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.

ARCHIVES - December 18, 2019

Leadership Shuffles Close Out 2019

Decatur, TX-based footwear brand Twisted X has named Scott Sessa SVP of Business Development. Sessa served as president of Minnetonka Moccasin, where he was the first outside president in the family-run business’ history, for 13 years. Read the full story.

Journeys Delivers for Genesco

The 1,182-door chain Journeys benefitted from balanced sales contributions from its fashion athletic and casual brands in the period ended Nov. 2. Comparable store sales rose 4 percent, helped by positive store and e-commerce sales, as total Journeys Group quarterly sales rose 2.7 percent to... Read the full story.

DSW Parent Takes Hit from Warm Weather, Tariffs

Designer Brands realized flat comparable store sales in Q3 against a 7.3 percent increase in the year-ago quarter, which it blamed on warmer weather across the country over the period ended Nov. 2. Read the full story.

Sports Direct’s “Rest of World” Segment Sales Dip

The “Rest of World Retail” division of Sports Direct, which includes 27 Bob’s Stores and 21 Eastern Mountain Sports locations in the U.S., and 33 Sports Direct doors in Malaysia, reported an 8.5 percent decline (-12.5 percent in constant currency) in revenues to the equivalent of $123 million for the six months ended Oct. 27. Read the full story.

Michael Kadous, Head of North America, Adidas Outdoor

We recently connected with Michael Kadous, who took charge as head of North American operations for Adidas’ Outdoor business unit in March 2019. Listen to our podcast, where Kadous discusses the transition at Adidas Outdoor, as well as opportunities and strategies for 2020 and beyond. Read the full story.

In The News
ISlide, Zappos, Capri Holdings, Tilly’s, Sneakersnstuff, National Parks Foundation

Boston-based ISlide, known for its custom slide athletic sandals, sees its valuation grow to more than $10 million following investments from Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin, Memphis Grizzlies Forward Jae Crowder and David Baxter, the former president of Adidas Sports licensed division. Read the full story.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 22

5 Must-Have Women’s Trends from FFANY

At a snowy FFANY show in New York, footwear brands showed off women’s styles with serious shelf appeal for the fall ’20 season. Here, we rounded up five trends consumers will be searching for. Read the full story.

On the Scene at The Running Event 2019

Keep up with us on Instagram to see our product picks from the trade show floor at The Running Event (TRE) in Austin, TX this week. Read the full story.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Adds More Lifestyle Footwear

Ed Stack, CEO of the largest full-line sporting goods chain in the U.S., says its young athletic customers no longer have to go elsewhere to purchase lifestyle athletic kicks for their wardrobes. Read the full story.

New Balance Will Empower Women in Global Supply Chain

The Boston athletic company is adopting GAP Inc.’s P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) education and training initiative to improve the lives of the women working in its global supply chain. Read the full story.

Caleres Pleased With New Brands; Sets TV for Famous in Q4

CEO and President Diane Sullivan recently told analysts that the company is pleased with the performance of its most recent acquisitions, Blowfish Malibu and Vionic. Read the full story.

Philadelphia Runner Opens in King of Prussia

Philly-based run specialty chain Philadelphia Runner opened its fifth location last month with a 2,000-square-foot location in the King of Prussia mall. Read the full story.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 21

3 Ways Independents Can Make Black Friday A Win

Black Friday may have been heralded as the “official" kickoff to the holiday season in decades past, but in 2019 holiday promotions have been running for weeks before the Thanksgiving table is cleared — and it can feel like a no-win situation for most independents. Read the full story.

RIA’s KICK Show 2.0 Set for May in Denver

The Running Industry Association (RIA) announced they will host its second annual RIA KICK Show this spring. The show will be held May 11-14, and will once again take place at the Curtis Hotel in downtown Denver. Read the full story.

High Hopes Prevail for Another Strong Winter Season

Following a strong 2018-19 winter season that saw snow industry retail sales of apparel, footwear and accessories climb 7 percent to $6.3 billion, the NPD Group has uncovered retail optimism for the current 2019-20 season that has already seen cold temps and some snow from coast-to-coast. Read the full story.

FDRA Design Summit Speakers Discuss the Role of the Designer

Nicoline van Enter, founder of The Footwearists, believes the industry’s push for “faster and faster” is lessening the importance of ideation in the shoe industry. She offered a myriad of opinions at a gathering of nearly 100 footwear designers and... Read the full story.

RSG’s Bill Kirkendall Weighs in on Specialty Running

The longtime industry executive and CEO of the Running Specialty Group dishes on the specialty run marketplace, the Denver company’s acquisition strategy, the future of the Olympia Sports banner in New England, and his hopes for the overall running business in 2020. Listen Here.

