ARCHIVES - MArch 3, 2020

Eye On: Running
RIA Sets KICK Show Lineup

The Running Industry Association’s (RIA) KICK Show will take place May 11-14 in Denver’s Curtis Hotel for a second consecutive year. KICK Show 2.0 will feature 28 brands across footwear, apparel and accessories. The show will also feature an Emerging Brand Showcase featuring IKOR, Thread and Butter, Cadence Insoles, Drymax Sports and more. Read the full story.

Eye On: Running
3 Takeaways from the U.S. Marathon Trials

In a thrilling U.S. Marathon Trials race in Atlanta on Feb. 29, six top finishers earned the right to represent the United States this summer at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. As the kickoff to the Olympic year, it’s also a big moment for the running community. Here’s what we saw.
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Economic Impact of Coronavirus May Be Far Ranging

Potential financial impacts from the burgeoning coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis began to emerge as the calendar turned to March and the number of confirmed cases approached 100,000 worldwide. Nearly 10 percent of cases were outside of China. Read the full story.

Cole Haan Reportedly Delays IPO

Cole Haan, the 92-year old Greenland, NH company headed by CEO Jack A. Boys, a former Converse and The North Face senior executive, has reportedly decided to delay its initial public offering. Sold by Nike to private equity firm Apex Partners for $570 million in 2013, Cole Haan filed its initial S-1 for the IPO on Feb. 14.
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Foot Locker Spends on Supply Chain, Logistics But Could Face Pitfalls

Wall Street circles are cautious about the retailer’s FY20 outlook calling for a low-single-digit comparable sales improvement and continued supply chain investments, citing possible product delivery delays this year fueled by the effects of the coronavirus crisis. Read the full story.

Elias Gröndal, Findsourcing.com

Elias Gröndal, the former footwear sourcing and production planning executive for H&M, discusses his latest venture, Findsourcing.com, and how it can connect brands with suppliers around the world. Gröndal also addresses how the current coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis may impact global footwear supply chains. Listen Here.

Vibram, Crocs, Big 5, FootJoy

Leading footwear industry executives, innovators and college industrial design students gathered in Boston last week for Vibram's third Sneaker Forum event. Fabrizio Gamberini moderated a panel that discussed the formula for building a winning team in the footwear industry. Read the full story.

ARCHIVES - February 26, 2020

Lower Product Costs, Price Increases Will Help Wolverine Offset Headwinds

Wolverine Worldwide, the Rockford, MI-based parent of Merrell, Saucony and Sperry, is facing $30 million dollars in higher costs in the first half of 2020, the company told analysts during its Q4 results call. Broken out, the costs can be attributed to $15 million from... Read the full story.

Eye On: Running
February’s Hottest Running Shoe Launches

February: It’s the month of love, and it’s a great month for running releases. Here, we round up the running shoe launches that caught our eye this month.  Read the full story.

Survey Says Global Footwear Outlook Is Positive

Weeks before the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis emerged, members of the global footwear community were positive about the footwear segment’s outlook for the first half of 2020, despite some key geographical trend differences. Read the full story.

Obituary: Eric Heaton, Veteran Sales Representative

Eric Heaton, 68, of DeKalb, IL, died on February 19, at Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb. He was born May 6, 1951, in St. Louis, MO, the son of Charles T. and Mary L. (Walker) Heaton. Read the full story.

Modell’s, International Concepts Shoes, Macy’s

Modell’s will close 24 stores — including five in New Jersey and eight in New York — and search for outside investors in a bid to save the 140-store sporting goods chain, CEO Mitch Modell told Fox Business... Read the full story.

ARCHIVES - February 19, 2020

Obituary: Bob Campbell, BBC International Founder

Robert Campbell, legendary force in the children’s shoe world, died at home in Boca Raton, FL, on February 17. He was 82. Born in 1937 in Pittsburgh, PA, Campbell began his career in footwear with a job at Kinney Shoe Corp. at the age of... Read the full story.

Asics Aims to Bolster Service to U.S. Run Market

Aiming to capitalize on current brand momentum within the U.S. run specialty channel, Asics says it will introduce exclusive products for the segment and better educate store staff on the features, benefits and technology offered in new 2020 styles. Read the full story.

Puma Promises More Focus on Running Segment

Coming out of its best fiscal year ever, Puma is promising to accelerate its attention on the running market into 2021 as it continues executing its broader growth strategies. Read the full story.

After Tragedy, Timberland Employees Return to Work

Timberland employees returned to work on Monday, after being closed since the death of Cassie Heppner, director of marketing for the Timberland PRO line on Sunday, Feb. 9. Read the full story.

