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Mon, Aug 28, 2017
Vol 1, Issue No. 33
Monday, February 05, 2018
Volume 2, Issue No. 05

Breaking News:
Dick’s Chief Merchant Departs

Keri L. Jones, who joined Dick’s Sporting Goods as chief merchant nine months ago, after 27 years at Target Corp., is leaving Dick’s to become CEO of Christopher & Banks, a 463-door women’s apparel chain, on March 12. DKS, in a public filing this morning, said it will not be replacing Jones. Immediately, all core merchandising functions will report directly to Chairman and CEO Ed Stack.

Prior to being hired by Dick’s, Jones’ responsibilities during her career at Target included head of global supply chain and merchandising planning and operations.

Retail Round-Up
Taking on Texas

Since August 2016 and the closure of the last Sports Authority store, most major U.S. markets have only had one local full-line, big box sporting goods retail option. By Spring 2020, Dallas residents will have three choices—Academy Sports & Outdoors, Dick’s Sporting Goods and a newcomer.

Privately-held Scheels has begun construction on its largest store yet, 325,000-square feet in the northern Dallas metro of The Colony. The store will be located on a 433-acre parcel being developed by Berkshire Hathaway-owned Nebraska Furniture Mart. The development’s landlord begs the question, ‘Does the more than century-old Scheels have a newfound financial relationship with the Oracle from Omaha that could accelerate store development?’

Also, one has to wonder what Scheels sees in the Lone Star State. The 27-door chain typically doesn’t expand into markets where there is direct competition. The North Dakota-based business currently has five locations in Minnesota and four in Iowa. Dick’s Sporting Goods currently operates 37 doors in Texas where Oshman’s once ruled sporting goods retail, including three in Houston and two each in Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso.

KohlbergKravisRoberts(KKR)-controlled Academy, which saw its debt downgraded last September to ‘B3’ by Moody’s, is based in Katy, TX and has stores in 74 communities across the state including 10 in the Houston market. The company, which generated an estimated $4.7 billion in revenue for the 12 months ended July 29, 2017, last week announced the shedding of nearly 200 positions. They included 140 non-customer-facing IT jobs and 57 transportation employees due to a strategic realignment focused on modernizing and expanding its transportation functionality in an outsourcing movement at Academy. Previously, Moodys forecast that Academy would have modest profitability growth in the second half of 2017 and in 2018, but also warned that any liquidity deterioration at the 238-store chain for any reason, including negative free cash flow or higher usage of its revolver, could prompt another credit rating downgrade. A strong position in core markets and its regional concentration in the U.S. Southeast were listed among Academy’s credit strengths and challenges.

Bass Pro Shops, which is laying off fewer than 20 at its Springfield, Missouri headquarters, has tapped Mastercard to handle its consumer credit portfolio for both Bass Pro and Cabela’s brands. The transaction, which should be completed by the end of 2018, will allow Cabela’s CLUB credit card holders to continue earning reward points on their purchases.

Tilly’s has expanded distribution of Lights Out athletic apparel, developed by former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman, from its website to all California stores with expanded distribution planned for this year.

Sports Direct-owned Eastern Mountain Sports may not have to pay much of the $2.5 million clean-up costs for the Peterborough, New Hampshire dump. A federal judge wants N.H. Ball Bearings to bear the brunt of the cost given evidence it may have dumped 372,000 gallons of industrial waste at the landfill over more than two decades.

Bon-Ton, the largest regional department store operator that filed for Chap. 11 bankruptcy yesterday, sells activewear from Under Armour, Puma, Champion and Columbia as well as its own Exertek label. Alternatives for the company, which had already announced plans to shutter 16 percent of its store base, include a sale of assets. Bon-Ton’s footwear mix includes Skechers, Puma, Under Armour and Merrell. Shares in Bon-Ton, which has already secured $725 million in debtor-in-possession financing from lenders, closed below $0.15 on Friday.

Herb Bauer Sporting Goods is closing in Fresno, California after 68 years. It is being replaced at the location by Turner’s Outdoorsman.

Deckers Eyes More Segmentation for UGGs

The weather let UGGs enjoy strong holiday sales. Photo by Jeff Clark

Coming off a strong third quarter where favorable weather and tight inventories contributed to strong results, Deckers Outdoors intends to intensify its focus on the UGGs brand in Fall 2018 and beyond with more segmented product by channel, stronger retail storytelling for specific customers and more innovation.