Saucony, Lugz, Nike, ING Source, Twisted X, Adidas, Telic

Saucony athlete Grayson Murphy won the 35th IAAF World Mountain Running Championship on Nov.15 in her first race as a brand athlete. Murphy finished the 14k course in Villa La Angostura with a time of 1:15:20, 21 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Read the full story.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 20

Gert Boyle, Columbia Sportswear Chairperson, 95

Gert Boyle, the longtime chair of Columbia Sportswear Co. famously portrayed as “One Tough Mother” in the brand’s iconic and long-running ads, died Nov. 3 in Portland, OR. She was 95. Boyle headed Columbia from 1970 to 1988... Read the full story.

OluKai, Blundstone, Adidas, Skechers, Mephisto

Hawaiian-inspired brand OluKai has made its retail home on the islands, opening two company-owned locations there on Oct. 23. The new OluKai brand shops are located at Whalers Village on Maui and at the... Read the full story.

Asics Drops in NA, Under Armour Stock Sinks, Boot Barn Eyes Northeast Expansion, Crocs Anticipates Q4 Profit

Asics realized a 23 percent wider nine-month net loss in North America despite 2 percent topline growth to the equivalent of $531.5 million. The company reported strong sales in the performance running and core performance sports segments. Read the full story.

In The News
Dearfoams, Fila, OIA

Dearfoams launched its first national television ad campaign since the 1980s on Nov. 4. “Together in Dearfoams,” which features families wearing styles from the R.G. Barry-owned firm’s Holiday Family Collection, will run 15- and 30-second ads on... Read the full story.

PrimaLoft Adds to Relentlessly Responsible Platform with P.U.R.E

Managing carbon reduction has risen to priority status as companies and consumers alike realize the value of a climate-conscious approach to textile innovation. Read the full story.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 19

JackRabbit Broadens Reach in Northeast with Olympia Sports Deal

CriticalPoint Capital (CPC)-controlled run retailer JackRabbit last week acquired certain assets and liabilities of the 45-year-old, family-owned Olympia Sports chain for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes the Olympia’s online presence and the Olympia Sports brand. Read the full story.

Marathon Milestones Are Notches on Nike’s Belt

Nike made headlines this week with two major marathon feats run in Swoosh shoes. On Oct. 12, Eliud Kipchoge broke the mythologized two-hour marathon barrier with a time of 1:59:40 in a specially-tailored event in Vienna, Austria on Saturday wearing... Read the full story.

Gearing Up for Holiday 2019: Brands Look For an Edge

With fewer than 80 days until Christmas and 85 days until 2020, the upcoming holiday season took center stage for athletic and outdoor brands last week via the release of semi-annual research and a first-ever seasonal fashion show from Dick’s Sporting Goods in New York City’s Chelsea district.  Read the full story.

In the Lab with Boa

Boa Technology, makers of the Boa Fit System, has opened a Performance Fit Lab at its global headquarters in Denver, CO. The 2,700 square foot Performance Fit Lab is equipped with tools for measuring biomechanical data, including... Read the full story.

Industry Reacts to Potential Trade War Deal

The Trump administration announced last Friday that it hoped to sign an initial trade deal in the next few weeks, an indication that the escalating trade war between the two countries could be cooling. Read the full story.

In The News
Rime, Nester Hosiery, OS1st

Brooklyn sneaker shop Rime will close its doors later this year, owner Susan Boyle announced on Instagram Oct. 6.“The sneaker game has changed, things have changed, the culture has changed, and it’s time for me to change with the times,” Read the full story.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 18

The Six Essential Ways to Drive Amazing Customer Service In-Store

For brick-and-mortar shops in a competitive market, top-shelf customer service is the ultimate asset. So to find out how to make it happen, we went to the best of the best. Read their top six tips here. And read more of our Gold Medal Service Awards coverage in our latest issue here.

ASICS Puts its Focus on Performance at a Price with Glideride

The new Glideride running shoe from ASICS launched at running specialty retail as well as in ASICS stores and on the brand’s website last week. Read the full story.

Nike’s Future Strategy for North American Market

Digital and data-mining, along with tighter bonds with its narrowed cast of strategic and differentiated retail partners, are the keys to the Swoosh’s long-term strategy for North America.  Read the full story.

How Retailers Can Win this Holiday Season

Despite an upcoming Holiday 2019 season six days shorter than last year, early forecasts project stronger growth than in 2018. This suggests that recession fears, as well as the ongoing U.S.-China trade war... Read the full story.

