Reebok has lost the will to compete

At last, Reebok has waved the white flag and surrendered. Call it honesty or stupidity, it has finally succumbed to the “dirty” word in sportswear, “fashion”. After suffering against the likes of Nike and Adidas, it has had to rely too much on the “classic” shoe and ambiguous “leisure” apparel. This strategic positioning, of a once revered and respected sports brand, is a route it simply had no choice but to take.

This has relegated Reebok to the lower divisions of sportswear, to be compared with the likes of Ellesse and other followers of “fickle” fashion. Reebok has consistently failed to provide – and sell – credible technical, performance products.

Reebok has turned its back on the traditional sporting-goods retailer. But the multiple sports fashion outlet takes very little other than classic offering, which is being constantly eroded by other classic offerings from major sports brands.

Nike and Adidas work because they sell a product offering that is well made and backed by the credibility of sport and aspiration. Even the casual sports person has to aspire to something. Being fashionable is not about following fashion.

Tim Henshaw


London W6

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