“…We’ve made significant progress over the last year in the number of 18- to 24-year olds buying into the brand,” DECK CEO and president David Powers told analysts last week. “…And it’s definitely helping bring new style to the consumer and showcasing more than just the boots as an item. That is relevant in different fashion circles; it’s relevant from a lifestyle head to toe perspective and is really showing the energy of the brand.”

UGG brand sales rose 4 percent to $735 million in DECK’s third quarter, highlighted by strong full-price selling and fueled by cold weather across much of the U.S. The improvement, coupled with gains by its HOKA ONE ONE and Teva brand, prompted the company to raise its FY outlook. Deckers is currently forecasting annual revenues in the $1.873-1.878 billion range, a gross margin of approximately 49 percent and an estimated operating margin of 12 percent. HOKA’s third quarter sales exceeded internal targets, rising 66 percent to $32 million as the brand’s run specialty sales gained 47 percent for the 12 months ended November 30, helped by increased shelf space for styles such as the Arahi and Gaviota. Teva sales, meanwhile, jumped 20 percent in the quarter ended December 31, to $20 million on an extended selling season and higher sales of closed-toe offerings.

Golf Insight
FootJoy Returns to Premium with 1857

FootJoy's 1857 collection of shoes and apparel debuts in July.

A decade after shutting down its longtime, high-end shoemaking operation in its Brockton, MA facility, FootJoy is returning to the luxury end of the golf market with its 1857 collection of shoes and apparel. The line, named for the year the company began as a maker of footwear for Union soldiers, will be available July 15 in the U.S. before rolling out to Europe and APAC in 2019. The collection includes eight styles of Goodyear-welt constructed, sourced in Portugal and designed in Italy with Italian leathers, shoes available in 105 sizing options. Retail prices range from $475 for three casual suedes to $595 for seven dress styles and $795 for eight golf-specific models. On the apparel side, 1857 will initially feature 37 SKUS that include supina cotton golf shirts ($140-150) and cashmere tops ($375 retail) for the discerning golf apparel consumer. FootJoy, part of publicly traded Acushnet (parent of the Titleist brand), will continue an effort to acquire exclusive fabrics for the high-end line.

Given its long affiliation with the game dating back to 1910, FootJoy clearly realizes the need to be a player in the premium end of golf soft goods despite the segment’s small market share in the overall business. 1857 offerings should help the brand stave off European rivals in the space. For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, FootJoy’s golfwear sales were down 1.7 percent to $355.8 million on lower footwear sales that were partially offset by higher apparel revenues with higher average selling prices.

BOA continues to increase its presence in golf and on the PGA Tour with numerous pros wearing shoes featuring the technology, including Adam Scott, Austin Cook, Kevin Na and Ian Poulter. The Colorado company has been working with FootJoy for more than a decade. The brand’s new Tour S style, released last week, features the BOA dial system on the heel counter that enables a player to customize footwear fit, 1 millimeter at a time. Adidas and Ecco also utilize BOA on certain golf shoes, but not on the heel since FootJoy owns the exclusive on that placement. New Balance and Asics will introduce running shoes with a BOA system in June.

drirelease has introduced GEO Cool that uses proprietary hydrophilic active particles derived from metal oxides during the dyeing of filament polyester fabrics or yarns. GEO Cool, which will make its debut in garments next year, provides thermoregulation by managing heat and moisture transfer in the fabric and will last as long as the color of the garment. The 25-year old company has also introduced drirelease LOFT, a performance knit fleece for mid-layer and outer-layer fabrics that offers heat retention with wicking and fast-drying

The Buzz

Augusta Sportswear has introduced a single platform for its three brands of sports uniforms and apparel—Holloway, High Five and Augusta Sportswear—with its new website at that allows customers to combine orders across all three brands and achieve free shipping and volume discounts easier.

ProSphere by Teamwork Athletic, the San Marcos, CA maker of sublimated and recreational sports apparel, has released a new licensing catalog in PDF and print formats. ProSphere currently holds 600 licenses spanning universities, MLBPA and police and fire departments.

Unifi names company veteran Eddie Ingle, VP of global corporate sustainability, supply chain and GM of recycled chip and flake.

