Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 4

In the News:
Asics, OS1st, Rack Room, Oofos, DSW

Asics is focusing on efficiency with its latest running footwear innovation. The new $250 Metaride shoe, which launched last week at specialty stores and Asics retail, is designed to make running longer distances easier. The shoe features Guidesole technology, a precision-shaped curved sole that works by shifting the body weight forward to help to propel runners on and give the feeling of “effortless motion,” according to the brand. The Metaride is the first in Asics’ new energy-saving franchise, which will make the same concept available at different price points. A takedown model is planned for release in the fall.

In support of National Foot Health Awareness month, Hickory, NC-based OS1st, maker of medical grade compression product for plantar fasciitis, bunion relief and recovery, has announced its first “buy two, get one free” promotion for the entire month of April. The brick-and-mortar exclusive program will include all of the brand’s “Socks with Purpose” products. “We see this as a great opportunity to not only support our retailers but to increase the awareness of how important taking care of your feet is for the active community,” says Josh Higgins, president of OS1st. “April is a busy time of year with the weather turning and everyone becoming more active and we want to help them enjoy a healthy lifestyle.”

Melanie Ortlieb has been named director of merchandising for Charlotte, NC-based  family footwear chain Rack Room, succeeding Dan Crawford, who is retiring. Most recently, Ortlieb served as merchandising planning manager for apparel for Family Dollar, and previously held merchandising positions with The Limited, DSW and Lane Bryant. “Melanie embraces our belief that long-term success is built on having a forward-thinking mindset, anticipating trends and developing strategies that allow us to continue to provide excellent customer service and a positive shopping experience in all our stores and online,” said Brian Burnett, VP of merchandising.

Braintree, MA-based recovery brand Oofos has named River Edge, NJ-based Kittredge & Associates as its sales agency for the entire U.S. Kittredge & Associates has represented Oofos since the brand’s inception seven years ago.  “With their energy and passion for what Oofos footwear and our Oofoam technology are doing for retail consumers since the inception of the brand, it’s a natural evolution to be our country-wide partner,” says Marc Fauci, head of sales for Oofos.

Family footwear retailer DSW is expanding its partnership with W Nail Bar to put nail salons in DSW locations in five new stores, including in three additional markets, Austin, TX, Dublin, OH, and Washington, DC. (The salons had previously only been in the retailer’s home city of Columbus, OH under the program, which debuted in 2017.) “We’ve been encouraged by the reaction we’ve received to our nail bar test at our two warehouses in Columbus, and we’re excited to expand to two more markets to gather additional learnings,” says Bill Jordan, president of DSW. “The nail bar services engage customers and create loyalty by inspiring self-expression. They also create repeat visits to the DSW brand, where an exciting footwear assortment awaits.”