Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Shopping for athleisure shoes

My main exercise is walking, and these days the walk is often back and forth between home and the Loop or the Near North Side. Even though I count those walks as aerobic exercise, the activities they take me to call for something nicer than shorts, T-shirt, and lace-up athletic shoes.

The sandals and thin-soled flats I’ve been wearing have proven uncomfortable for extended walking.

It was a “duh” realization: Shoes for walking to a miles-away destination should feel as good as shoes for the track or the gym. If I wouldn’t wear sandals on the treadmill, why wear them to walk long distances?

What I need are the thick, cushioned soles of athletic shoes and more fashionable uppers.

Turns out that, as usual, I’m behind the trends. The shoe industry has been marketing “athleisure” (a new word to me) shoes for just the need I’d come to realize. Athleisure clothing and shoes are meant to go from the gym into everyday life. An advertisement for a slip-on sneaker says, “Your workout doesn't begin and end at the gym. Give your feet the comfort they need.”

The slip-on sneakers or athletic loafers style would be perfect, I figured. What brand to buy? Should I stick with the sports shoe brands I’ve always bought for exercise (New Balance, Nike, Reebok, Asics, Adidas, Saucony) if they make slip-ons? What about the comfort shoes friends swear by — Dansko, Birkenstock, Merrell? Their price tags are pretty hefty. Before shelling out $100, I thought I’d see whether podiatrists endorse the assumption that the more you pay, the better the shoe.

Considering the prices on lists of best running shoes, best walking shoes, best cross-trainers, ad infinitum, it’s surprising to hear podiatric surgeon Suzanne M. Levine’s answer to the question of whether expensive shoes are better for your feet.

“There’s absolutely no correlation between price and good fit, or between price and sound shoe construction,” says the author of Your Feet Don’t Have to Hurt: A Woman’s Guide to Lifelong Foot Care. “There’s absolutely no medical evidence to support the claim that shoes with famous logos last longer or are better for your feet.”

Also surprising is the opinion of some researchers that athletic shoe companies have taken firm support too far, that overly supportive shoes have altered our natural step and posture and weakened our foot muscles.

Okay, there is indication for passing up the priciest shoes with features like extra stability and motion control. But I still want comfort. And I found it in $35 Champion shoes from Payless on sale for $19. It’s the first time I’ve bought athletic shoes from Payless.

I decided to give Champion a try because of several good reviews. Champion shoes have been a Consumer Reports best buy in walking shoes and scored well in a number of the magazine’s tests. The website dailyburn.com chose the Champion C9 as one of its four best shoes for walking. The site nicershoes.com lists a Champion shoe in its five best women’s and five best men’s shoes for standing all day. The site runnerclick.com calls the Champion Gusto Runner as “an affordable option for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet.”

The Champion Women’s Unwind Sport Slip-on that I bought has the same memory-foam sole as the new Champion running and walking styles. I tried the shoes out Sunday, walking two miles to church, another couple of miles giving a tour, and then back home, and they passed the comfort test.

I’m not claiming that cheap shoes are better than pricier ones. If people find their feet feel better in expensive shoes, by all means they should go for comfort. Champion shoes might not last as long as Merrell’s or Birkenstock’s. But since my feet don’t hurt and presumably aren’t being hurt, I’m happy to have saved money.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Monte Carlo to venture into footwear segment

New Delhi: Woollen and cotton apparel brand Monte Carlo Fashions Ltd is all set to enter the footwear segment with a premium line of formal and casual wear shoes for men, starting next month.

Launched in 1984, the Ludhiana-based company will be sourcing and marketing the products through a third party, the details of which will be made public in September.

“We are venturing into shoes next month. There is a lot of potential in the market for a good brand. We have tied up with a Delhi-based company which will be our official brand licensee,” said Sandeep Jain, executive director at Monte Carlo Fashions Ltd, refusing to disclose details about the tie-up and the product.

“It will be a premium line and will be sold through multi-brand retail outlets” he said, adding that the company is looking to earn initial revenue of Rs.15 crore in the next three years from footwear segment.

Currently, Monte Carlo sells apparels for men, women and children through more than 200 exclusive brand outlets, about 1,300 multi-brand stores and 60 large format retail stores. The company also sells through online marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.

