CONSULTING x INSIGHTS
CONSULTING x INSIGHTS
With sixteen years of experience in the athletic footwear business, I have extensive knowledge and insight that can be of value to your group. More than just a "sneakerhead" who enjoys the history of shoes, I have become a student of the industry and focus my attention on three main areas of the business.
Most information that is presented deals with retail behavior and sales data of products that have already hit stores. I can provide you with valuable insight into consumer trends months before the products ship to stores.
The investment world is largely swayed by headlines that often don't tell the full story or leave out the context of reality. What might make for great "news" and "views" doesn't always deliver the truth. I can help you filter through the noise.
Product and marketing trends are essential for brands and retailers, but there are even greater opportunities through technology and engineering. Changes to manufacturing, distribution, and retail models are all areas of opportunity.
Over the years, I have done numerous interviews with well established media publications including print, web, and video interviews.
By making certain shoes available only through Nike channels or big chains such as Foot Locker, the company is diminishing the mom-and-pop shops that have served as community stewards of cool.
“They’re putting their foot on the gas in terms of releases,” said Matt Halfhill, founder of sneaker-news site Nice Kicks, which chronicles new releases across major shoe brands. Mr. Halfhill, who said he has been involved in sneaker culture since the 1990s, believes the push toward direct sales actually hurts Nike’s connection with consumers.
“It’s a great way to sell commoditized shoes, but most boutiques even discourage you from buying on the phone. They only sell shoes in stores to customers, where you see everyone in line waiting for shoes talking to each other,” he said.
Matt Halfhill, an Irvine resident who founded the Nice Kicks shoe blog, tracked the inventory source code last week before ordering a pair of ZO2 Primes — size 11 — minutes after their release. A co-worker dared Halfhill to purchase the shoes.
Halfhill discovered the default inventory for each size of shoe set at ‘1’ with one deducted after each order. Because they’re preorders, the totals in the code are reflected as negative numbers.
Through the source code, Halfhill charted 263 pairs of shoes sold in the first day.
“This is a great study in how social media impressions and lots of press doesn’t equal dollars in the real world,” he said.
Nice Kicks, a website covering shoe news, released a small story about Walzer’s letter on the morning of August 7. It received some attention. Later however, on August 8 Matt Halfhill, Nice Kicks’ Founder and CEO posted a follow up video on YouTube.
Seeing that #nikeletter was already trending, Halfhill wanted to take things a step further and prodded his network into action. “RT, like, and share this video and we will send a postcard to Nike addressed to the CEO to read Matthew Walzer's letter signed with your name,” Halfhill wrote.
The response was enormous. Halfhill’s social campaign to get Nike’s attention worked. It worked so well that Halfhill delivered a truckload of #nikeletter postcards directly to Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
When Walzer woke up and read what Halfhill had done, he was overwhelmed: “I was shocked. I was shaking. I couldn’t think of anything more perfect.”
What started as a high school job quickly became a career.
I started working at a mall retailer at the age of 16 selling athletic shoes in Canada's premier footwear chain. Less than a year later, I was selling clearance products and company closeouts online. One week before my high school graduation, I gave my mom $8 so that I could use her credit card to buy the NiceKicks.com domain name and before I crossed the stage, my next journey began.
Over the past sixteen years, now half of my life, I have had the great pleasure to work in almost every facet of the footwear business working on everything from development and distribution, to retail sales and store ownership, to generating compelling and engaging stories for brands in the sneaker media space.
It never was the plan to take a passion and make it into my profession, but I've enjoyed every step of the journey.