Thursday, October 19, 2006

Nike Reax is NOT a Low Profile Shoe

From hanging out on political sites like DailyKos, I'm thoroughly familiar with complaints from bloggers who get really annoyed by shoddy reporting. As bad as the media can be when it comes to reporting on politicians, sometimes I think Wall Street reporters are worse.

Part of the problem is that they take the word of analysts as gospel. Apparently, if the employee of a Wall Street firm says it, then it doesn't need to be fact checked. Which is just crazy cause analysts say all sorts of wrong shit. Just now I was watching an online finance video on which an analyst stated with a straight face that Nike's near term sales will feel the pressure of a recovering Reebok brand. Pick up the phone and talk to any footwear buyer in the country and you will quickly find out how wrong that statement is.

This morning I came across a prime example of poor reporting in the form of an article entitled "Nike Continues to Dominate Athletic Shoe Sector As Low-Profile Shoe Trend Emerges." The reporter references two recent reports on Nike written by analysts, and the whole thing is riddled with innacuracies.

Perhaps you can call this a quibble, especially since there's a chance that the reporter didn't write the headline, but first off, low-profile athletic is NOT an emerging trend. A couple day ago in fact, I was chatting with a department store buyer who was arguing that the trend was starting to fade in importance!

That bitch aside, here's the paragraph that really pissed me off:

Nike Reax points to a new trend toward lower-profile, lower-cost shoes, that may be contributing to weaker performance at footwear retailers such as The Finish Line Inc. and Foot Locker Inc.

The Reax is NOT a low profile shoe. It's a takedown of Nike Shox and on top of that, Nike doesn't distribute it to either Finish Line OR Foot Locker. Consumers can only buy the style at family footwear chains like Famous Footwear.

Here's a picture of the shoe so you can see for yourself:

^^Nike Reax: not a low profile shoe

This paragraph wasn't so hot either:

The Finish Line in September reported second-quarter sales that declined 1 percent in the third quarter, below expectations.

Yes, The Finish Line's sales were down, but it actually beat earnings expectations. But don't take my word for it, here's a quote from an article published shortly after Finish Line reported its results:

The company earned $9.9 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with $18.9 million, or 38 cents per share, during the same period last year. The results edged out Wall Street expectations, with analysts polled by Thomson Financial expecting earnings of 20 cents per share.

I have no doubt that Wall Street reporters are likely crushed by deadlines, not to mention the need to write about a wide variety of industries, but come on, this is people's money and there is really no excuse for this level of innacuracy when all the facts are not just out there, but easily accessible.


Anonymous said...

My family has in fact purchased four pairs of the Nike Reax. This in an outstanding shoe in quality, performance as well as cost. I think the complaining by the artcle referenced is just too bad. As a consumer of Nike products for about 25 years I have found that the quality and performance in a $110 shoe does not always match the quality and economical benifit recieved from a $50-75 shoe. When you buy a shoe over $100 you are paying significantly for the cost of advertising the newest shoe on the market.

Lois said...

Good point and I pretty much agree 100 percent with you though I think some of those 100-plus shoes initially do cost the company more because of new molds/techonology, but as time goes on, the cost of the shoe comes down and then yes, you are largely paying for the advertising and marketing. (And as I'm sure you realize, a lot of that marketing is about making people believe that it matters that they're the first to have that newest, freshest style on their feet.)

The Reax and it's a great-looking shoe, which clearly has benefited from having great genetics, i.e. it's a descendent of the Shox family.

I have to give Nike credit for not only getting an incredible amount of mileage out of that particular form of visible technology, but also maintaining its integrity in its distribution. As I think I mentioned in my post, Shox were never distributed to family or discount dept. stores while Reax has been targeted specifically to those channels. So each channel of distribution got its own special thing and nobody ended up pissed off.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed, reporters do not write the headlines for their articles. Editors do.

wel said...

Nice post; it may have influenced my future purchases.