Monte Carlo plans to open 15 to 20 stores in 2016-17, with a special focus on southern and western parts of the country where, Jain said, the brand needs to expand its presence. “We will be adding stand-alone and multi-brand retail stores in west and south India where our presence is lower compared to north and the east,” Jain added.

Ankur Bisen, senior vice-president, retail and consumer at the retail consulting firm Technopak Advisors, said, “Apparel brands getting into footwear is an opportunistic move. It is largely to complement the apparel business.”

He added that the footwear turnover of apparel companies usually doesn’t exceed 10% of the entire portfolio. “Footwear has a very different supply-chain compared to apparel. It has its own set of complexities,” he said.

Incorporated by Oswal Woollen Mills Ltd, the flagship company of the Nahar Group, Monte Carlo registered a growth rate of 17% and earned Rs.650 crore in revenue in the year ended March 2016. According to Technopak estimates, footwear market in India is growing at 12% per annum and is expected to touch $11.5 billion by 2020 from $6 billion in 2014.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Fall footwear from Jimmy Choo

The latest styles from Jimmy Choo have confident, classy lady, written all over them. Elegant yet edgy, practical and playful – creative director Sandra Choi has come up trumps with a head-turning selection for autumn/winter.

"A whole range of different references - from regimental to La Belle Époque - provided me with the creative raw material to explore a sense of sensual friction." says Choi, "Why friction? Because tension and contrasts are at the heart of this collection - most particularly tough fused with soft. And because friction generates heat."

Standouts include a patent stiletto pump with ankle strap and statement buckle called Helena. Then there’s Mazzy, a high-shine modern ankle boot with masculine touches courtesy of its raised faux-brogue and welting details. And, in classic Choo style, the vertiginous Romy pump has been rolled-out in glittering bronze this fall.

As for bags, the structural Lockett bag comes in a myriad of exotic skins and shades – many styles also feature detachable ruff straps. Also worth a look, the Twist - a two-panel tote with dual-fabric straps which - as the name implies, twist to convert the bag into a backpack in a nanosecond.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Fashion Meets Fitness Shoes

There is no denying that women’s casual wear is now dominated by fitness fashion clothes. Companies like Lululemon, Athleta, Sweaty Betty, and the giants Nike, Adidas, and Underarmour are all producing and selling fitness gear that is made to go straight from the gym to the café. Women’s sneakers have always come in colors and varying styles to match with casual wear, but recently shoe designers have come up with a truly different style of fashionable sneaker that has become all the rage. It is called the Wedge Sneaker, and I’m sure you’ve seen people wearing them around. The special “quality” about these shoes is that they have a hidden wedge, or lift, in the heel of about 2-3 inches. This gives the leg a longer look and the wearer a taller appearance.
One of the designers that is credited with helping start this craze is Gwen Stefani, whose clothing line is called L.A.M.B., which her website says stands for “love, angel, music, baby.” Ms. Stefani has been interested in fashion her whole life and she started her brand line in 2003.  Her take on sneakers was quickly adopted by many stylists and shoe designers.
Now, you can find many different kinds of wedge sneakers available on the internet. However, as with all shoes, the quality varies quite a bit. While the soles of wedge sneakers are usually bigger and with more cushioning than many other wedge shoes, thus more stable and comfortable, you still need to be careful with choosing this kind of shoe. I think less is more, when it comes to heel height. In other words, a lift of about 2” is enough to give the desired look, without sacrificing stability and balance. If you have stiff ankles, avoiding heels altogether is advisable.

