Under Armour is trying to get out of a rut.
Sales have slowed, and shares are have lost 50% of their value in the past year.
The latest hope for salvation is the newest entrant in the Steph Curry series of basketball shoes: the Curry 4. Though it won’t go on sale until October of this year, the shoe debuted on the court during the NBA finals worn by its namesake athlete.
The shoes have generated significant buzz and favourable comparisons toward its predecessors, the Curry 3, which is generally considered uninspiring, and the Curry 2, which was relentlessly mocked on the internet.
We have a bit of a wait to see if the buzz pays off, but some analysts aren’t expecting much. Sam Poser of Susquehanna International Group called the shoe good, but “not good enough” to fix Under Armour’s woes.
Under Armour is desperately looking for a foothold into the lucrative fashion-oriented sportswear market, and is hoping the new Curry shoe gives it the cache of its biggest competitors, Nike and Adidas. CEO
Kevin Plank has admitted that Under Armour needs to include “more fashion,” and the consumer has been demanding more. They are hoping the Curry 4 can turn around their struggling shoe business.
Unfortunately, it may be too late for the Curry franchise. Basketball shoes are out of fashion, and even Jordans haven’t been moving off the shelves.
“It’s no secret in terms of sort of the fashion trends changing and the fact that over the past couple of years, we’ve seen skinny jeans and joggers and getting to a place where you don’t necessarily want to wear big, bulky basketball shoes,” said Josh Luber, the CEO of sneaker resale platform StockX, in a conference call with Jefferies Group.
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