Tubes of the Week


Numbers In Play
The Sports Insight Index is our opinion of what we think are the 30 most important public companies in the industry, 15 vendors and 15 retailers. Space considerations prevent us from tracking more, but we will make changes over time.
Index base of 100 is key to the closing prices of 12/31/14
After taking its Index above the ‘60’ threshold last week, segment fell back more than 2 percent this week with all 15 entrants posting declines for the period and the Dow poised for its first losing week of 2018. A day after the period, the market had its biggest one-day decline since June 2016. January layoffs in the U.S. were up 3 percent, year-over-year, but retail pink slips were down 32 percent y-o-y. With Kohl’s shares up more than 20 percent year-to-date, Guggenheim offered a bullish outlook on the stock that cited both athletic footwear and apparel. Investment house thinks retailer is likely to add more “active” brands to its mix. Foot Locker was upgraded by Oppenheimer with a $70 target price on progress it has made clearing aged inventory and strong introductions from Adidas and Nike, including several basketball models (LeBron 15 and Kyrie 4 from Nike; Harden LS from Adidas) ahead of NBA All-Star Weekend. Macy’s is dropping its alliance with loyalty program, Plenti, on March 15. Zumiez, which reported a 7.9 percent comparable store sales gain in December, may report softer comps for January on February 7. Tilly’s is continuing to see rebounding gross margins following several consecutive quarters of positive same store sales.
Segment Index holds steady despite 10 stocks falling and only five rising for the period. Columbia Sportswear Chairwoman Gert “One Tough Mother” Boyle, who celebrates her 94th birthday March 6, won the annual ISPO Cup Award for her impact on the world of sport. Also, COLM is adopting the Microsoft Cloud software suite to better merchandise globally and streamline operations more efficiently. Callaway sees endorser Ollie Schneiderjans help the #SaveYouthSports movement at the Phoenix Open by playing the brand’s “Truvis Sports Matter” ball on the 16th hole. GoPro, which reported a 38 percent plummet in fourth quarter revenues, is launching a cloud storage and $4.99 monthly premium subscription service that will offer camera replacement. Adidas is hosting a two-day festival in Los Angeles ahead of the NBA All-Star Game at its 747 Warehouse that will sell premium products and offer customers a concert by N*E*R*D led by Three Stripes’ endorser Pharrell Williams. Also, brand celebrates fifth year of BOOST with a special anniversary pack. Deckers Outdoor reports third quarter revenues more than 6 percent above Street expectations that included 4 percent growth in UGG sales to $735 million on strong full-price selling during the holiday season.





Retail Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 01/25/17
Close on 02/01/18
% change over week
Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV)
Sports Direct (LON: SPD)
Camping World (CWH)
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
Finish Line (FINL)
Foot Locker (FL)
Genesco (GCO)
Hibbett Sports (HIBB)
Kohl’s (KSS)
Macy’s (M)
Sportsman’s Warehouse (SPWH)
Shoe Carnival (SCVL)
Tilly’s (TLYS)
Walmart (WMT)
Zumiez (ZUMZ)
Brand Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 01/25/17
Close on 02/01/18
% change over week
Acushnet Holdings (GOLF)
adidas (ADDYY)
Amer Sports (AGPDY)
Callaway (ELY)
Columbia Sportwear (COLM)
Deckers Brands (DECK)
Fitbit (FIT)
GoPro (GPRO)
lululemon (LULU)
Nautilus (NLS)
Nike (NKE)
Skechers (SKX)
Under Armour (UA)
VF Corp. (VFC)
Wolverine Worldwide (WWW)

Sports Insight Extra Podcast Series

Nikki Barua

The old way of retail is dead, and there is a massive opportunity to re-invent, proclaims the CEO of Beyond Curious in Los Angeles.

Matt O’Toole

President of Reebok dishes on the brand’s mission and objectives from its headquarters in Boston.

Gabriella Santaniello

Retail expert dishes on what’s going right and wrong in industry today and weighs in on the Walmart vs. Amazon tussle.

Guy Yehiav

The CEO of Profitect addresses the right medicine for changing the paradigm of accountability—prescriptive analytics.

Pat Ryan

Batter Up! The global product director for baseball/softball at Wilson Sports details the new USA Baseball standard that took effect January 1 and what it means when you hit the store this spring looking for a new stick for junior.

Patrick Clark

President of Nextwave, a Buford, GA system integrator, discusses benefits of an on-demand apparel microfactory, a bridge to Just In Time manufacturing, from Sourcing at MAGIC in Las Vegas.

Shawn McBride

Ketchum Sports & Entertainment EVP talks Olympics—impact of three consecutive Games in Asia, social media, corporate guerilla marketing and drawing in younger consumers.

Tyson McGuffin

Tennis pro Tyson McGuffin, 28, talks about the rising popularity of pickleball and how he became a champion in the sport.

Bob Mullaney

The 20-year shoe and retail industry veteran, recently named president and CEO of RG Brands, dishes on the comfort footwear business and Barry’s iconic Dearfoams brand.