Friday, 12 August 2016


For years, I have been writing about biotech’s attempts to take cattle farming out of leather production and replace it with a more sustainable biotech alternative. From an environmental perspective, cows are costly to feed and raise, tanning their hides is toxic, and of course many see their slaughter as cruel. Yet as consumers we’re addicted to the luxurious feel and durability of our leather. Just think of the visceral response we have to the scent of the leather interior of new car.
To tackle this problem, companies like Modern Meadow have attempted to grow leather directly from skin cells. Others have sought replacements with synthetics. And then there’s artist Phil Ross.
Phil Ross, artist and founder of Mycoworks, is growing leather from mycelium, the dense root structure of mushrooms. “It’s actually the skin of the mushroom,” Ross says.By growing mycelia under varying conditions including, temperature and humidity, and then tanning the resulting fungal mat, Ross and his team are able to make leather that looks and feels like cow, snake, and ostrich skins. He says his leather requires less energy, has a smaller environmental footprint than cow leather, and is biodegradable.
Simultaneously, the mushroom tissue can be manipulated as it’s growing. That means that while incubating, designers can add hardware like zippers and hooks right into the hide, adhere parts instead of stitching them together, or even change the texture of the material.
“It has a plasticity that you can’t have with animal hide,” Ross says. Though Ross is still refining his leather to match the durability of cowhide, he recently showcased Mycoworks’ first wallet.Mycoworks is a model of how an art practice can spur an entire industry. “This is part of the survival strategy of many artists at this point,“ he says. “Right now, this work is more greatly valued in the business world than the art world.Ross has been creating mycelia artworks for nearly 30 years. He first became interested in reichi mushrooms for their medicinal properties, but he quickly learned that by feeding mushrooms sawdust and other waste materials he could grow solid sculptures, bricks, and even furniture.Companies like Ecovative use similar techniques to grow packing material and even paneling from mycelia. DIYbio spaces like Genspace (which I cofounded) run classes on making mushroom molds. Students in the Biodesign Challenge have made kits from them. Now Ross has pushed the practice into fashion.
During Mycoworks’ investor demonstration at the Indie Bio accelerator in San Francisco in July, chief executive officer Sophia Wang pulled out an unwieldy six-foot hide of leather onstage. The hide was so thick she could barely hold it over her head.
The Mycoworks team is unlikely group to start a company—Ross is an artist, Wang is a PhD in English Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and their recently hired communications consultant Joanna Steinhardt, is a Berkeley PhD in anthropology. Ross sees their backgrounds as an advantage.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Hidesign targets unique East India Leather for premium products

New Delhi: Come November, Hidesign India Pvt. Ltd will start selling leather goods made of East India Leather, originally developed by the East India Company in 1856 to cater to the British Army.

“This kind of leather is unique. We are planning to launch a special limited edition line this November,” Hidesign founder and chairman Dilip Kapur said. The products will be priced higher than Hidesign’s current lines.

East India Leather, which received Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2008, is vegetable tanned leather produced by tanneries at Tiruchi and Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. GI status defines a particular product’s place of origin and gives an assurance of quality and distinctiveness.

Currently, East India Leather is very popular in countries like Italy and France.

Besides, the Puduchery-based leather products company has also launched a premium luxury collection Atelier Hidesign—made from ostrich and deer leather—priced considerably higher than Hidesign’s current product line.

“The challenge, today, is to stay relevant for the consumers without losing the core. There is propensity to spend more, especially by the loyal Hidesign users who now want to upgrade demand for these kinds of products that can be called affordable luxury products and are priced much lower than the imported luxury products,” Kapur said.

As part of its strategy to stay relevant in a market that has been swamped by e-commerce in the last couple of years, Kapur said, the company is planning to start offering made-for-you service for its loyal consumers by the end of this year. In this, Hidesign will custom-make each product specifically for individuals depending on their choices of design and leather.

“The logistics for this is complex. And there’s additional cost. We are developing the first such counter at one of our flagship stores that will be operational by the end of the year. We’ll expand this at a slow pace,” he added.

In the last couple of years, Hidesign has slowed down expansion in India that accounts for more than 70% of its revenue. “We had to. There are a few reasons. There aren’t many quality malls. Real estate in shopping arcades like Khan Market in Delhi has become way too expensive. Mindless expansion does not make any sense. On the other hand, e-commerce, initially, did make a dent. Over a period, we realized how to make e-commerce work in our favour. Now it contributes to more than 20% to Hidesign’s revenue,” Kapur said.

Going forward, Hidesign will focus on more boutique stores at airports. “We’ll be at all privately managed airports, and leave the ones managed by the government, for now. At airports, we get the right customers,” said the Hidesign founder. The company currently operates 73 stores in India, of which 10 are at airports.

