Retailers Who Didn't Listen - A Cautionary Tale for Consumers

If you're in the footwear industry Christopher D. Burns, MFA is a great follow on LinkedIn.  See this great write up.

You need to read this to clearly understand all else you are about to read.

Instead of JUST stats you get real insight & honestly a perspective from the culture.

So what can I add to his article?  Plenty.

It's not just foresight that many of us have discussed here on LinkedIn & other forums, but it's a cautionary tale to many.

Buyers who ask vendors what they should buy & often have no idea what they should be buying or just buys for the sake knowing the brand.

To CEO's of these companies no longer with a Nike account.

Instead of listening to independents who shopped their wares at your door, you said things like:

"We'd have to take down Nike, Adi or UA to put your stuff up."

UA really? 




"We think your stuff is great but you aren't a known commodity and we can't risk that."

Or... they'd just say "no"

We as the small guy appreciate that without all the BS attached. Especially if you are willing to tell us what we can do to improve our approach or what they'd like to see if they considered us in the future.

I tell other independents about the process. F' em.  Stop trying to get them to sell you and sell yourself.

If YOU have faith in your product they will come. Maybe not in the numbers you are hoping for, but if you keep expectations realistic, you don't need Nike or Adi's Pie.

....and this is from 2019 courtesy of IvyPanda




Company Market share (%)
Nike 42%
Adidas 27
Puma 6
Reebok 12
New Balance 5
Asics 1
K-Swiss 2
Saucony 1
Vans 1
Sketchers 3


1/10th of that pie can help you build & build some more.

Under Armour is now a Billion dollar company and do you see their name up above? If they are SUPPOSED to be up there, this tells you how forgettable they are in the bigger scheme of things.
(sorry friends over at UA...its not you. it's them)

The unfortunate losers won't be the retailers ownership. They are going to be ok.

It's all those losing jobs who will be without jobs.

Why you ask?  See... you weren't listening.

No one listened when they announced they were going to focus on DTC. (Direct to Consumer)

No one listened when they said they were cutting down the amount of retailers they were allowing accounts crippling Mom and Pop stores who helped them also become who they are today.

They STILL didn't listen when they got a new CEO who said they were cutting more jobs at the Swoosh in cost cutting measures.

Cost cutting measures for a multi billion dollar footwear company. 
Read that line as many times as you need to.

What's crazy... with all the civil unrest going on, folks still didn't want to listen when their own employees told you there was overt and covert racism going on within the great doors of Beaverton, OR and the assumption was - Black folks will still keep buying Nike. 

So when you realize they are cutting more accounts of BIGGER chains, who failed to pivot or adjust... let alone PREPARE for what's coming, all you can do is shake your head in disgust and feel bad for all those who are about to lose jobs not caused by the pandemic directly.  No matter what ANYONE else tells you.

Who else is to blame?  The same folks who they assume will always keep coming back.  The consumer.

You keep buying, and they will keep doing more of the same.

Now many can take this as another Brand being upset.  They'd be correct. 

I have friends all over the industry.  Am I not allowed to be upset about how they are treated?  I can't blame the guys in Beaverton however if those folks stick around to be treated to more of the same.

I'll pull the curtain back a little.  

Sometimes we are conditioned to accept things without realizing it.  If it doesn't directly affect us, we really don't care.  I mean this collectively as a people.  Not individually.

We say we must support the little man...and many do.  

Yet in droves no matter what you hear, and see for yourself how they treat your own and think of you - you blindly continue to support and hold them up in the most clearest of lights as the end all be all.

Well I say this.  

Not even I will lay all the blame at the feet of those doing the damage to stay at the top, nor will I victim blame the everyday working people.

But at some point you can't keep blaming the Swoosh if you let them do it to you.


Rocky Parrish is the Founder and CEO of ROCKDEEP.  Sometimes I write for me as therapy and other times I write to share insight and educate those willing to read.  No matter how short or long the blog entry.

I promise it won't be boring.

If you want to see more ROCKDEEP Blogs click here

For more great blogs from the CEO of ROCKDEEP just keep coming back here.  If you expect the greatest of journalism this is NOT the place for you.

To find other pieces done on our company.

Black Owned Company Provides PPE to the Masses - Rocky Parrish
Omega - Amanda Socci
ROCKDEEP Makes Health Care Available

ROCKDEEP Live Interview - Mark Gray



1 comments to

    Earl Hawkins / Reply

    Very good insight. Thanks for the information. Knowledge is Power! Blessings 🙏🏾

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