The competition between the world’s top sneaker brands is sounding more and more like an actual foot race.
Nike talked about its plan to speed up manufacturing during the company’s investor day yesterday (Oct. 25). CEO Mark Parker and the rest of the Nike team sought to reassure shareholders that the company still intends to outrun its competition, despite an ongoing slowdown in sales and intense pressure from rival Adidas. But the executives said that new products in the pipeline, more focus on e-commerce, tighter distribution through retail partners, and—of course—speed will be key to the company’s long-term growth.
One emphasis at Nike is near-shore production to serve North America, the company’s biggest group of consumers and the world’s biggest buyers of sportswear. Nike makes most of its goods in Asia, but it has started bringing more manufacturing to regions such as Latin America, where it’s using automation to keep labor costs down and make products quickly.
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