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Part 1: NIKE Empire Losing its Footing, Adidas already Reversing the Japanese Market

May 2, 2018.Tokyo, JP
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There’s all the talk now about Virgil Abloh, creative director and CEO of OFF-WHITE c / o VIRGIL ABLOH ™ appointed as the designer of Louis Vuitton Mens. Speaking of OFF-WHITE, it’s crazy popular amongst streetwear fans represents brand line ups like Supreme who once collaborated with Louis Vuitton Mens with its former designer, Kim Jones.

The assumption of Virgil Abloh's’ appointment as a luxury brand designer, is symbolic in the global street boom that is taking place in the long run. What is indispensable as a leader of this trend are sports brands such as NIKE, adidas, and UNDER ARMOUR that have dramatically advanced in the Japanese market in the past decade. The street boom that occurred in the 1990s centered on NIKE as they call it, ‘Nike Fever’, where street meets sports. NIKE, who became the lead in the first boom, had nearly became a 4 trillion YEN company, and is still at a steady momentum at an estimate of 3.5 trillion YEN.

However, the NIKE stronghold is currently facing danger. Adidas has caught up with NIKE and is proactively participating in designer collaborations beginning with Y-3, while pushing forward the image of ‘fashion forward adidas’ at a rapid pace. Total sales in the fiscal of 2017, NIKE is at 3.64 trillion YEN, while adidas is at 2.7 trillion YEN. Still at a difference of 1 trillion YEN, nonetheless the NIKE Japanese market which is worth approximately 107.5 billion YEN has been reversed by adidas to about 137.3 billion YEN.

Another major change is the breakthrough of middle-tiered brands. New Balance, who has become a 500 billion YEN brand in the global market, is the champion of the sneaker boom that has been continuing for the past five years.  In addition, due to the ‘running boom’, asics in 2017 became a brand with a worldwide net sales of 400 billion YEN. The changes in the sports market is apparent as more brands are showing their faces and what was once dominated by NIKE’s ‘Swoosh’ logo. Just to name a few, these 500 billion YEN brands such as PUMA, UNDER ARMOUR’s monogram logo, the NB logo of New Balance, and the spiral logo of asics are effectively transforming the market. In the future, they are likely to increase their sales at an alarming pace and will join its biggest competitors: NIKE and adidas.

*Conversion Rate: 1 EUR=130 YEN, 1 USD=106 YEN

Picture: Sales of 2017  (billion)