In a nod to the nations that have made its Nike Air Max a classic, Nike is rolling out a series of country-specific camo. The new shoe, first introduced back in 1987 and now made with its Hyperfuse technology, is featuring vintage camouflage patterns from the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. “The Nike Air Max running shoe was crafted for sport but was quickly adopted on Europe’s streets as a badge of self-expression,” the company says in its release. “The Camo Collection honors and evolves this heritage by updating the shoe with vintage camo.” (Shoeboxes are also made with the print.)
The collection begins rolling out next month.
Meanwhile, the NPD Group reports there are even bigger changes afoot in athletic shoes, and that online sales of sneakers soared 21% from May 2012 to April of this year, with sales reaching $5 billion, while brick-and-mortar sales fell 2% in the same period. (Online unit sales gained 17%.)
That means ecommerce purchases now account for some 18% of the $28 billion athletic footwear market.
The report finds some key differences between online and instore shoppers. Women made 54% of those e-purchases, for example, and NPD reports that some 37% of total online purchases will be worn for actual exercise (versus 30% of those bought in stores.)
Online sneaker seekers are also more motivated by style, brand, and price, with sale prices a major factor, although people pay more for online purchases. “Shoppers shop online for better deals but they are willing to trade up to higher-priced products,” writes Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry analyst, in its report. Some 53% of athletic footwear purchased online, at an average priced of $54.63, was on sale, compared with 47% in physical stores (with an average price of $42.16.)
“Sports sales have been growing faster online than other categories including apparel, fashion footwear, and fashion accessories,” he adds. “Online offers the ability to find the product you want at the best value but online also offers the widest assortment of athletic footwear where brick-and-mortar has limited space. Consumers are clearly looking for this bigger online assortment each year.”