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Back to the Future: Adidas’ Retro Sneakers Take Off

  • Retro-style Adidas Samba and Gazelle sneakers continue as top sellers, fueling Reebok’s growth, while Adidas records a profit surge in Q1 2024 amidst increasing demand.
  • Despite challenges like North American revenue decline, Adidas remains optimistic for 2024, leveraging major sporting events and CEO’s commitment to product and brand investments.

Adidas Samba and Gazelle sneakers may seem timeless, yet they remain some of the hottest sellers today.

German sportswear company Reebok reported that sales of its retro-style shoes are “very strong and growing”, contributing to first quarter growth at their struggling company after parting ways with rapper Ye.

Adidas recorded an estimated net profit of about $182 million through the first three months of 2024 due to increasing demand for its running, basketball and soccer shoes – marking an abrupt turnaround from last year when they reported a $26 million loss during this same timeframe.

Samba sneakers date back to the 1950s when worn by German soccer team playing on snowy fields, looking for durable footwear to protect their feet on slippery and icy patches. Though their original designs have since been updated and modernized, its distinctive three-zone profile remains. Over time it has even become an emblematic trademark symbol for Adidas!

The iconic Gazelle sneakers, known by their three stripes and first designed as indoor athletic footwear in the 60s, became one of the world’s most beloved shoes over time.

Adidas sales in Europe climbed 14% year over year while China and Latin America saw strong demand for their products as well. North America however was an unfortunate exception where revenue actually decreased 4% as retailers overstocked inventory at retailers.

“The markets are still volatile and not easy, but we feel we are making progress everywhere,” said Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden. “We will continue to ‘over invest’ into the product, into the brand, into sales and marketing to ensure continued growth.”Adidas remains upbeat about 2024, particularly given that major sporting events including Euro 2024 and Copa America soccer tournaments as well as the Olympic Games are on their calendars.

Nike recently won the rights to provide official kit to German national soccer teams from 2027-2034, marking an abrupt change after over seven decades with Adidas that saw four World Cup victories for men’s team alone.

Adidas experienced its first annual loss ever last year as it experienced the impact of their costly break-up with rapper Ye, sales declines in North America and an unexpected tax bill of $860 Million.

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