The winners and losers of the sneaker market

Earlier this month, two sneaker brands offered bleak outlooks for the once-hyped category. Adidas, which is still struggling to extricate itself from a pile of unsold 500 million Yeezys, said it expects its first annual loss in more than 30 years. Allbirds executives attributed the disappointing sales to a misguided foray into activewear and said the brand would shift from opening new stores to expanding its wholesale operations.

This week, we’ll hear from the brands that are partly responsible for these companies’ woes. Both Nike and On Holding release their quarterly results on March 21. Both have enjoyed a much smoother, if not entirely turbulence-free ride over the past couple of years, often to the detriment of their competitors.

Nike is taking full advantage of its size to overcome a host of issues that have plagued its rivals. In China, it has been one of the most successful Western brands in ridding itself of the effects of the global dispute over the use of Xinjiang cotton, which Bernstein analysts attribute to the strength of its pre-crisis name. Its move away from wholesale, while it may not have been as profitable as initially hoped, has given Nike the ability to focus on sales channels as the economic outlook changes (such as when additional inventory had to be moved last year). And while she’s had her share of struggles with brand ambassadors — the toxic workplace allegations against artist Tom Sachs are the latest — none are as valuable to the company as Ye l was for Adidas.

On’s continued success can also be viewed in light of Allbird’s failures. The Swiss brand embraced wholesale from the get-go, rightly betting it would be a cheaper way to acquire new customers. The emphasis on technology-driven performance branding has also proven to have more enduring customer appeal (and less easily copied) than Allbirds’ technology-driven sustainability branding. Although not immune to changing trends and facing competition from brands such as Deckers’ Hoka, On has managed to avoid the slump in sales and share price seen by early rivals. digital.

What else to watch this week


Nike and On Holding publish their quarterly results


EU publishes final rules defining and penalizing greenwashing

UK releases inflation data for February

US Federal Reserve releases interest rate decision

BoF holds its second Fashion Tech Summit in New York


Ramadan begins

TikTok CEO testifies before US Congress

Bank of England interest rate decision


UK releases retail sales data for February

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