The focus, however, will be on international markets, starting with airports in Singapore, the Middle East and Sri Lanka. “Brand stores will be established to ensure a better presence in these markets. In the past, we sold through distributors that essentially does not help in brand building,” Kapur added. The company now sells at Lisbon airport, and has closed down its outlets at Copenhagen airport. In the US, Hidesign sells through Amazon.

Hidesign, which was founded by Kapur in 1978 in Puduchery as a two-man workshop, has seen its revenue grow from Rs.11.3 crore in fiscal year ended 31 March 2010 to Rs.97.72 crore in fiscal year ended 31 March 2014, according to its filings with the Registrar of Companies. Kapur said its current revenue was at more than Rs.150 crore.

Leather goods industry in India is projected to cross $27 billion by 2020, from around $13 billion in 2014, estimated The Council of Leather Exports.

Increasing brand awareness among the Indian youth and rise in purchasing power of the upper middle class in tier-II and tier-III cities is expected to fuel consumer spending to more than $4.2 trillion by 2017, four times of what it was in 2014, helping retailers to grow, noted industry lobby Assocham and banking services provider Yes Bank, in a joint study released in January 2015.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Live Wire: Running shoes can be recycled

Nike has a program called Reuse-A-Shoe, which takes old athletic shoes - any brand - and chops them into bits of stuff called Nike Grind, which is incorporated into surfaces of tracks, tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds and the like. Some of the material may also be used in the manufacture of things like zipper pulls on Nike sportswear.Since the program began in 1993, Nike says it has recycled 28 million pairs of athletic shoes.
 It says surfaces made with Nike Grind cover about 632 million square feet - nearly enough to cover Manhattan.

You can make your shoes part of the process by taking them to a Reuse-A-Shoe drop-off location. The closest one in this area is the Nike Factory Store at Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield.

If your shoes are only gently worn, they'd be welcomed by a number of places both near and far. Those include nonprofit thrift shops operated by the Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries. For other ideas, check verywell.com/how-to-donate-your-used-running-shoes-2911842

Q: How long does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy stay on your credit record? - F.A., Fayetteville

A: Seven years, starting from the date that you filed for bankruptcy.

If the information remains on your credit report after that point, you can file a dispute with the bureau(s) in question.

If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you'd have to wait an additional three years for it to edge off your credit report. That information can be reported for 10 years.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor reorganizes his finances and pays them off over time. In a Chapter 7, the debtor pays off what he can and his debts are then erased - though the fact of his bankruptcy remains, of course, on his credit record.

You don't have to do anything to get the bankruptcy information removed from your credit record, according to the credit bureaus. Once the time limit is up, that information is supposed to drop off automatically.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Tandy Leather Factory Schedules 2nd Quarter 2016 Earnings Announcement and Conference Call for Wednesday, August 10

FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 05, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tandy Leather Factory, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLF) announced today that it plans to release financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 before the market opens.  A conference call will be conducted by senior management at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on August 10, 2016, and will be accessible to the public by calling 877-312-5524 or 253-237-1144.  Callers should dial in approximately 5 minutes before the call begins.

A conference call replay will be available through 1:15 p.m. Eastern Time on August 15, 2016 and can be accessed by calling 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406.  For both, reference conference ID number 62609621.

This call is being webcast and can be accessed at the company’s web site at www.tandyleather.com.  

Tandy Leather Factory, Inc., (http://www.tandyleather.com), headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a specialty retailer and wholesale distributor of a broad product line including leather, leatherworking tools, buckles and adornments for belts, leather dyes and finishes, saddle and tack hardware, and do-it-yourself kits. The Company distributes its products through its 27 Leather Factory stores, located in 18 states and 3 Canadian provinces, 81 Tandy Leather retail stores, located in 36 states and 6 Canadian provinces, and four combination wholesale/retail stores located in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Spain.  Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq with the symbol "TLF".  To be included on Tandy Leather Factory’s email distribution list, go to http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=1625&to=ea&s=0.

This news release may contain statements regarding future events, occurrences, circumstances, activities, performance, outcomes and results that are considered “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results and events may differ from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: changes in general economic conditions, negative trends in general consumer-spending levels, failure to realize the anticipated benefits of opening retail stores; availability of hides and leathers and resultant price fluctuations; change in customer preferences for our product, and other factors disclosed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Bright dreams of leather industry in Make India, but skinners denied their due

Donning a leather jacket and shoes may sound fancy, but those that carry out the dirty job of skinning the hides to provide for the raw material, seldom get their due.

