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Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 14

IN THE NEWS
Under Armour, Asics, Lowa, Crocs, Georgia Boot and Ortholite

Baltimore-based Under Armour is continuing the slow process of shifting more distribution away from lower-priced products in the off-price channel to strengthen the health of its business and generate more full-priced sales. That means in North America, the Baltimore company sees stronger wholesale growth in 2019 but softer DTC demand, likely resulting in lower market revenues this year. But the company is still projecting annual topline expansion of 3-4 percent in FY19, fueled by low- to mid-teen growth in international sales.

Asics Corp. reported a 2.9 percent drop in H1 revenues to the equivalent of $1.75 billion as operating income inched 1.1 percent higher to $80.5 million. Fueled by strong sales within its core performance sports category and steady performance running sales, H1 revenues in North American rose 2.5 percent to $365.3 million.

German outdoor bookmaker Lowa has acquired Italian manufacturer Riko Sport Srl, its largest production partner. The Italian firm current makes 12,000 pairs of Lowa shoes daily in its Slovakia factory. In addition, the  Castellani family, owners of Riko Sport, is transferring 15 percent of its stake in Lowa to the Tecnica Group, which will now own 75 percent of Lowa. The remaining 25 percent will be owned by Werner Reithmann, Iowa Sportschuhe GmbH’s CEO.

Crocs is forecasting accelerating North American revenues in H2. Americas’ sales rose nearly 24 percent to $170.4 million with every channel growing at a double-digit rate, wholesale and ecommerce sales each up nearly 30 percent and retail comps increasing 17.6 percent.

Georgia Boot is partnering with the National 4-H Council to provide critical resources to support the organization’s efforts to empower U.S. youth. 4-H alumni, current members, staff and volunteers will receive a special promotional code in August and September for a discount on purchases at GeorgiaBoot.com. The Nelsonville, OH company intends to donate a portion of sales back to the National 4-H Council upon discount redemption.

Ortholite, the Amherst, MA-based maker of comfort and performance insole technology, hired Rob Falken as VP of global innovation. Through his 20-year career, Falken has established expertise in sustainable product and holds more than a dozen pending and granted patents.