Under Armour Struggling With Identity In Footwear Marketplace
Under Armour has been "banking on performance to sell its shoes," but sales of its footwear are "struggling to perform where it matters most for the Baltimore brand -- in stores," according to Lorraine Mirabella of the BALTIMORE SUN. While the company has "produced some popular shoes like the HOVR line for running, its shoe sales overall are slipping." In Q3, UA's shoe sales "plummeted 12%" to $250.6M, "not a good sign heading into the crucial holiday selling season." UA's shoe struggles have "mirrored its overall difficulties as it transitions from the rapid growth of a break-out brand to a mature multinational reckoning with changing consumer tastes and shifting retail trends in its key North American market." Currently, UA is "making shoes and apparel with an eye toward 'focused performers,' those who want results in sports and workouts, who are younger, more diverse, more active and spend more money than other consumers." But at a time when fashion is "driving sales in the sports footwear category -- and the category is struggling -- some question that strategy." Still, UA "remains confident it will find its footing." UA's December shoe releases, "including two new holiday-inspired Curry 7's released two days before Christmas, came at a crucial time," as the last three months of the year, including the holiday selling season, are the "most significant for most retailers" (BALTIMORE SUN, 12/31).