Adidas Has A Clever Plan For Staying Relevant: Withholding Its Biggest Hits

by MR Magazine Staff

In 2011, Adidas made a bold decision: to stop releasing one of its classic sneakers, the Stan Smith. The plan was to clean out the marketplace. Lack of supply would create pent-up consumer demand, which Adidas meant to stoke slowly with hard-to-get releases before officially reintroducing the shoes. It did that in 2014, and just as expected, the Stan Smith blew up. “We knew three and a half years before we did step one what would happen,” Adidas marketing VP Jon Wexler told the Guardian in 2015. The Stan Smith and another retro sneaker, the Superstar, have been major forces in Adidas’s stunning revival over the past few years. The brand continues to grow, including in the important North American market, where sales rose 16% (pdf) in the second quarter. Yet for the past 18 months, Adidas has been pulling back distribution of the two sneakers, CEO Kasper Rorsted told investors during an earnings call Thursday (Aug. 9). Read more at Quartz.