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SGB NEWS & NOTES: NIKE STILL A HOT-SELLER AT RETAIL
Published April 30, 1998
Several retailers told SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS' Andy Bernstein that Nike replica team jerseys "consistently kept pace with the competition despite" a price difference that saw its jerseys sell for around $15 more than its competitors at retail. Nike will lower the price of its NFL replicas for fall '98. Gaylan's reported that Nike's college jerseys were "among its best-selling licensed products." Bernstein writes, however, that "it's clear that Nike is far from being an industry leader overall. In fact, insiders tell SGB that Nike failed to meet its NFL's minimum royalty requirement last season." Nike OTS Licensed Division Dir Bruce Kaplan declined to comment on the payment....In other news, retailers tell SGB's Mark Tedeschi that they are "bewildered by all the negative attention" Nike has received. City Sports footwear buyer Sean O'Brien said that Nike's basketball apparel "hasn't been that strong and cross training has been slow, but that's industry wide, not just Nike. Their running has been huge this spring." The Finish Line Senior VP Joe Wood said Nike made up about 66-67% of the companies business last year, "now they are about" 60%. Woods: "There is a lot more bad press than reality" (SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS, 4/15 issue). NOTES: PA-based Mitchell & Ness, manufacturers of nostalgic baseball apparel, will "soon join" the NBA ranks producing replica NBA uniforms. Mitchell & Ness has been working with the NBA to license the Back Court Collection, a tribute to the NBA's 50-year history. The line will launch at NSGA show this year....Bob's Stores President & CEO Marc Balmuth is featured in a Q&A. Balmuth, on the number of brands consumers can see at Bob's Stores: "Just about everything may be stepping out too far, but I think we're giving the brands a lot of space and I think that we have most of the brands out there that are exciting to the consumer. So in the younger businesses, I think we're making as strong a statement as anybody" (SGB, 4/15).