SGB Executive Footwear
In late November, Craft Sportswear announced plans for a phased relocation of its U.S. headquarters to Seattle in 2024 to bolster the brand’s expansion into outdoor and specialty retail as well as its recent entry into run footwear in the U.S. Eric Schenker, Craft’s long-time U.S. CEO, talked to SGB Executive about the brand’s heritage, the run footwear opportunity, and why he isn’t heading to Seattle.
Lululemon Athletica, Inc. lifted its overall full-year outlook after earnings and sales in the third quarter ended October 29 topped guidance for the third straight quarter but also forecast fourth-quarter guidance that came in lighter than expected in an apparent sign to investors of a potential sales slowdown.
Frasers Group reported retail revenue increased 4.0 percent in the first half ended October 29 to £2.69 billion ($3.4 bn), helped by a “strong underlying performance” from Sports Direct due in part to the addition of new brands, including On Running, The North Face, Columbia Sportswear and Salomon.
CEO Paul Stone told analysts that an uptick in firearms and ammunition sales tied to the Israel/Hamas war drove the quarter’s beat. However, he also indicated that overall results continued to be pressured by “the difficult microenvironment continuing to pressure consumer discretionary spend.”
The survey, which was conducted in partnership with Morning Consult, surveyed active/causal lifestyle brand consumers ages 18 to 55 based in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and Italy. It found that only one-third of respondents “Highly Prioritize” sustainability when making purchasing decisions, compared to other factors like “Good Value” (68 percent) and “Low Price” (57 percent).
Speaking Tuesday at the 2023 Morgan Stanley Global Consumer & Retail Conference, Navdeep Gupta, EVP and CFO at Dick’s Sporting Goods, elaborated on how the retailer’s efforts to further differentiate itself both within product and the store experience is driving market share gains.
CFO Jared Poff said that based on what they have seen through the fourth quarter to-date, they do not expect the sales pressures to alleviate as they wrap up the year, especially given the ongoing uncertainty in the macro environment.
On Monday, Wells Fargo replaced Lululemon with Nike as its “Top Defensive Pick” among its stock coverage in the active lifestyle space. It also downgraded Lululemon and raised its price target on Nike.
Eddie Bauer introduced a new brand evolution and redesigned its logo in September, including bringing back “the goose.” Tim Bantle, Eddie Bauer’s CEO, talked with SGB Executive about the refreshed look of the 103-year-old brand, re-embracing its outdoor roots and its heightened focus on wholesale.
Julia Clark Day presented data that showed sales in the outdoor industry were down 1 percent in dollar terms year-over-year to $27.8 billion in the 12-month period ended September 2023. Unit sales were said to be down 4 percent for the period.
After suggesting the the UK retail market was hampered by stalled consumer spending in October, the British Retail Consortium reportedly saw a recovery in foot traffic in November, with total UK foot traffic down 0.7 percent year-over-year.
Asics Corp. has outlined goals that sees the Japanese performance footwear and apparel company returning to the lead in market share in the run specialty channel in North America by 2025, and a new focus on regional profitability.