Mizuno USA said its business continues to thrive in 2005, and again received high marks from running specialty retailers in a recent nationwide survey. Mizuno reported a 26% increase in running footwear and apparel sales through June of 2005 when compared with the same time period last year, and also continues to grow market share, climbing to 10.3% of the served market based on recent survey data. Mizuno said the rapid growth has made them one of the top 4 running brands in the specialty running arena.

Sports Marketing Surveys USA, in its Retail Sales Survey for Spring 2005, reported that the Mizuno brand, along with its patented Wave® Technology utilized in Mizuno running shoes, continues to receive high praise from specialty retailers in the areas of performance technology, customer service, and product delivery, to name a few.

“It’s great to hear this kind of positive feedback from our retailers regarding the increasing strength of the Mizuno brand and the continuous recognition of the performance benefits of our Wave® Technology.” said Bob Puccini, President Mizuno USA, Inc., and Chairman, Mizuno Canada, Ltd. “Our skyrocketing ratings in the customer service and delivery categories can be directly attributed to improved inventory planning, an extensive demand planning and supply chain initiative, system improvements, and significant investments in infrastructure. We are particularly excited by our brand momentum and will continue to drive business through maximum support of our retailers”

Here are some of the results from the survey as they relate to the Mizuno brand:

  • Mizuno Wave Technology was ranked the #1 technology for the fifth consecutive season by specialty retailers in terms of benefit to the serious runner.

  • Mizuno’s share in specialty running retailers, increased by 11.9% from Spring 2004 to Spring 2005.

  • Rated in Top 2 brands for Sales Rep Support, and Product Line.

  • Rated in Top 3 brands for Product Delivery, Cosmetics/Design, Profit to Dealer, In-House Customer Service, and Consumer Interest.

Mizuno said the Spring 2005 survey included in-depth phone interviews with a total of 75 specialty running retail store dealers across the United States.

Mizuno said the results come on the heels of a “blockbuster year” for the brand, with a 25% growth in sales and 12% growth in market share from the end of year 2003 through end of year 2004.

“We are extremely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish as a brand and are very excited about the momentum we’re building within the marketplace” said Tom Elwell, Vice President and General Manager of Athletic Footwear and Apparel, Mizuno USA, Inc. “We have been able to make significant gains this year, particularly in the Support category with the highly successful introductions of the Wave Nirvana and the Wave Inspire. We remain committed to creating the best performing products for runners of all abilities, and servicing our consumers and accounts at the highest level.”