Bob Smith

The design consultant who began his 20-year career as a graphic artist for Nike dishes on the blur between lifestyle and performance and the importance of Struktur, the creative conference for active, outdoor and urban design.

Rob & Mike Barnes

The co-founders of Selkirk Sports, a Hayden, ID maker of Pickleball paddles and accessories, dish on the rise of the sport that counted 2.5 million participants in 2015.

Brendan Candon

CEO of SidelineSwap, an online marketplace for used sports gear and equipment, dishes on the market and whether it steps on the toes of traditional, full-line retailers.

Dave McGillivray

The long-time race director and long-distance runner weighs in on marathon participation, the future of event marketing and his latest venture that may bring a marathon to a MLB ballpark near you.

Paul Froio

Reebok’s VP of U.S. Retail and Direct-to-Consumer channels talks about the company’s new South Boston headquarters and adjacent global flagship store.

Aquiles M. Bermùdez P.

The former president of the Dominican Association of Free Zone Companies and current member of the National Commission of Footwear addresses the industry, Dominican Republic’s infrastructure and Footwear Technology Institute.

W. Andrew Martin

The managing director for Baird in Charlotte, NC discusses the M&A climate, consumer loyalty to brands today and the impact of private label.

Mark Sullivan

The president of Formula4Media, LLC previews The Running Event conference and trade show set for November 28-December 1 in Austin, Texas.

Bryan Smeltzer

The general manager of Zamst Americas talks sports protectives, dispelling some of the consumer and athlete misconceptions about the category.

Emily Walzer

Formula4Media colleagues Emily Walzer, Textile Insight editor, Jennifer Beaudry-Ernst, footwear specialist, and contributor Kurt Gray, owner of SimplyGrayDesign, dish on key trends from the final Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City.

Judith A. Russell

Shifting consumer purchasing patterns are vital to understanding today’s marketplace. Russell, a marketing and strategic planning professional, offered up her thoughts at TexWorld in New York on a panel with Sports Insight Extra’s Bob McGee.

Will Decker

Family-owned Silicon Valley firm Plug and Play, which dubs itself the “Ultimate Startup Ecosystem,” has raised over $6 billion in venture funding during its 11 years while bringing corporations, venture capitalists and start-ups together.

Matthew Lyon

In the fragmented hydration market, where price points for performance products are on the rise, HydraPak is an OE supplier to numerous brands and has its own lightweight, flexible products.

Eric Hayes

Superfeet Celebrates 40th Anniversary. The employee-owned company introduces footwear and rolls out a 3D printed insole program.

Shawn Neville

BOA introduces New Tech and Names New CEO. Nothing will constrict Boa Technology CEO Shawn Neville from helping the Denver company improve its customized fit solution.

Waingarten and Frydlewski

No strings attached. The married Argentinean couple has raised nearly $20 million for Hickies, a Brooklyn company addressing how athletic shoes are closed around the foot two eyelets at a time.

Michelle Carmichael

The Co-founder and Managing Partner of Partners Growth, which brings premium brands into the U.S. market, talks Finnish children’s wear brand Reima. 

Brian Beckstead

Six-year old Altra is teaming with Utah State University to develop outdoor design talent.

Declan Condron

Let's Go Hyperwear: Former Equinox personal trainer merges the innovative, functional fitness gear from Austin, TX company with programming for schools, camps and institutions.

Hugues Gontier

Sly and Simple. and its technology enable a retailer to interact with customers in store and track traffic. No beacon required. The CMO explains the benefits of the platform.

Reza Raji

The CEO of Xenio Systems talks about the company’s new platform that tracks where shoppers spend time in physical stores and its patented hyper-positioning technology.

Jacob Torres Espino

The director of export promotion for Mexico’s Guanajuato State government agency addresses the proposed impact of the Border Adjustment Tax by the U.S. and the possibility of a renegotiated NAFTA free trade agreement.

Isabelle Ohnemus

The founder and CEO of EyeFitU, a former investment banker, talks ‘glocal’ assortments, shoppers’ personal sizing and global web payment options.

Tom Cove #2

The president and CEO of the SFIA addresses the most serious threat the industry has faced in the past half-century and the expected re-introduction of the PHIT Act by Congress.

Matteo Scarparo

The Italian global trade expert in footwear talks about the present and future of TheMicam trade show and the potential impact of a Border Adjustment Tax in the U.S. on imported shoes.

Dr. James Eakin

Dr. James Eakin, chief marketing officer and director of U.S. operations for Xenoma, discusses the Japan company’s e-skin shirt and entire wearable category.

