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.