With the plethora of releases and collaborations, Nike dubbed 2017 as the year of their iconic Cortez silhouette. But despite the heavy Cortez push, sales of the retro sneaker didn’t match the hype Nike tried to create with the different colorways and marketing campaigns. In fact, sales of adidas retros like the Stan Smith and Superstar, were much higher than Cortez sales.
Matt Powell, a sneaker analyst at NPD Group Inc., said Cortez sales this year have been “very minor,” even with the maedia blitz. “No retailer is talking to me about this shoe,” he said. Adding insult to injury is the cost of all this “demand creation,” eating up 10 percent of revenue. Hadid, Lamar and those excellent photographers don’t come cheap.
Nike, for its part, posted a further 3 percent drop in North American sales in September and said it would stop reporting future orders. A little more than a year after his initial announcement, chief executive Parker is no longer talking about the Cortez. He didn’t mention it during the company’s annual conclave with Wall Street analysts in October, though he called out several other models. In fact, the company only referenced “classic” styles twice that day, while it trumpeted “innovation” 96 times.
Obviously this isn’t a great look for Nike, especially since adidas recently jumped over Brand Jordan as the number two sneaker company in the United States.