In The News
Skechers, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Shoe Carnival, Nordstrom, Academy

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has signed on with Skechers. The pitcher, who will take the mound for the Dodgers in the Major League Baseball playoffs this week, recently debuted a custom exclusive Skechers baseball cleat. Read the full story.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 17

New President at Merrell

Chris Hufnagel will head the Merrell brand following the departure of Sue Rechner, parent company Wolverine World Wide announced. Hufnagel most recently served as global brand president of Wolverine’s Cat Footwear brand. Read the full story.

Foot Locker Announces Greenhouse Incubator

Foot Locker this week launched Greenhouse, a New York-based incubator designed to foster collaborations between brands, tastemakers and the retailer itself. Read the full story.

New Balance Builds Bridges for NYC Marathon

Bridges — specifically, the iconic bridges that connect New York’s five boroughs — are the theme for New Balance’s footwear and apparel collection for the 2019 New Balance TCS New York City Marathon. Read the full story.

Consumer Spending, JC Penney, Under Armour, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance

Unadjusted, year-over-year U.S. retail sales rose 4.6 percent last month. Sporting goods stores enjoyed a 3.8 percent gain in year-over-year sales and clothing/accessory store sales increased 2.3 percent for the month, according data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Read the full story.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 16

Fleet Feet’s Trademark Suit Against Nike May ‘Change Everything’

Fleet Feet Sports, the national franchisor of 181 running specialty shops, filed a trademark infringement suit against Nike on Aug. 30. Read the full story.

Famous Footwear Bullish on Boots, Looks to Pivot Away from China

Caleres CEO Diane Sullivan and her management team, seeing a positive bounce from boots in Q2, are optimistic the category’s sales momentum will continue in H2 for Famous Footwear. She cited Dr. Martens, short booties and sneaker booties as having “very good” early reads in August.
Read the full story.

NPD Bearish on Balance of BTS Season

Sales dollars and average selling prices are up but units sold are down for athletic footwear halfway through the back-to-school season, according to NPD analyst Matt Powell.
Read the full story.

It’s Not Autumn, It’s Tariff Season

For three of the next four months, nearly all products imported from China will be slapped with new tariffs as the trade war rages on. List 4 products from China had their tariff rate raised to 15 percent yesterday from 10 percent, and tariff rates on List 1, 2 and 3 products move to 30 percent on Oct. 1.
Read the full story.

Sam Garzon, the founder and CEO of Miami-based UnoZero

Sam Garzon, the founder and CEO of Miami-based UnoZero, says the young company’s name was inspired by all the soccer greats who have worn the number 10 on the pitch. Everyone from Pele and Zidane to Totti.
Read the full story.

TOMS, Lord + Taylor, Amer Sports and More

A pop-up Shoebox Museum focused on everything sneaker packaging was open on New York City’s Lower East Side for three days last week. Curated by Nice Kicks Founder Matt Halfhill, the museum examined the sneaker box through three lenses—design, brand experience and uncommon concepts.
Read the full story.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 15

6 Don’t-Miss Trends from the Vegas Shows

The August trade shows in Las Vegas give store owners and buyers a chance to finalize their spring ’20 buys — and pick up any trends they’ve missed. Footwear Insight editors hunted through the best offerings at FN Platform, Agenda and Liberty to ID the trends shops need. Read the full story.

Camping World Divests Two Outdoor Specialty Chains

Jonesboro, AR-based Gearhead Outfitters, which operates 10 stores, has acquired Chattanooga, TN-based Rock/Creek Outfitters and Chicago-based Uncle Dan’s from publicly traded Camping World Holdings, parent of the Gander Outdoors banner. Read the full story.

Outdoor & Footwear Industries Aren’t Spared in Tariff Maneuver

With data signals emerging and the drumbeats predicting a looming U.S. recession getting louder, the Trump Administration last week reversed course on its threat to slap 10-percent tariffs on all remaining imports from China on Sept. 1. Read the full story.

Stock Market, Tariffs Could Hinder Consumer Spending

Future consumer spending could be impacted by the stock market and tariffs, but that wasn’t the case in July. Unadjusted year-over-year retail sales rose 5.6 percent for the month, a figure the National Retail Federation says is consistent with the state of consumer confidence and the healthy labor market.
Read the full story.

Nike Ratchets Up Subscription Program

Shortly after the Aug. 12 launch of the Nike Adventure Club shoe subscription service for children ages 2 to 10, market speculation began surfacing about whether other footwear brands have the breadth of product, logistics and know-how to introduce... Read the full story.

Mike Cosentino, Big Peach Running Company

Mike Cosentino, founder and CEO of Big Peach Running Co., a seven-door run specialty retail chain based in Atlanta, made a bold move in August 2018, purchasing a 33-foot vehicle from a company in Marietta, GA that specializes in food trucks.
Read the full story.

