Brands can use this time to readjust and redesign
The present issue worldwide has really thrown everything into a loop. The boot market is struggling and there are massive sales left and right at almost every retailer and even the big brands are pushing releases back. Given that most boots are developed on a two-year cycle, we will probably feel reverberations for the next couple of years. Many boots that normally would release towards the end of this year are supposed to be in production right now, so there’s a good chance those will get pushed back as well. But it does not need to be all doom and gloom. This enforced break can give brands a chance to re-look at their plans and decide to re-evaluate them.
Demand will most likely be down in the coming months and there is currently a glut of boots in the market since companies cannot clear out their inventory as easily as they would normally expect for this time of year. There is now a great opportunity to push back, or even better cancel, upcoming colourways and allow the market to slowly reach an equilibrium. One can hope that brands will look at the amount of colourways in line to be released and realise there is too much coming.
If the leaks are to be believed, we will be seeing some big launches from the Big 3 brands soon and most likely from some of the other brands as well. These cannot be pushed back as they have almost certainly been mostly made already and are possibly waiting in warehouses to be shipped out. At the same time, brands can allow for the new boots to have a longer lifecycle than normal since their replacements are still probably in gestation. With this being the case, brands have the opportunity to rethink what adjustments and changes can be made to models releasing towards December and early 2021.
Even as far as 2022 there should be some changes, the biggest of which should be to let boots return to two year cycles. If brands decide to do this, that means that the releases will be almost perfectly lined up for new products to be released right before the next World Cup. I understand that there will be a great temptation for brands to possibly push up releases to line up with the rescheduled Euros and Olympics, but this should be resisted. Not could this save the brands a lot of money at a time when they are supposedly “struggling” but it again allows for the market to breathe a bit.
Lastly, brands have a tendency to release tech that doesn’t seem to be fully refined. We only have to look at home many changes Puma made to the Netfit system over a matter of months to see this. Similar to my previous article about “running changes”, brands could double check their quality control (ha probably not) or go ahead and make refinements that were planned on upcoming product. Many of the designers for the brands seem to be constantly trying to tinker with their designs until the final moments anyways. Hopefully, this will give brands and their designers some space and time to constructive.
What are some things you think brands should do to adjust for upcoming releases? Please share this with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!