News popped up last week that Jordan has discontinued production of a signature Carmelo Anthony shoe, a partnership that will end with the Melo M13 model. While Anthony has denied the rumors, not only are they probably true, sources are telling us that a lot more adjustments to Jordan distribution are beginning to take shape.
Multiple industry sources have told us the brand recently reached out to accounts and let them know the brand would be cutting already planned spring 2018 orders in some cases by double digits. For back-to-school deliveries, Jordan permanently will reduce allocations for all but its top accounts and also cut some doors altogether.
Jordan parent company Nike has gone on boutique “killing sprees” in the past and received vociferous push back from various independent sneakers stores when it pulled its account from their stores altogether, effectively driving them out of business.
The reduction is an effort by Jordan to right size the brand’s now out of kilter supply/demand ration, which has been driving higher discounting.
In its September earnings call, Nike president Trevor Edwards foreshadowed the pull back, stating, “In North America, we’re certainly going to continue to manage the cadence of launches while bringing some fresher stories into the marketplace. And this is where we’re going to really be managing the balance between scarcity and scale at the same time. So we’re taking all the right steps to make sure that Jordan remains a special and coveted brand.”
The brand’s travails as of late have been widely documented with many of the Retro launches that once flew off shelves now sitting long past the Saturday release date. Depending on the shoe, some Retro models have to be discounted to move and in some cases, pairs have shown up in off-price retailers like Marshall’s and Ross Stores.
Commenting on whether the changes to allocation will impact demand, a Jordan account retailer said, “Certainly it will make a difference. For the reseller, quantities matter more than anything and right now there’s no action in the game because he can’t make any money. If scarcity bubbles back up, resellers will jump back on it.”
The same buyer noted that part of the issue is the customer has grown bored with what feels like a non-stop avalanche of sneaker releases, a trend that has fueled a greater interest in clothing, accessories and luxury brands.