Steve Madden, Brooks, Rocky Brand, Hari Mari

Steve Madden acquired privately held Greats Brands, a five-year old Brooklyn firm specializing in Italian-made premium sneakers. Greats, which sells DTC and through a New York City store in the Soho district, recorded annual sales of $13 million for the 12 months ended June 30.
Read the full story.

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

3 Questions with Reebok’s Matt O’Toole

With a new team, new offices and a fully redesigned digital strategy, Reebok is ready to open the aperture. And President Matt O’Toole says continuing to focus on the intersection of fitness and everyday style is the roadmap to growth. Read the full story.

China Tariff Pressure Escalates Yet Again

Against the advice of top economic advisers and the pleas of retail and industry executives, Pres. Trump ramped up the ongoing U.S.-China trade war late last week with a declaration that...
Read the full story.

VFC Puts Additional $20 Million Behind FutureLight

FutureLight, the breathable, waterproof nanospun technology being launched this fall in The North Face’s Summit Series and Steep Series of technical garments, will be bolstered by a $20 million infusion of...
Read the full story.

The Shift is On at Columbia Sportswear

On Friday, Columbia will launch the first products from its new SH/FT Collection of footwear, which company President and CEO Tim Boyle describes as a collection targeting younger adults “who don’t want to compromise city-inspired style and athletic comfort for outdoor function.”
Read the full story.

Boot Barn Becomes Bigger Player in Work

Publicly traded national chain Boot Barn plans to open 25 new doors in FY19 and is gaining momentum in the work apparel and boot categories. The work segment drove BOOT’s Q1 revenues as total sales rose nearly 15 percent to $185.8 million and same-store sales rose 9.4 percent.
Read the full story.

Puma is Bullish on Basketball

Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden believes the company’s decision to reenter the basketball category last year has improved the brand’s sell-through rates and overall shelf space in the U.S., but he admits the Cat is “just scraping the surface” on what it could eventually do. Read the full story.

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. Read the full story.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 13

3 Questions with Dansko CEO Jim Fox

When Jim Fox stepped into the CEO position at Dansko on the first of the year, he knew he was filling big shoes. The longtime CFO for the West Grove, PA-based comfort brand is the first person to serve in the top spot after taking over from founder  Mandy Cabot...
Read the full story.

Athletic Shoe Pioneer Jerry Turner

Jerry Turner, the American Sporting Goods founder and former president of Brooks, died July 9. During his 60-year career in the athletic footwear space, Turner made an indelible mark on the athletic footwear business.
Read the full story.

Mary Steinebrunner, GM of Dunlop Protective Footwear

After nearly two decades in the business, Mary Steinebrunner is still in love with the protective footwear industry. And she’s always thinking about what might come next for her company...
Read the full story.

Personalized Email Marketing on Rise

Retail investment in personalized email content is projected to rise 40 percent in 2019, and 45 percent of retailers will spend to expand their mobile marketing efforts to include push and in-app notifications, according to a new report from Cordial.com.
Read the full story.

PHIT Act Gains New Traction in U.S. House

Lead sponsors of the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), recently sent letters to all members of the House seeking additional support for the bill...
Read the full story.

In the News
Deckers Brands-owned Teva; Italian footwear

Deckers Brands-owned Teva has released a collection of kids and toddler sandals tied to its collaboration with the 50th anniversary of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.
Read the full story.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 12

Arizona Governor Pulls Incentives for Nike Factory in Shoe Row

Nike’s plans to reportedly invest a minimum of $185 million into a new Goodyear, AZ, facility for its Air Manufacturing Innovation subsidiary saw a new development on Tuesday when Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced on Twitter that...
Read the full story.

Truce Called in China Tariff War

After weeks of industry worry and weeks of testimony against the placement of additional duties on $300 billion worth of China-produced merchandise — including footwear — imported in the U.S., the Trump Administration agreed Saturday to delay any action and continue negotiations with the country’s largest trading partner.
Read the full story.

New Balance Bets on 3-D, New Factory

New Balance’s sixth factory, slated to open in Methuen, MA in 2020 with 60 new employees, will focus on R&D, advanced manufacturing techniques and 3-D printing. Chairman Jim Davis told the Boston Globe that the $33 million, 80,000-sq.-ft. facility — for which the Boston company is receiving $900,000 in state tax credits and $272,000 in property tax relief — is the “factory of the future.”
Read the full story.