Nike C-Suite Changes, Modell’s Hires Financial Advisors, and Retail Sales Gain in January

Nearly five weeks after installing new CEO John Donahoe to replace Mark Parker, now serving as executive chairman, Nike has made a number of C-suite appointments. Read the full story.

ARCHIVES - February 12, 2020

Coronavirus Quarantines Push Deadlines, Sink Sales

The financial impact of the coronavirus epidemic in China is beginning to be assessed by footwear and apparel companies. An estimated 25 percent of American Chamber of Commerce members in Shanghai are forecasting a revenue drop of more than 15 percent this year. Read the full story.

Goodbye Platform, Hello MICAM Americas

Under one roof at Mandalay Bay last week, a consolidated FN Platform and MAGIC show brought buyers and brands to the semi-annual show, which will be the last under the FN Platform name.  Read the full story.

Tragedy at Timberland, Victim Identified

A Timberland employee was killed Sunday at the Stratham, N.H. brand’s headquarters. Authorities identified the victim as Catherine Heppner, who worked as the director of marketing for the Timberland PRO line. Read the full story.

Under Amour’s North American Recovery Slows

Negative impacts from ongoing promotional activity hampered both wholesale and e-commerce sales and have put Under Armour behind schedule on its North American recovery and transformation plan. Read the full story.

Columbia Eyes Still Bigger Footwear Business

This year, Columbia Sportswear is projecting its growth in footwear from its Columbia and Sorel brands to outpace its topline expansion in apparel. In FY19 ended Dec. 31, the company’s reported footwear sales grew 15 percent to $701.3 million. Read the full story.

Newly-Acquired Original Footwear Aims to Expand Reach

Family-owned Original Footwear Inc., the Morristown, TN, parent of the Altama and Original S.W.A.T. brands distributed into military and law enforcement channels, was recently acquired by Brand Velocity Partners (BVP). Original Footwear Company, headed by Kevin Cole, is maneuvering to expand the reach of a new street, military-inspired collection into mainstream footwear retail distribution. Listen here.

Skechers Expands Online Presence, Nike Sells Subsidiary & More

Skechers, which now has 3,547 stores worldwide that included 497 owned locations in the U.S. at 2019 end, intends to be online and direct-to-consumer in every global market it operates in by year-end. Also, SKX intends to open 75-85 new stores, predominantly in its warehouse format. Read the full story.

ARCHIVES - February 5, 2020

Coronavirus Forces Postponement of Materials Shows; Nike, Adidas See Impact

Citing ongoing concerns about the global Coronavirus outbreak, the organizer of the New England and Northwest Materials Shows scheduled in Boston this week and next week in Portland, OR has postponed both events indefinitely. Read the full story.

Hoka Exploring Expansion into Apparel

Deckers Outdoor-owned Hoka One One, which generated 64 percent global sales growth in the third quarter to $93 million, will launch an apparel test in the U.S. market this quarter as its development teams continue to focus on evolving the brand’s footwear business. Read the full story.

Takeaways from the OR Show

Last week’s Outdoor Retailer show in Denver brought together buyers and brands with the latest and greatest footwear styles for fall ’20. And while there was something for every category and every consumer, here are the trends we’re watching. Read the full story.

Sports Leisure Sales Paced by Non-Performance Kicks, All-Weather Boots in Q4

NPD sales and trend research show that athletic footwear sales rose in the low single digits in 2019, and that fourth quarter category sales were paced by gains from non-performance sneakers and cold weather boots. Read the full story.

In The News
Foot Locker launches FLX, Tractor Supply Co. is Expanding & More

Foot Locker announced the North America launch of its new membership rewards program, dubbed FLX. The free program will work across the Foot Locker, Footaction and Champs Sports apps, and users will get free, no-minimum shipping and will earn points for dollars spent as well as... Read the full story.

ARCHIVES - January 29, 2020

Four Takeaways from VF Corp.’s Q3

Days after announcing a strategic review and the likely divestiture of most of its work brands (Timberland and Dickies excluded), Denver-based VF Corp., reported third quarter results on Jan. 23. Below, we break out the key takeaways that matter. Read the full story.

Fall 2020’s Best Outdoor Boots

The line between performance and lifestyle continues to blur in the outdoors as stylish boots are packed with tech details and core performers flash a fashionable aesthetic. Versatility — in style and performance — is often the No. 1 trait consumers are seeking in outdoor boots. Read the full story.