Leather industry is among the twenty-five core sectors taken up as a priority in the 'Make In India,'initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On the other hand, those that supply raw material to fuel the sector are facing the brunt of the establishment and self-proclaimed cow-vigilantes alike.According to figures obtained from Leather Skill Sector Council of government of India, the country is the second largest producer of leather footwear and garments, making up 10 per cent of world's leather production. The current turnover of the leather industry in India is nearly Rs 79, 392crores. However, the big numbers hardly translate into any profits for the community of skinners.

According to Arpita Paul, executive director, Indian Leather Products Association, cow hides are relatively more in demand over buffalo or sheep hides by manufacturers of best quality leather footwear. With the recent wave of protests following flogging of Dalits in Gujarat for skinning dead cows and a sentiment of unrest simmering in the community that has refused to pick dead cow carcasses or skin them, it remains to be seen whether this will have a cascading effect on leather industry.

Moreover, India missed it's leather export targets for the financial year 2015 - 16. While last year, India had exported leather goods worth $6.58 billion to countries like US, Germany, the UK, Italy, France, Hong Kong and Spain, this year it recorded a 10.11 % negative growth by exporting goods worth $5.92 billion. 60% of India's leather is exported and experts said that it is facing tough competition from Portugal, Slovakia and Romania when it comes to lower costs of leather and it's products.

Persons at the bottom of the rung are hit the most due to this. The community of skinners are unhappy with the prices the cattle skins fetch them at present. Two years ago, they say they acquired a rate of

Rs1,200 by selling one cattle hide. The leather industry is seeing a slump, they feel. Currently, one good quality cattle hide does not fetch more than Rs 200 or 500, depending upon the quality of retrieved hide. "The hides are sold to traders who supply them to tanneries in Kanpur, Kolkata and Madras. Many tanneries in Kanpur have been shut by the government. Inorganic tanneries that involve processing of leather through chemicals are polluting rivers. Up to 50% of tanneries in Kanpur have been shut due to threat of increasing pollution of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers in the past few years," said Suresh Rathod (35), a cattle skinner in Chamariya Para of Rajkot, Gujarat.

Up to two decades back, Kalabhai Sagathiya (70) recounts, the hides that were skinned were tanned locally. The Central Model Tannery in Rajkot was run under Khadi Gramodyog by the government. The very idea of setting up the tannery was to promote non-violent production of leather products.

"In those days, we supplied the hides locally and fetched a good price. The leather was tanned organically by using plant dyes. There was no pollution. After the advent of inorganic process of tanning, the Rajkot tannery closed down. This is because hides processed with chemicals acquire more sheen and look glitzy. They are preferred by urban customers. After the Rajkot tannery shut down, we have had to supply raw hides outside of the city. Thus, the prices it fetches, are no longer under our control," says Kalabhai.

Each part of the dead cattle has a price attached to it, says Hirabhai Parmar (60), a Dalit who employs up to twenty-five workers to skin cattle and collect their bones. His godown located in Wadhwan village of Surendranagar, a town three hours away from Rajkot, unfolds an eerie sight. It stocks close to 2,000 cattle hides. Behind the godown, is an incineration pit made up of red bricks containing close to eight tonnes of cattle bones. "It is monsoon, and so the process of incineration of bones is on a temporary halt. When the pit accumulates close to ten to fifteen tonnes of bones, we will set it to blaze by using a barrel of kerosene," says Parmar.

The labourers in Parmar's godown earn barely Rs200 a day for skinning and incinerating cattle bones. "We are hardly making any profit. We make Rs 1,000 behind incinerating powder obtained out of one tonne of cow bone. An annual sale of from twenty tonnes fetches us only Rs 20,000 a year," he said.

The bones are reduced to hollow white pieces that are packed in sacks and stacked in the godown. The sacks find their way to Morbi in Gujarat and other places that utilise the powder of burnt bones to make bone china crockery.

Outside Parmar's godown, lay a heap of cattle horns. "The horns are used to make buttons of apparel; most dealers come from New Delhi to pick up the horns. We have not heard from them this year. So these lay unattended here, raising a stink," Parmar says.

