SBD/August 21, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike This Fall Will Raise Shoe, Clothing Prices As Internal Costs Increase

The LeBron X Nike Plus is due in the fall and expected to cost $315
Nike is “raising shoe and clothing prices by 5% to 10%” as labor, materials and shipping costs increase, according to analysts cited by Shelly Banjo of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The price increases, from a company “whose trendy footwear sometimes generates long lines of avid buyers, may test even the most dedicated Nike fans.” Nike Global Corporate Communications Dir Mary Remuzzi said Nike is "not arbitrarily taking up prices." Remuzzi said, "We are constantly looking at ways to enhance the product line with new innovation and product attributes." A test of the approach “comes this fall, when Nike will debut its priciest sneaker yet -- an expected $315 LeBron James basketball shoe that includes its own electronics.” The LeBron X Nike Plus is “expected to come embedded with motion sensors that can measure how high players jump.” Nike's price increases also are “being felt at the lower end: The venerable Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneaker now costs $50 compared with $45 a year ago.”  Banjo notes Nike “isn't the only sneaker maker asking customers to pay more.” adidas' signature three-striped Superstar shoes “now cost $70, nearly 8% more than a year ago” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/21).

NEW RULES: In a separate piece, Banjo reports Nike is “trying to scale back the way it releases its highly coveted new sneakers” after recent launches have caused “outbreaks of violence and unruliness outside stores.” Under new rules, sporting-goods stores such as Foot Locker or Dick's Sporting Goods “will have to open their doors at 8 a.m., forgoing the popular midnight releases that encouraged people to camp outside and stampede stores.” Nike in a company memo “told retailers it will no longer allow stores to presell or take reservations for new shoes.” Nike also is “banning store chains from displaying photos or other descriptions of new products ahead of their launch dates.” Banjo notes “violent crowds surrounding Nike's shoe launches date back decades, but analysts say social media has made the buildup to the events more intense” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/21).
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