AFTER CANVASSING OVER A DOZEN PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY FOR THEIR ANONYMOUS OPINIONS, THE EXPECTED BUMP IN PRICES VARIED FROM 7% TO 25%, DEPENDING ON WHICH PART OF THE BIZ THEY WERE IN. FURTHERMORE, THREE THINGS BECAME APPARENT– ALL OF WHICH ARE RELATED.
1. THE CHINA MYTH
There is an entrenched ‘myth’ amongst consumers that shoes made in China cost mere peanuts to produce. The sweatshop factor looms large, but there is another commonly held misapprehension at play, which is that China is only capable of producing sub standard, and therefore cheap goods. There’s more than a touch of xenophobia and fear factor at work here, but the simple fact is, Chinese manufacturers only make exactly what they are asked to. In other words – you get what you pay for – at least that’s the theory. More on this later.
2. THINGS HAVE TO CHANGE
Either the price goes up or the quality goes down. Either way, the demands of angry retailers, wafer-thin margins and changing tastes will make athletic shoemaking an even tougher, and infinitely more boring game.
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