Adidas' running shoe business sprints ahead
According to a report released by market research group NPD Group, the running shoe category in the US is down 3% overall. But not for Adidas. The German giant's sneaker business has been growing rapidly and more than doubled in January 2017. In contrast, Nike only gained a modest increase in the single digits, and Under Armour was down 25%.
The athletics industry has had a tough year, in part due to closures of several major sports chains, including Sports Authority, Bob’s Stores and EMS.
“After a disappointing December, sales of athletic footwear began to recover in January,” said NPD athletic-industry analyst Matt Powell. “A major bright spot was a mid-single digit increase in the athletic specialty/sporting goods channel."
Despite these challenges, Adidas growth continues to rise, in part, due to the increased focus on sneakers. The release of several high profile sneakers and collaborations has created major buzz, and sales for the brand. The limited-edition release of the Yeezy - made in collaboration with Kanye West- gained praise from the sneaker community. Another new style, the NMD, dominated the scene in 2016. Retro styles have been driving the sneaker market in the past seasons, according to NPD’s Powell, and Adidas is able to draw on their rich heritage of iconic shoes to capitalize on that trend. Franchises like the iconic Stan Smiths and Adidas Originals are on the rise.
Taking notice of Adidas’ successful efforts to rebuild the caché of the brand and generate demand despite market challenges, Yahoo Finance named Adidas its sports business of the year for 2016.
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