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Volume 24 No. 155
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Brooks Running Returns To Double-Digit Growth After Realizing Need To "Reinvent" Category

Brooks Running CEO Jim Weber said his company has "returned to double digit growth for the first time" since '14 after he realized the category "needed to be reinvented." Weber, appearing yesterday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box," said the running category "got boring" and runners are "eager to find new things they're curious, new product." Weber: "It needed to be reinvented, so we have been working really hard." Weber said of the footwear category being down as shares of Nike, Under Armour and Adidas were all down on the day, "It's a big category and consumers are moving around. We’re all talking about it. The consumer is so dynamic today ... (and) they have so many choices and they’re going to make the decision tomorrow and the radars don't work as well as they used to any more." Weber said Brooks is "more product driven than merchandising driven" and is not "trying to fill out segments in the marketplace." Weber: "We're really trying to create the best shoe in each segment and ... if you do that, you can create demand from customers and that's what we feel like we positioned ourselves to do now." Weber: “All of our energy (at Brooks) is around that product experience and I think it matters. It's hard to be relevant in each category. When you're running a marathon, we don't think about stopping and going to play golf or basketball. All we think about is running.” Weber: “If you create a fantastic shoe on the performance side, it's going to have great appeal to a lot of folks out there" (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 10/30).