Nike Makes End-Run Around Retailers By Selling $720 Self-Tying Sneakers Itself

If you’re looking for Nike sneakers with self-tying laces, don’t go to FootLocker or Dick’s Sporting Goods: In an attempt to move away from relying on sports retailers to peddle its wares, Nike is cutting out the middleman and selling its new, pricey HyperAdapt shoes directly to consumers.

Let’s hope Marty McFly has been saving his pennies since 1984, because Nike’s new sneakers are far from cheap at $720 a pair, and you can only find them on the brand’s Nike+ app and at its new retail store in New York City, starting today.

The company is hoping to move away from the wholesale model and get consumers used to going directly to the source when shopping: Nike wants to double direct sales to consumers to $16 billion by 2020, The Wall Street Journal reports, in order to stay competitive with rivals like Adidas and Under Armour.

That’s something the sporting goods retail industry will definitely notice, analysts say, as Nike is the single-largest vendor to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Foot Locker, and Finish Line.

“They have to be worried about it,” John Kernan, senior retail analyst for brokerage Cowen & Co. told the WSJ.

Nike’s push into direct-to-consumer sales isn’t a sudden shift, it comes after a decade of work to expand its technology and consumer services. To that end, the company’s digital sport team has spent about $100 million on software products, including the Nike+ app, in the last four years, the WSJ notes.

Will its investments pay off? Will anyone actually want to pay $720 simply to cut out the task of tying one’s own shoes? That remains to be seen.