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IN THE LINE OF FIREMAN: REEBOK CHAIR MEETS WITH SHAREHOLDERS

          Reebok Chair & CEO Paul Fireman told shareholders at
     the company's annual meeting yesterday that Reebok "has been
     less than I would hope for as far as sales and profits," and
     that "everything can be improved, including myself,"
     according to Gregg Krupa of the BOSTON GLOBE.  Fireman: "I
     believe that what we are experiencing today is a large bump
     in the road and not the death of an industry.  We have now
     got, in my opinion, the best product line in the industry,
     and it has been heralded by most retailers as such."  Krupa
     writes that a recent report on the "top-of-the-line" Reebok
     DMX 6 showed it outselling Nike's Air Triax by about three
     to one.  Fireman said that Reebok's plan is to take
     "advantage of new strides in shoe technology and expanding
     markets" for its Rockport and Ralph Lauren footwear and the
     Greg Norman Collection of sportswear.  Net sales of Rockport
     increased by $64.9M in '97, to $512.5M, including a 46%
     increase internationally.  Meanwhile, Fireman said the
     Norman line is now one of "the top four brands in men's
     sportswear," and sales have increased by 35% in each quarter
     since the line was introduced in '92 (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/6).
          LITTLE PROTEST: The GLOBE's Krupa reports that "some
     stock analysts had suggested before the meeting that Fireman
     would face substantial criticism from some shareholders." 
     When the meeting started, Reebok Investment Senior
     VP/General Counsel Barry Nagler announced the normal format
     had been changed.  Nagler: "In response to shareholders,
     there will be more structure to the annual meeting to allow
     for questions and comments."  But when it came time for
     shareholders to speak, only one "seized the opportunity." 
     Gary Larsen of NJ asked Fireman to rate his own performance. 
     Krupa: "So much for dissent" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/6). 
          
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Nike, Reebok

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