SBD/March 26, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Li-Ning's Chicago Office Launches Brand Website And E-Commerce Strategy

Chinese shoe and sporting goods company Li-Ning last week made official "what was becoming apparent as early as January last year: Chicago rules its U.S operations, not Portland," according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Digital Li-Ning GM Ray Grady Friday said that the company "quietly made Chicago its U.S. division home in August." On Thursday, the Chicago office "announced the introduction of a Li-Ning brand website and e-commerce strategy with the digital marketing company Acquity Group." The operation will do business as "Digital Li-Ning." When it was based in Portland, the U.S. operation was named Li-Ning Sports USA. Grady said that basketball shoes will "continue to be designed at the Portland office." He did "not know how many employees remained in the Pearl District location, where the retail store, believed to have been the only one the Chinese brand was operating in the U.S., has been closed for weeks." Grady added that the design of Li-Ning running shoes, a "task that used to be assigned to the Portland office, has been shifted to the company's corporate headquarters in Beijing." Li-Ning has "made a clear shift to digital-only sales in the U.S., after it stumbled in one of its few attempts to find a bricks-and-mortar audience in the U.S." The company's shift from Portland to Chicago had been "underway for more than a year" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/24).
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