Nike acquires predictive analytics firm Celect

Global sportswear brand Nike has acquired Celect, a retail predictive analytics and demand sensing firm based in Boston, US.

The company’s direct-to-consumer drive – dubbed internally as its ‘Consumer Direct Offense’ strategy – has resulted in several retail technology acquisitions in recent years, including consumer data analytics company Zodiac and computer vision firm Invertex in 2018.

Nike is looking to serve customers personally and on a global scale, reducing its reliance on wholesale operations and third-party retail partners.

It is building a technology proposition that is fuelling innovations in mobile app development, data science, and personalisation of product offering. It is also pushing hard in terms of providing its customers with customisable product design.

“With the acquisition of Celect, Nike greatly accelerates our digital advantage by adding a platform developed by world-class data scientists,” explained Eric Sprunk, Nike’s chief operating officer.

“As demand for our product grows, we must be insight-driven, data-optimised and hyper-focused on consumer behaviour. This is how we serve consumers more personally at scale.”

Celect was founded in 2013, and Nike said the company holds “a cutting-edge intellectual property portfolio across data science and software engineering”. The tech firm’s cloud-based analytics platform allows retailers to optimise inventory across multiple sales channels based on what it calls “hyper-local demand predictions”.

The acquisition will immediately be integrated into Nike's global operations team, and its co-founders will continue in the role as tenured professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consulting Nike on an ongoing basis.

“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,” noted John Andrews, CEO of Celect.