Buzzy exclusives, Footwear News‘ carefully curated “Most Influential” roundups, breaking M&A news and a mega name change make up the list of the most popular business stories in 2015.
There’s a reason FN is the “heart and sole” of the shoe industry — we kept readers up to speed on all of the industry’s major happenings this year.
These were the 7 most-read business stories on FootwearNews.com in 2015.
Readers took a special interest in FN’s deep dive into Aldo Group’s business and the Montreal-based shoe company’s aggressive expansion plans. Under its new CEO, Patrik Frisk, the vertical retailer laid out major international growth initiatives and high-tech store updates.
Readers were intrigued when FN investigated the impact of the rising star power of Golden State Warriors point guard and NBA MVP Stephen Curry on the shoe industry. Since the Warriors’ finals victory, the Curry One collection had been selling out left and right. That level of demand, bolstered by the playoffs hype and Golden State’s ultimate victory, doubled the shoe’s resale price across e-commerce platforms, leading FN to ask the question: Could Curry be the next MJ?
Who’s got the power? Readers certainly wanted to know. Among the most influential shoe-biz execs were Nike Inc.’s Phil Knight and Mark Parker, Foot Locker Inc.’s Dick Johnson, Caleres Inc.’s Diane Sullivan, Skechers USA Inc.’s Robert and Michael Greenberg and designer Christian Louboutin.
When a 100-plus-year-old shoe company changes its moniker, the industry takes notice. In a companywide meeting at the firm’s St. Louis headquarters, Brown Shoe Co. Chairman, CEO and President Diane Sullivan outlined an ambitious rebranding initiative, including a name change to Caleres Inc. The name is derived from the Latin word “calere,” which means passionate and “to glow.”
It was a daring move, to say the least, so outdoor retailer REI’s take-two-days-off-from-shopping campaign made news. The company closed its doors on the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, as well as on Thanksgiving Day. The store paid employees for the day and encouraged them — and REI shoppers — to “opt outside” instead. The hashtag #optoutside trended on Twitter as many users, frustrated with businesses taking their workers away from loved ones on a family-centric holiday, welcomed the retailer’s strategy.
Did we mention that people like to learn about the industry’s key players? When FN posted its annual list of the top 100 most influential people in the shoe biz, it picked up a ton of buzz. Nike’s Phil Knight, the Nordstroms and Foot Locker’s Dick Johnson were among the names returning to the list in 2015, while Sequential Brand Group’s Yehuda Schmidman and Kanye West made the list for the first time.
Footwear News exclusively broke the story that K-Swiss Global Brands had snapped up California-based skate-footwear brand Supra and its clothing company, KR3W. Larry Remington, president and CEO of K-Swiss Global Brands, said Supra and KR3W had been on his company’s radar because of its notoriety, innovation in the footwear and apparel markets and growth opportunities.