The hooves and burnt bone are used in manufacturing fertilizers. The hides, particularly that of cow, after undergoing the process of tanning are used in making boots, chappals and jackets. Cow hides from Rajkot are picked up by traders to be supplied to leather factories in Kanpur, Madras and Kolkata. While bones are burnt in Surendranagar's plant, in Kadikalol town near Ahmedabad, they are chemically processed to make bone powder, further used in various industrial processes. "From manufacturing pharmaceutical drugs to polishing of white sugar granules, or processing tea leaves to make tea powder and manufacturing of tooth paste, cattle bone powder is an essential raw material," explains Parmar.

Navinbhai's home in Chamariya Para is full of chatter. Women gossip as they clink utensils to cook food, children who have just returned from school run around the house in glee. Women and children of the skinning households are never allowed near the gory sites of the dumping grounds or the godowns where the skins are stocked. Men of the community have consciously decided that they want to keep their family away from the trauma that they face in going about their tough jobs every single day.

"I have been working in the skinning profession since I was fifteen. I will not subject my children to this drudgery. Our business has never been recognised or regularised. So, I want my children to take up professional job," says Navinbhai. Dharmishtha, his daughter has appeared for twelfth grade examinations and secured 82 per cent. "I want to pursue nursing as a profession in future and touch people's lives," she confidently says.

Kalabhai has been dealing in the skinning business since the past fifty years. He says, "My grandson Aman studies in an English medium school. I will make him an engineer when he grows up. He will not enter the dirty business of skinning."

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Nike Exiting Golf Club Business, to Focus on Footwear, Apparel

Nike, the most valuable sports brand in the world, is stepping out of the golf equipment business.

A company press release indicated that Nike “will transition out of equipment—including clubs, balls and bags” to focus on footwear and apparel.

“We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” said Trevor Edwards, president of Nike Brand in a company press release. Sources said layoffs were announced this afternoon. Several calls to Nike officials this afternoon were not returned, and the status of Nike's club design headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, called The Oven, was unknown.

Nike, which reported flat to down annual sales in its overall golf business the last two years at just north of $700 million in annual sales (which includes shoes and apparel), has been in the golf business since 1984, but only introduced its first clubs in 2002 with the Pro Combo set of irons. Its sales in 2013 and 2014 were nearly $800 million.

Today's announcement comes just a few days after the company's 2016 line of clubs was extraordinarily reduced in price. That included $400 Vapor Fly drivers reduced to $150 and $250 Vapor Fly fairway woods to $100.
The company has struggled to become a leading player in the equipment business, with market shares in woods and irons that were routinely one-tenth those of leaders Callaway and TaylorMade.

The company was known for non-traditional equipment designs over the years, including the cavity back Slingshot irons, square drivers named Sumo that reached the USGA’s limit for moment of inertia and golf balls called Mojo that were marketed in a psychedelic box. The company had groundbreaking equipment technologies, including sole channels and cavities in its metalwoods, shorter-shafted but larger headed hybrids that were like mini-fairway woods and golf balls that utilized a lightweight, ultra-resilient polymer resin material in their cores called RZN while the majority of the industry’s golf balls feature cores made exclusively of polybutadiene rubber.

Said one current Nike staff player, "I really love their equipment, but I'll tell you this: In all the pro-ams I've played, I've never once seen one of my partners using a Nike club."

There is no indication what will happen to Nike’s present tour staff, which in addition to Tiger Woods includes world No. 4 Rory McIlroy and 14 new players signed this year. That roster includes big hitting burgeoning stars Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau.

Playing this week at the Travelers Championship, Finau was one of several Nike players who got the news late Wednesday afternoon.

“I just heard in the last hour so it’s still a little bit of a shock, to say the least,” said Finau, who signed with Nike in January. “I love the equipment I’m playing now, and it’s a real process to get through to make a change like that. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to mean for contracts, but it’s pretty likely that this time next year I won’t be playing Nike clubs.”

But Finau said he understands the way the industry works. “I totally understand it from their perspective,” he said. “They’re killing it in apparel. They’re killing it in footwear. It’s just business.”