In the News
BTS Tax Holidays, Topsports Files IPO, StockX Secures Series C Funding

The annual back-to-school sales tax holidays, which generally offer shoppers no state sales taxes on the first $100 of any footwear or apparel purchase, have been set in 16 states for this year. Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee will hold their weekends in...
Read the full story.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 11

OR Show Floor Trends: Lines We Like

By Jennifer Ernst Beaudry. The 2019 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market kicked off in Denver yesterday, and the trail styles, water shoes and hiking boots for the season were on full display. We’ve picked 5 styles that caught our eye — reach us on Twitter at @FootwearInsight and tell us what you’re loving at OR!  Read the full story here.

Tariffs: What Retailers Need to Know

By Jennifer Ernst Beaudry. Confused by what’s happening with tariffs? You’re not alone. Import duties have been top-of-mind for the footwear industry since May 5, when President Trump announced on Twitter that he would impose 25 percent duties on $325 billion worth of Chinese imports... Read the full story here.

OOFOS’ Duncan Finigan

By Bob McGee. Footwear industry veteran and global head of marketing and brand management at Oofos Duncan Finigan passed away on May 26. She was 59. Finigan had worked tirelessly during her Oofos tenure to raise money for breast cancer research and created the firm’s Project Pink program. Read the full story here.

RIA KICK Show Sparks Greater Focus on Crucial Running Segment

By Bob McGee. In a no-frills, get-down-to-business event that some attendees said had similarities to the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Connect Show for outdoor specialty retailers, 24 key running brands and 65 to 70 key U.S. running shop owners and staff convened in Denver last week on the eve of Global Running Day for the inaugural KICK Show from the Running Industry Association. Read the full story here.

In the News
Sporting Goods Sales Up, Famous Footwear Sales Dip, Lululemon tests new categories

By Bob McGee. May sales in U.S. sporting goods stores were up 1.1 percent from April’s level, but were down 2.4 percent year-over-year, according to monthly data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall year-over-year sales growth of 3.2 percent unadjusted in May had the National Retail Association proclaiming... Read the full story here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 8

Modell’s Restructures

Some six weeks after hiring restructuring advisor Berkeley Research Group (BRG), Modell’s Sporting Goods, the New York retail institution, is in the midst of plotting its future without BRG — and apparently without the need for a bankruptcy filing.

Native Mixes It Up

Earth Month may be in the past, but Native Shoes is still pressing forward on its goals to close the loop on its footwear lifecycles.

Q1 Footwear Sales Slide with Lower Tax Returns, Late Easter and Extra Week

Total U.S. fashion footwear sales slipped 12 percent, leisure footwear sales dipped 1 percent, and performance footwear sales declined 9 percent in Q1 as the topline of all segments were negatively impacted by three key issues, according to research firm NPD Group.

Columbia, Puma Post Strong Q1 Results

Columbia Sportswear is forecasting 6.5 to 8.5 percent sales growth in 2019, with its fastest U.S. growth category anticipated to be footwear. Puma, meanwhile, is holding its 2019 outlook steady after strong Q1 results.

In The NEws
Saucony, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, Rocky Brands, Skechers, JD Sports

Saucony names Nike veteran Shawn Hoy as VP of global product, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance announces retail and vendor award nominees, Rocky Brands sees growth, plus news from Skechers and JD Sports/Finish Line.

Sportmart Co-Founder, Former NSGA Chairman Sanford Cantor

Sanford “Sandy” Cantor, the co-founder of Niles, IL-based Sportmart and a former chairman of the National Sporting Goods Association, died on April 20. He was 85.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 7

Vibram Celebrates 10 Years of the China Technological Center

Last week Italian outsole firm Vibram celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Technological Center in Guangzhou, China. Footwear Insight Extra was there, here's our report.

FILA Names Estabrook President

FILA is making it official. Two months after the sudden passing of North America president Jon Epstein, acting brand president Jennifer Estabrook has been named president of FILA’s North America division by parent FILA Korea.

Gen Z Report: Nike and Vans Are Big Winners in Piper Jaffray Survey of Teen Spending

Nike, Vans and athleticwear continue to win with teens, according to Piper Jaffray’s most recent survey. U.S. teenagers accounted for more than $75 billion in spending power at the end of 2018 and understanding their buying habits is crucial to predicting their future spending trends.

In the News
ASICS, REI, Adidas, Icebug

ASICS is back in the marathon game. The brand will be the official footwear and apparel partner of the Los Angeles Marathon starting in 2020 after signing a five-year deal with Conqur Endurance Group.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 6

3 Essential Ways to Make Social Media Pay Off for Your Store

We asked brick-and-mortar marketing all-stars about how they get the word out about their businesses — and resoundingly, they told us that social media offers them unparalleled access to customers, both current and future. Even better: They shared their very best practices for making social pay off. Click for the best advice, straight from the retailers putting it in practice.