Rusty Saunders

Industry senior statesman Rusty Saunders dishes on industry leadership, pressing issues and the inactivity pandemic.

Barbara Barclay

Expert Barbara Barclay, president of RightEye, talks eye-tracking technology and her company’s recent alliance with Major League Baseball and USA Baseball.

Julie Sylvester

Julie Sylvester, Executive Producer at Living in Digital Times, talks trends likely to emerge at Sports and FitnessTech Summit at CES in Las Vegas.

Chris Palmer

Chris Palmer, Founder and CEO of BoxFox, talks excess inventory and solutions for vendors, retailers and distributors.

Susie McCabe

Susie McCabe, SVP of global retail for Under Armour who previously spent 16 years at The Ralph Lauren Corp., dishes on UA’s retail strategy and new Brand House in Boston.

Tom Cove

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Rich Harper

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Stephen Lamar

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Bill McInnis

The president of Reebok Future discusses the intent of the unit and the brand’s plans to develop footwear in a new way.

Tom Fowler

Polar USA CEO Tom Fowler talks technology and the future of smart wearables.

Paul Schille

TREW CEO Paul Schille dishes on the eight-year old company in the process of completing its Series A round of funding and his dual career.

Jason Kaplan

Milestone Sports CEO Jason Kaplan dishes on the company’s low-cost, wearable pod and how it will help specialty retailers connect.

Duncan Finigan

OOFOS marketing executive talks about the recovery footwear brand and candidly about her courageous personal health journey.

Matt Priest

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America President Matt Priest the likelihood of the Trans-Pacific Partnership being passed soon.

David and Josh Higgins

ING Source executives dish about compression technology and the Hickory, NC company’s breakthrough OS1st Brace Layer System.

Charles Liberge

Jones & Vining’s Charles Liberge addresses strategies and directions for the iconic brand.

Jim Baugh

PHIT America’s Jim Baugh dishes on the inactivity pandemic.

Sue Dooley and John Daher

Rockport Group senior executives talk about the brand’s fresh start under new ownership that has a major emphasis on versatility.

Josh Shaw

Mission Athletecare CEO Josh Shaw says thermoregulation is the New York company’s singular focus.

Tim Porth

Tim Porth of Octane Fitness talks trends, Zero Runner and the company’s January acquisition by Nautilus Inc.

David Costello

The principal and founder of Rising Tide Associates talks about industry advocate lobbying for the domestic textile and footwear industries.

Steven D’Angelo

The ‘47 brand executive dishes on the Boston company and long-time MLB licensee founded by his father Arthur and his late Uncle Henry.

Pam Gelsomini and CB Tuite

Pam Gelsomini, president, and CB Tuite, VP–sales, discuss the company’s products, partnerships and what’s new for the season ahead.

Kenneth G. Andres

The tradeshowdirector for the American Sportfishing Association casts comments on the activity’s popularity, and trends in fishing.

Dick Sullivan

The principal and founder of Rising Tide Associates talks about industry advocate lobbying for the domestic textile.

Dave Coradini

The VP of sales and sponsorships for Spalding, Dave Coradini talks Shot Tracker and basketball.

Scott McGuire

The executive brand and product innovation leader dishes to F4M’s Emily Walzer on an array of topics.

Kelly Davis

Snow Sports Industries of America’s Kelly Davis talks weather, participation trends and how to handle the psyche.

Kevin Davis

The CEO of Performance Sports Group dishes on new bat standards and Own the Moment.

Gene McCarthy, Pt 2

Gene McCarthy, president of Asics America, speaks to Jen Ernst Beaudry on specialty run and more in the second part of the podcast.

Gene McCarthy, Pt 1

Gene McCarthy, new president of Asics Americas, dishes to F4M’s Jen Ernst Beaudry in the first of a two-part podcast.

Richie Woodworth

Saucony’s Richie Woodworth offers his views on brand’s running business and what it takes to manage through change.

Bruce Cazenave

Bruce Cazenave, CEO of Nautilus Inc., recently ranked 23rd on Fortune’s “Fastest Growing Companies” list.

Tony Armand

Armand is leading USB, created after the April merger of Shock Doctor and McDavid.

Gary Smith

Gary Smith has been at the helm of the Lawrence, MA firm for three years, and his 2016 strategies will broaden Polartec’s scope.

Marty Hanaka

City Sports CEO Marty Hanaka has 42 years in retail, starting at Sears in 1973.

Mike Dowse

Wilson Sporting Goods, one year removed from its 100th anniversary and a major restructuring, has a renewed focus and strategy.