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SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS NEWS & NOTES: PUMA POUNCES BACK
Published October 24, 1997
The trade "will soon be reintroduced to a new Puma" which has been "undergoing a brand rebuilding of sorts over the past six months under the direction of new management," according to Mark Tedeschi of SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS. Puma's new team, headed by former Diadora President Jim Gorman, "has expanded Puma's running, basketball and cross- training segments and will reintroduce the brand to retailers at a special retailer conference" later this month. Puma Dir of Sales & Marketing Jay Piccola said that "by leveraging its soccer heritage, offering strong product in all areas and focusing on the nuts and bolts of the business, Puma has the ability to make it back to a leadership position as one of three true sports brands in the world." Piccola added that Puma's goal is "to rely on" its "heritage, or classic styles" less, as "basketball, running and cross-training increase" (SGB, 10/14 issue). SEARS STOCKED: SGB's Andy Bernstein reports that Sears "won't be playing second fiddle" to JCPenney in the licensed apparel department "anymore." Sears has "stepped up its promotion and floor space for licensed products substantially," reporting "strong gains" in MLB and NFL sales. Sears Senior Licensed Buyer Danny Kim said the chain is "achieving double-digit increases in pretty much all league categories," with exceptions being the NBA and NCAA. But Kim said that Sears witnessed "tremendous" sales of WNBA merchandise in the eight league markets (SGB, 10/14 issue). NOTES: Tretorn will "hone its niche as a women's lifestyle brand," and will "expand into more seasonal and fashion items." Tretorn CEO Bill Kirkendall said the brand "will concentrate on active lifestyle footwear for women in the 18 to 24 age range".....Nike's baseball batting glove business is "thriving," and has "quickly become the bread and butter of Nike's equipment division," according to SGB's Andy Bernstein. Nike "has considered delving" into baseball fielders' gloves, but development costs could "be prohibitive at the outset" (SGB, 10/14 issue).