In the meantime, Finau isn’t planning on making any equipment changes for the immediate future, and likely nothing until the start of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season or even later. He’s got the FedEx Cup race and he even still plans to make a late run at earning a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team, starting this week.

“I just have to put all this in my rearview mirror,” he said. “I can’t worry too much about it. Just go play. I’ll definitely be playing Nike this week.”

Still, the company’s announcement today indicated that it planned to expand its roster, reading in part that “it will accelerate innovation in its golf footwear and apparel business and will partner with more of the world’s best golfers.”

It’s just that in the future it seems none of them will be using Nike golf clubs and balls.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Jaitley to inaugurate India International Footwear Fair

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will inaugurate the India International Footwear Fair (IIFF) here on August 5.

As many as 263 companies from India and abroad are participating in the fair this year. The organisers expect business of around Rs 2,000 crore to be generated from the three-day event.
  Last year the quantum of business generated from the fair was Rs 1,200 crore. However, we expect business to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore to be generated this year," Senior Vice President of the Confederation of Indian Footwear Industry (CIFI) said at a press conference here.

India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) CMD L C Goyal said he expects nearly 10,000 people to visit the IIFF 2016, much higher than the 6,000 visitors who attended last year.

"India's footwear industry has a huge potential for enhanced growth both in terms of domestic as well as exports. Events like this go a long way in realizing this potential," Goyal said.

Gupta said the footwear sales in India at present amount to Rs 35,000 crore, but may double in the next five years.

160 Indian companies and 103 overseas firms from Brazil, China, Iran and Taiwan are participating in the fair this year.

"The present demand in India is 2.3 billion pairs a year and it is estimated India will need 5 billion pairs of shoes in 2020. Apart from unveiling the export potential of India in footwear and leather industry, the event aims to project India as an ideal investment destination," ITPO said.

Besides, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Minister of Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan will inaugurate the Delhi Book Fair on August 27.

This year, the fair aims to highlight initiatives of the government under 'Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan' for higher education and computer literacy. Besides, the Theme Pavilion will comprise of the 'Selfie Stations' which focus on the national campaigns of the Government of India.

These include Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India, Skill India, Standup India, Smart Cities, StartUp India and Umang (Unified Mobile App for New-age Governance).


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Pepe Jeans to sell footwear, accessories in India from early next year

New Delhi: British denim wear brand Pepe Jeans London will start selling non-apparel products like footwear and accessories such as sunglasses from its international range in India from early next year. By the end of this year, Pepe Jeans will also start selling inner wear across top 20 stores of the company, Pepe Jeans India chief executive officer Kavindra Mishra said.

The company started expanding its product portfolio earlier this year with kidswear. At present, it sells kidswear in select stores in Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. “The Pepe Jeans Kids Wear sales, especially in large format stores, have even surpassed that of brands like United Colors of Benetton Kids and US Polo Kids,” he added.

For Pepe Jeans, India is one of the top two markets in value terms after it doubled its business in the past three years to Rs.730 crore (retail value). “Over the next three years, we aim to double our business,” said Mishra.

Pepe Jeans currently has 200 stores in India, and the brand adds this count by 10-15 stores each year. Its products are also sold across more than 700 multi-brand outlets and online marketplaces like Myntra and Jabong. Denim wear market in India is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15% to reach Rs.27,200 crore by 2018, according to a report by retail consulting firm Technopak Advisors. Other major companies in the denim wear market in India include Levi’s, Lee, Wrangler, Spykar, Numero Uno and Killer.

As part of its marketing initiative, Pepe Jeans has set up a custom studio in one of its flagship stores in the capital, where consumers can get their denims stamped with their choice of names or designs. The concept, which exists internationally and is being expanded throughout Europe, has been introduced in India for the first time. “We received a phenomenal response. We now plan to have a few more such studios in some of our flagship stores,” said Mishra.

The company sold 3.7 million pieces of apparels in India last year, most of which were imported from countries like China and Taiwan. “This year, we’ll sell around 4.5 million pieces,” said Mishra.

Pepe Jeans is also working on developing India as a sourcing hub. “We started sourcing from India at the end of last year. At present, Pepe Jeans sources products such as women’s topwear, woven and knitswear. Gradually, this will increase,” he added. Last year, it sourced just about 1 million pieces from India.

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