To write this off simply as a byproduct of the GFC is too simplistic.
The deeper malaise is a complex situation that is probably even a little heavy for some readers of this specialty magazine. In response I’ve tried to keep it simple and entertaining (you be the judge!) while offering a 360˚ viewpoint that represents the multiple players in this Shakespearian tale of lust, greed and envy. If you love sneakers, it also affects you, simply because it is clearly affecting the types of products that are being made, as well as where they are sold.
The internet is the one bugaboo that casts a huge shadow over everything that is happening. For all the positivity it brings, it also creates nightmares for both brands and stores during this period of adjustment. One of the most fundamental recent changes is that the strict controls over distribution that applied to retail stores for decades no longer seem to be in place, leading to discombobulation – a feeling that there’s too much product and it’s too freely available.
In an ideal world, everyone would be making coin, life would be rosy and the party would continue. Small stores have every right to defend their turf, but also need to be realistic about their place in the pecking order. Foot Locker, Finish Line and others at their level such as JD Sports in the UK are the engine-room of the sports industry economy. Let’s not forget, sneakers simply wouldn’t exist as we know them without their contribution to the bottom line. They pay the bills that pay the wages, research budgets, marketing and everything else that we as consumers take for granted. They are the most important players courtesy of their buying power and geographical reach.
Everything else can be considered icing on the cake, but as I’ll show, it’s a pretty basic cake without a fancy frosting on top.
Check out our next feature: HOW TO LACE YOUR SNEAKERS!