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FASHION TRENDS LEAD TO A DROP IN SALES FOR ATHLETIC SHOES
Published November 6, 1997
Industry experts say that sales in the athletic shoe market "will be flat this year, mainly because of an unexpected drop in basketball shoe demand," according to CNBC's Amanda Grove on "The Edge." Fila "is putting out warnings that worldwide sales are down, and it's not alone. Decline in basketball shoe popularity has hit manufacturers hard. ... [E]xperts say leaders like Fila, Nike and Converse are suffering, due to overproduction and sluggish demand." The "winners right now" include adidas, Vans and Timberland, "best known for its brown hiking boots." Barnard Retail Group's Kurt Barnard: "The brown shoe has really caught the sneaker industry by surprise, and the sneaker industry so far hasn't been able to respond to any significant extent." But Grove said it may be "too late ... for the others to catch up." Smith Barney's Faye Landes: "There are very long lead times on producing sneakers. The design and production process in total is well over a year." CNBC's Grove adds that while 19% of athletic shoes are purchased for sport, 81% "is all about fashion, and at least for now, basketball shoes are out of style" (CNBC, 11/5).