Nike Cancels Plans To Build Manufacturing Plant In Arizona That Would Have Created More Than 500 Jobs
Nike has cancelled its plans to open a manufacturing facility in Arizona, citing the impact of the coronavirus as a reason for the decision, numerous sources reported.
The Goodyear plant was supposed to begin operations in 2020, which included producing the Air sole that is part of Nike Air shoes, and was expected to create more than 500 jobs, ABC 15 reported.
“We are experiencing unprecedented times and due to the COVID-19 impact we will no longer be investing in our Goodyear facility,” Greg Rossiter, a Nike spokesman, said according to the AP.
The facility would have been Nike’s third U.S. manufacturing line for Nike Air sneakers, and would have included $184 million in investment.
Closed stores across the world cost Nike $790 million in the fourth quarter, a revenue hit that soaring online sales couldn’t significantly mitigate. The company’s revenue fell 48% to $6.31 billion in the three months leading up to May 31, according to the AP.
The athletic brand had faced backlash from Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey after it dropped its “Betsy Ross” shoe following football player Colin Kaepernick’s opposition to the flag featured on the shoe, which had 13 stars in a circle. Kaepernick called it offensive, prompting Nike to drop the design.
Ducey responded by instructing the state commerce authority to cancel a no-strings-attached grant of up to $1 million for the plant, and said “We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrates our nation’s history” in a tweet. (RELATED: Arizona Drops Nike Investment After Betsy Ross Shoe Is Scrapped)
Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history. 8/
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019
Nike has existing facilities in Oregon and Missouri, according to its website.