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Why Nike (US) is investing in Flanders once again

On February 8, 2017, American sportswear manufacturer Nike confirmed it will be building a second distribution center in Ham, Flanders. The goal? To boost its direct-to-consumer sales, both in-store and via e-commerce. The building plans have just been filed for approval by the city of Ham.

Expansion upon expansion

Nike’s upcoming investment marks the 6th consecutive expansion of Nike’s European Logistics Campus (ELC) in Flanders, since the Flanders fan opened its first warehouse in Laakdal in 1994.

Today, the sports articles juggernaut operates over 300,000 m2 of logistics space and 5 warehouses in Laakdal, Herentals and Ham (which links to the Laakdal site).

The ELC complex supplies to retailers and wholesalers in 38 countries in Europe and the Middle East, as well as to Nike’s own stores and online sales channels.

Nike European Logistics Campus in Laakdal, Flanders (Belgium)

Great ambitions

The new distribution center will mainly be used for the distribution of sports clothing articles. It will be similar in size to Nike’s Flanders-based shoe distribution center that was inaugurated only 6 months ago. Both distribution centers will support Nike’s ambition to boost its worldwide direct-to-consumer sales from USD 7.9 billion in 2016 to USD 16 billion in 2020.

“Best location in Europe”

Every two years, we carry out an intensive study to pinpoint the most profitable location for us to set up a base in Europe. Our main criterion: how can we serve our customers in the best possible way with optimal timing? Every time, the outcome of the study is that we should stay in Flanders.

Filip Peeters
HR Director at Nike in Ham

Strong in logistics

“In addition, our multimodal location – right in between the Port of Antwerp and a dense network of channels and highways – is a major asset that simply cannot be found in other parts of Europe,” says Bob Van Steenweghen, spokesperson at H.Essers, the logistics player that handles the lion’s share of Nike’s outgoing goods. “This asset is something we will greatly invest in over the next few years.”

“What is more,” Van Steenweghen concludes, “Flanders is home to a broad pool of distribution expertise and talent that’s unique in Europe as well.”

More info

NikeHow to get your logistics business started in Flanders
Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
10 February 2017

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