Is Nike's Strategy For Special Release Sneakers Leading To A Flooded Market?
Nike has "unveiled signature Christmas shoes" for Heat F LeBron James, Thunder F Kevin Durant and Lakers G Kobe Bryant, and the shoes will be "worn in NBA games on Dec. 25 and show up in stores the following day -- in limited quantities, of course," according to Kyle Stock of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Nike is "getting set to release one of the most anticipated shoes of the year, the Air Jordan Retro 11 Gamma Blue, and on New Year's Day will roll out the Zoom HyperRev." SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said that Nike's "major launches produce as many as 750,000 pairs of shoes." Stock noted the company is "careful not to fully meet demand, creating a sense of scarcity that drives sales of its next release." Nike has "six different basketball shoes coming out in the last 10 days of December." But Powell said that the company is "testing the fervor of its biggest fans." Powell: "I think it's starting to lose a little bit of its luster. There seems to be a special release every day now. I have 'Nike releases' set up in my Google Alerts, and it shows up more than anything else." Stock noted next year, every company that "makes basketball shoes is setting a time machine for the 1990s." Nike is "rebooting its Charles Barkley franchise, and Fila is dusting off its Grant Hill models." Additionally, Reebok is "betting Shaquille O'Neal still has sneaker cred," while adidas "goes big with a Dikembe Mutombo line." Powell: "There definitely could be a glut in the marketplace" (BUSINESSWEEK.com, 12/18).