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Athletic Footwear Delivered Unexpected Growth in 2018, But Future Remains Uncertain

When it’s deliver-or-die, supply chains become the lifeblood of a company. To that end, the fashion industry has embraced technology to navigate today’s hyper-complicated supply chain, with myriad solutions shaping the first, middle and last mile. Call it Sourcing 2.0.

A big fourth quarter has revived expectations for sales of athletic footwear in the United States. Athletic footwear, as a segment, grew by mid-single digits in 2018, according to NPD vice president and senior industry advisor Matt Powell, and much of that growth was obtained in the 53rd week of the 2018 retail calendar. That…

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