- Under Armour hosted its annual shareholders’ conference on Wednesday.
- The company’s executive team was questioned by the audience on topics related to its work on improving its reputation with younger consumers and women.
- “How are you actually trying to design and make things that your customers want?” one shareholder asked.
Under Armour‘s executive team was peppered with hard question from shareholders on Wednesday.
During the question-and-answer portion of the summit, multiple shareholders asked CEO Kevin Plank and his team what they were doing to combat the perception of Under Armour among younger consumers and women, as reported by the Baltimore Sun.
One shareholder said he’s seen firsthand how the brand is becoming less popular. He spoke from experience, saying his son had gone from wanting “half the [Under Armour] store” to not being able to find anything he wants from the brand.
“How are you actually trying to design and make things that your customers want?” the shareholder asked, according to the Sun.
Under Armour, which is undergoing a restructuring that was announced in February, said it is improving signage and displays for its merchandise in stores and is working on cutting the number of products it sells so that the desirable ones stand out better.
Another shareholder, Ilene Gold, criticised Under Armour’s assortment of women’s clothing.
“What I’m looking for is something that goes from work to go to yoga,” she said. “We look for styles, colour, a different cut. I am looking for that shirt that I can wear that’s different.”
“We don’t feel we’ve reached our true potential” with womenswear, Plank said. He added that the company is investing resources into making its upcoming offerings more stylish.
“She wants to look great,” Plank said. “She wants to look great whether she’s actually going to the gym or going to Starbucks or picking up the kids from school.”
Under Armour continues to be unpopular with teens
Under Armour had its worst performance yet in the lastest version of Piper Jaffray’s “Taking Stock of Teens” survey, which was released in April. Under Armour stayed steady as the 13th-most-cited brand in apparel when compared to last year.
But its mind share is falling among teens, with nearly every demographic breakdown registering a decline in the number who say Under Armour is their favourite apparel brand.
The slide is most prominent in footwear, where Under Armour is trying to make a strong statement. In this category, the brand fell from being the 14th favourite brand with teens a year ago to the 24th in the most recent survey.
The news from female consumers is even worse. It appeared for the first time on the list of brands female teens no longer wear, tied with Nike at No. 10. In fact, only one upper-income female in the survey of 6,000 teens voted for Under Armour as her favourite apparel brand.
Under Armour has been losing cachet among teens for a while now. In a 2017 survey of young male consumers by Wells Fargo, Under Armour shoes ranked near the bottom in terms of favorability.
The brand is pinning its hopes on launching new shoe platforms and collections. It has recently tried to reignite its shoe business with the release of its Hovr platform, which had a splashy launch and an initial performance that impressed analysts. It’s also released new collections for women, including a collaboration with ballet dancer Misty Copeland.
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