Overheard on Wall Street: Athleisure, Nike India, Brand Jordan

As a part of its effort to fuel “a lifestyle of sport and fitness in the country,” Nike said it has opened its largest store in India, located on Brigade Road in Bengaluru.

Opened on July 6, in partnership with India-based lifestyle-and-distribution firm SSIPL, the 7,355-sq.-ft. store is spread across three levels and will place a particular emphasis on running, the company said in a release.

“At Nike, we truly believe in the power of sport and how it can change lives,” said Sanjay Gangopadhyay, managing director and general manager for Nike India Pvt. Ltd, in a release. “This new store represents a bold step towards providing consumers in India with the best products from across the globe, which will help them become better athletes. We are confident that this store will cater to the sporting needs of every athlete in this city.”

Casual Athletic Keeps Surging

Athleisure and other casual-athletic products continue to dominate the footwear space, driving overall sales in June, as evidenced in recent data referenced by Sterne Agee CRT analyst Sam Poser and Citi Research analyst Kate McShane in their reports this week.

For the month of June, the casual-athletic footwear category saw double-digit growth, increasing 27.5 percent, McShane and Poser pointed out. Poser also highlighted data from the national accounts channel (athletic specialty and sporting goods and the Internet) that showed a 24 percent increase in the category, as well as the volume channel, which saw a 35 percent jump.

The largest driver was the new Air Jordan Eclipse with a price of $110, Poser wrote.

Running footwear also saw gains — up 3.8 percent year-on-year — but growth at Nike and Under Armour Inc. was partially offset by declines at Adidas, Asics, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance and Saucony, McShane wrote.

Poser added that while there was a 13.5 percent increase in sales in running in the national accounts channel, average selling price (ASPs) slid 10 percent in the category.

Poser blamed that decline on 30 percent growth in the kid’s business — which carries lower price points — inventory liquidation at Finish Line and continued strength at Nike’s Roshe and Flex, which also carry below-average price points.

Jordan Boosts Basketball

“The basketball business is all about Jordan,” says Poser.

During June, the analyst noted, total basketball sales increased 6.8 percent, though ASPs were down 4.2 percent. The gains were driven by a 23 percent increase in Jordan sales, Poser said.

Jordan launches in the month of June included the Air Jordan 5 Space Jam on June 6 and the Air Jordan 13 Low Bred on June 13.

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