New Balance Breaks Ground on The Track at New Balance

New Balance’s NB Development Corp. broke ground this week on The Track, a multi-sport athletic complex at its Boston Landing development in Brighton scheduled to be open in 2021.

Foot Locker Ready to “Power Up”

Acknowledging its customers “are moving faster than ever before,” Foot Locker set its five-year financial objectives and solidified its plan to elevate the customer experience at its first Investor Day in four years last week.

Shoe Carnival Getting Closer to Customers, Gaining from Rivals

Shoe Carnival is working hard to better understand the shopping needs and habits of its customers.

Red Wing, ISA TanTec, Oboz, Brooks

Red Wing opened its first NYC location on March 21. Plus: news from ISA TanTec, Oboz and Brooks.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 5

DSW Shakes Up Strategy, Announces New Name

DSW will be known as Designer Brands and will focus its efforts on operational efficiencies and better consumer experiences at its flagship DSW chain, as well as growing and learning from its Camuto Group business after a promotional holiday season took its toll.

Adidas Makes Yeezy More Accessible, Pumps Up Speedfactory

CEO Kaspar Rorsted said Adidas is setting aggressive goals for the year, including growing its global e-commerce business to 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) and achieving 10 to 14 percent annual growth in FY19.

Dick’s Invests in Footwear Training, Inventory Productivity

Dick’s Sporting Goods is investing in the in-store experience, including more training on footwear for staffers. The largest full-line sporting goods chain in the U.S. ended fiscal year 2018 with more than 858 doors and 42.2-million sq. ft. of retail space.

SAS Shoes’ Nancy Richardson

Comparable sales rose 13 percent globally for Crocs in the final period of 2018, the brand’s sixth consecutive quarterly gain, with e-commerce a strong driver.   In FY18, wholesale revenues rose 8 percent; a DTC comp of 14 percent outpaced the retail comp gain of 11 percent and ecommerce sales rose 23 percent to account for 17 percent of all revenues.

Brooks, Under Armour, Instagram, Nester Hosiery, Genesco, Modell’s

Brooks Running Co. has named Dan Sheridan EVP and COO. Sheridan, who has been at Brooks since 1998 and previously served as EVP and head of global sales, has overseen Brooks’ ascent in specialty running.

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

3 Questions with Todd Dalhausser, President of Altra

Todd Dalhausser is ready to take Altra into a new era. The industry vet and former SVP of sales for Saucony North America was named as brand president to the performance running and outdoor brand last November.

Chaco’s PrintShop Can Print Anything On Your Z1s – Well, Almost Anything

Chaco is taking customization to the next level with its new MyChacos PrintShop program. Launched last week, PrintShop uses digital printing to let users put anything (almost) on the footbed and webbings of Chaco’s flip-flops, Z/1, Z/2, ZX/1 and ZX/2 models.

Foot Locker Making Investments for Future, Shuttering SIX:02 Stores

Not content to rest on its laurels after a strong finish to FY18, Foot Locker is moving forward with plans to reshape its business. Those efforts include investing $124 million in a number of small companies, closing its small SIX:02 women’s-only banner.

Crocs Sees E-Commerce Accelerate

Comparable sales rose 13 percent globally for Crocs in the final period of 2018, the brand’s sixth consecutive quarterly gain, with e-commerce a strong driver.   In FY18, wholesale revenues rose 8 percent; a DTC comp of 14 percent outpaced the retail comp gain of 11 percent and ecommerce sales rose 23 percent to account for 17 percent of all revenues.

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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 3

Jon Epstein, 63, President of Fila North America

After a year when its Americas’ region lost the equivalent of more than $36 million on a 15 percent drop in total revenues due to weak U.S. sales, Asics America is making structural and executive suite changes, including at the top.

McCarthy Exits Asics

After a year when its Americas’ region lost the equivalent of more than $36 million on a 15 percent drop in total revenues due to weak U.S. sales, Asics America is making structural and executive suite changes, including at the top.

Payless to Close All 2,500 North American Doors

More than 2,500 Payless doors in North America will shutter this spring as the privately-held retailer prepares to file for Chap. 11 bankruptcy for the second time in two years. When Payless last filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017, the chain had 4,400 doors.

Under Armour Looks to Reposition

With flat revenue in North America and a 12 percent drop in inventory globally, Under Armour is refocusing on performance and premium positioning to try and drive growth, but top line growth is unlikely until FY2020, the company said in its year-end earnings report.  

