while serving as consultants.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Nike team, adding our unique and innovative capabilities to the data and analytics foundation they’ve been building over the years,” Celect CEO John Andrews said in a statement.

This isn’t the first time Nike has invested in atypical acquisitions lately. In April 2018, the company purchased Tel Aviv, Israel-based Invertex Ltd., which specializes in 3-D foot scanning.

“The acquisition of Invertex will deepen our bench of digital talent and further our capabilities in computer vision and artificial intelligence as we create the most compelling Nike consumer experience at every touch point,” Nike chief digital officer Adam Sussman said in a statement.

The acquisition led to the development of Nike Fit, which the Swoosh revealed in May. Nike Fit is a scanning technology created to help consumers find their fit across the brand’s shoe catalog. In short, the app scans the user’s feet and then recommends the best size in several Nike styles.

Below, take a look at music superstar J Balvin’s sneaker closet.

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