What Men Really Want

A new 26-page report from daVinci Payments examines how men make purchase decisions and the incentives that spur them to buy. Using data from two national surveys, the Chicago company finds that younger men have more income and buying power than they did a year ago, and... Read the full story.

In The News
Superfeet & New Balance, SUAVS, Fila

Ferndale, WA-based Superfeet has partnered with New Balance to create a line of insoles under the New Balance name. Available now at New Balance stores, partner retailers and online in North America and parts of Asia, the insoles include Casual, Running and Sport collections. Read the full story.

ARCHIVES - January 22, 2020

Payless Returning to U.S. Market

After selling approximately 25 million pairs internationally over the last year — a period marked by its second bankruptcy filing in 22 months — Topeka, KS-based Payless ShoeSource is preparing for a U.S. market return. Read the full story.

VF Corp. May Divest Occupational Work Brands

Barclays will assist VFC with a strategic alternative review of nine occupational brands within its Work segment. The labels under review for potential sale include: Red Kap, VF Solutions, Bulwark, Workrite, Walls, Terra, Kodiak, Work Authority and Horace Small. Read the full story.

Inside the Rick Rubin x Sanuk Collaboration

Last week, Sanuk announced it had partnered with legendary music producer Rick Rubin (a co-founder of Def Jam records, Rubin has worked with acts including the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Run DMC, Johnny Cash, Adele and more) for two slip-on styles under the name Aum. Read the full story.

Hugh, John and Joe Gaither of Feetures

Feetures, the Hickory, NC performance sock company, is a family affair for the Gaithers. Led by CEO and Founder Hugh Gaither and joined by sons John and Joe and daughter, Catherine Leitch, the brand has set its sights on the independent footwear channel. Here, Hugh, John and Joe Gaither discuss the company’s ascension in the run specialty market and broadening their reach.
Listen here.

In The News
Adidas Hits Green Milestone, Nike Commits to Esports and More...

This year, more than half of the polyester used by Adidas will come from recycled waste, the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based brand announced. For 2020, the brand said it will create 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes made with plastic waste collected from beaches and coastal areas, a dramatic uptick from the 11 million pairs created in 2019. Read the full story.

ARCHIVES - January 15, 2020

Timberland President Jim Pisani Steps Down

Jim Pisani has resigned his position as global brand president at Stratham, NH-based Timberland to be closer to his family in the Midwest, Timberland parent company VF Corp. announced today.
Read the full story.

Boot Barn Banks on Own Brands, Looks to Further Openings

Irvine, CA-based Boot Barn will put locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Arkansas as part of its plan to double its store count to 500, Boot Barn President Jim Conroy told attendees at the ICR Conference in Orlando last month.
Read the full story.

All in Motion Replacing C9 by Champion at Target

Some 17 months after announcing it would be ending its 15+ year licensed relationship with Hanesbrands’ C9 by Champion, Target Stores is ready to enter the activewear category on its own. The mass merchant rolls out its All in Motion label for men, women and children online Jan. 17, followed by a brick-and-mortar launch later this month. Read the full story.

Chris Bellamy and Aron Tremble, Wiivv Wearables

Chris Bellamy and Aron Tremble, senior executives with Vancouver, Canada-based Wiivv Wearables, dish on key data findings from 13 million data points on foot size and shape, the increased consumer demand for customized fit products, 3D scanning and how offering customized products can increase store traffic.
Listen here.

In The News
Opening Ceremony, Aku, Rocky Brands, Crocs and More

Opening Ceremony will shutter all its brick-and-mortar doors in 2020 to concentrate on its apparel line. The experimental brand, which was acquired by New Guards Group this week, was founded in New York in 2002 by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon as a multi brand shop that became... Read the full story.

ARCHIVES - January 8, 2020

Six Key Takeaways from Nike’s Q2

Beaverton, OR-based Nike reported second quarter earnings on Dec. 19. We break out the takeaways that matter.  Read the full story.

In The News
Genesco, Toms, Sequential, Adidas, Brooks

Adidas is bringing more sizing and new ambassadors to the launch of its women’s spring collection. The performance and streetwear collection of tights, jackets, t-shirts, tanks and bras will feature inclusive sizing, with some pieces running from 2XS to 4X, and the new $65 Ultimate Bra available in sizes from... Read the full story.

Caroline de Baere, co-founder of Bendy Shoes

Over her career, Caroline de Baere has been involved in footwear from almost all angles. Today, she’s on the faculty of the California School for the Arts, an expert witness in legal cases involving footwear firms and the co-founder of sustainable brand Bendy by Ashbury Skies.
Listen here.