Puma, REI, Johnston & Murphy, Aetrex, Easy Spirit

Puma exceeded the 2 billion euro sales mark in footwear for the first time in FY2018 with a reported increase of 10.6 percent to $2.58 billion, helped by strength in running, training and Sportstyle. Including ecommerce, Puma retail sales rose 24 percent last year to $1.33 billion, or slightly more than 24 percent of all sales.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 2

The Top 5 Trends at Platform

The Footwear Insight team was in Las Vegas this week for the FN Platform show to scope out the season’s best trends, and the show delivered. Whether it was women’s, men’s or kids, brands were showing styles that will set the style agenda for fall ’19.

Outdoor Footwear Brands Talk Price and Value

In an increasingly promotional environment, consumers of all kinds are looking for a deal — and even in the features-oriented outdoor market, brands say making sure they’re offering value at an attractive pricepoint is critical.

Inside the Victoria Beckham x Reebok Collab

Late last month, the debut collection from Reebok’s brand partnership with Victoria Beckham was unveiled. In the past decade, former pop star Beckham has become an internationally recognized style icon and fashion designer. Her line with Reebok is a curated offering of “essential performance and streetwear pieces.”

Analyst Predictions for the Year in Retail

Camilo Lyon, an analyst at Cannaccord Genuity, released his predictions for the 2019 year in retail. We dove in to present the highlights.

In the News
Aetrex, Blundstone, Foot Locker, Brooks, Deckers, Volumental

Aetrex is launching a 3D Printed Custom Orthotics program for 2019. Utilizing data captured from Aetrex’s proprietary Albert foot scanner, Aetrex says it is able to translate complete data to produce an orthotic that matches precisely to the individual’s foot.

Wednesday, JANUARY 16, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 1

5 Questions with Nolee Anderson

Nolee Anderson discovered a passion when she found the trades, and now the trim carpenter and Team Wolverine member wants to make sure future generations of girls can find their way, too — and she definitely wants them to have better boots. Anderson is one of the initial class of young tradespeople picked by Rockford, MI-based Wolverine to be the face of its outreach to young people considering careers in the skilled trades.

Skechers Breaks Ground on Expanded HQ

The doubling of its office, design and showroom space to over 330,000 square feet, is part of Skechers’ commitment to both further global growth and its hometown community, according to the brand. The expansion, slated for completion during the company’s 30th anniversary year in 2022, will include an enlargement of the existing corporate office in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Key Retail Trends Emerging

The post-mortem on Holiday ’18 is underway as preparations for the next season commence. As two department stores, Kohl’s and Macy’s, revealed somewhat disappointing seasonal comparable store sales, several research firms issued reports on key trends that emerged during the two-month period when online sales surged more than 17 percent to an estimated $122 billion.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Volume 1, Issue No. 05

Inside Nike’s House of Innovation

In mid-November, Nike opened up a new flagship in NYC on Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street. The store is called “House of Innovation 000.” We stopped by to see what’s inside. Here’s what we found:It’s big. Too big? It is six-stories and 68,000 square feet big. It’s an investment in time just to see all six floors.

The Missteps That Forced Camuto Group to Sell

What led Camuto Group, the 17-year-old footwear design and production house, to divest itself in early November for $375 million to a consortium led by DSW and Authentic Brands Group? The answer is three-fold, according to DSW CFO Jared Poff. A failed entry into retail, a strategic error with a new distribution center and missed deliveries to key retail partners.

In The News
ANTA + Amer Sports, Under Armour, Stadium Goods, Gen

ANTA + Amer: A group consisting of China’s publicly traded ANTA Sports Group, an affiliate of FountainVest Partners, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson and Tencent will commence a 4.6 billion euro ($5.25 billion) offer for Amer Sports, the parent of the Salomon, Arc’teryx, Peak Performance, Atomic, Mavic, Suunto, Wilson and Precor brands on Dec. 20.  Read the full story here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Volume 1, Issue No. 04

What’s Trending at FFANY

Textured leathers, cozy teddy-bear linings and lots of sparkle and shine are on tap at FFANY, going on this week in New York City. The FFANY Shoe Expo is taking place at Warwick Hotel and Academy Mansion, with FFANY Market Week also spreading out across brand showrooms throughout Manhattan.

In The News
Foot Locker, Deckers, Skechers, Saucony + More

Foot Locker’s go-forward strategy will be tied to more creative projects with key partners and smaller, secondary players such as Vans, K-Swiss, Fila, Puma and Reebok. Foot Locker reports that its focus on less promotional selling, and a beefed-up digital presence, is about “further strengthening its emotional connection with consumers.” Read the full story here.

Caleres Sees Vionic’s Potential

Caleres, the Famous Footwear parent, which acquired Vionic for $360 million in mid-October, believes Vionic possesses significant growth potential in the premium comfort segment for men and women.  Category growth, gender growth and channels of distribution were among the opportunities that Caleres CEO and President Diane Sullivan pointed to in a recent call with analysts regarding Vionic’s opportunities

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Volume 1, Issue No. 03

What the Holiday Sales Forecast Tells Us

A new Online Holiday Shoe Sales Survey, commissioned by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America and conducted by the research center at Emerson College, finds that 31 percent of the U.S. adult population intends to purchase footwear online this holiday season with another 22 percent likely to buy new kicks online.

In The News
Altra, Wolverine World Wide, Mizuno, Crocs, Shoe Carnival

Altra has hired Todd Dalhausser as brand president, effective immediately. Dalhausser joins the VF Corp.-owned Altra from Wolverine World Wide, where he served as SVP of sales for Saucony North America. Previously, he managed Saucony/Hind’s apparel business, where he oversaw design, development and product merchandising.

Adidas 4D Arrives as Brand Readies Next Pinnacle Product Rollouts

3D is old news. Adidas is going 4D with the launch of its new Alphaedge 4D shoe, engineered with the Adidas 4D midsole, for “controlled energy return” and “breathable cushioning.” Adidas 4D is the brand’s “most ambitious midsole to date,” says Klaus Rolshoven, director of future design, at Adidas.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Volume 1, Issue No. 02

3 Questions with Brooks CEO Jim Weber

Brooks just closed a stellar third quarter, one that saw global revenues rise 29 percent, driven by a 32 percent increase in footwear. The Seattle-based company continued to thrive in the challenged U.S performance running market, notching double-digit revenue increases in the EMEA, Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions. But CEO Jim Weber is focusing squarely on the future. FIX caught up with Weber to talk tariffs, the retail marketplace and why performance wins.

Vans Eyes $5 Billion in Revenues By 2023

VF Corp.-owned Vans is targeting $5 billion in revenues by 2023. The topline objective represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10-12 percent. In Q2 ended Sep. 30, Vans’ revenues rose 26 percent with “strong growth” across regions, channels and product categories. A 23 percent improvement in wholesale revenues was driven by strong Back-To-School results globally.

Podcast: Matt Schreiner, Gore-Tex

Listen to the industry veteran and global product leader for Gore-Tex footwear talk tech and component branding.
Podcast interview conducted by Sports Insight Extra editor Bob McGee.

Four Top Trends to Watch at Outdoor Retailer

With the Grassroots Connect show happening right now in Denver, and Outdoor Retailer’s inaugural November show set to kick off later this week, outdoor brands are pulling out the stops for Fall ’19 with fashion-forward, super-versatile product designed to fit seamlessly into the consumer’s day to day — and the good news is that these crossover-friendly looks couldn’t be more relevant for the footwear channel more broadly.

In the News
Aerosoles, Baffin, Dansko, New Balance, Bearpaw

Aerosoles is collaborating with the Martha Stewart brand to create a line of fashionable, functional footwear inspired by Stewart’s “timeless style.” The first style to launch from Martha’s collaboration with Aerosoles is a collection of rain boots with an equestrian twist for Holiday 2018. The weather resistant boots are modeled after classic equestrian riding boots in knee-high, mid-rise, and ankle styles, and multiple colors including green, brown and black.

Cardi B + Reebok, and the Scene at ComplexCon

DSW’s decision last week to team with Authentic Brands Group (ABG), on the acquisition of the operations and intellectual property rights of the 17-year-old Camuto Group in a $375 million deal slated to close in Q4, is part of a broader strategy to expand its reach in footwear with both consumers and other retailers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Volume 1, Issue No. 01

10 Ways to Crush Customer Service

In the four years Footwear Insight has presented the Gold Medal Service Awards, only 13 retailers have made the cut every year. These service all-stars know exactly what it takes to delight the consumer, and even more importantly, how to keep doing it day after day and year after year. We asked our four-peaters — a selection of the best footwear independents and regional chains from across the United States — what it takes to thrive in today’s ultra-competitive environment, and here’s what they said.

Meet 4 Stores with Top Scores

Footwear Insight launched the Gold Medal Service Awards in 2015 in order to identify – and reward – the independent stores that elevate service to an art form. The good news is we found them, and they are thriving.

Hoka One One Honors Retailer Lamey-Wellehan

As part of the 2018 Gold Medal Service Awards, retailer Lamey-Wellehan, with six locations across Maine, was recognized with the Hoka One One Community Service Award.

DSW Wants Larger Role in Footwear Universe

DSW’s decision last week to team with Authentic Brands Group (ABG), on the acquisition of the operations and intellectual property rights of the 17-year-old Camuto Group in a $375 million deal slated to close in Q4, is part of a broader strategy to expand its reach in footwear with both consumers and other retailers.