In a rapid rebound, Adidas has moved past Jordan Brand to reach No. 2 in U.S. sneaker sales. According to the market-research firm NPD Group, the German-based apparel company, which was struggling just a couple of years ago, has returned to being second behind industry goliath Nike.
Jordan Brand is a subsidiary of Nike.
“This is an achievement I never thought I would see in my lifetime,” NPD Group’s Matt Powell said on Twitter about Adidas. Powell told ESPN’s Darren Rovell, “I’ve never seen a brand in the sneaker industry grow this fast.”
In 2015, Adidas was completing a multiyear plunge and ceding its No. 2 positions in sportswear and footwear to Under Armour and Skechers, respectively. However, a high-profile collaboration with musician Kanye West and the introduction of popular lines such as Boost have Adidas’s sneaker sales surging.
“Adidas sport footwear sales grew more than half for the month and share grew by nearly half, to 13 percent,” Powell reported. Rovell said that for the first eight months of this year, Adidas had 11.3 percent of the U.S. market share by dollars, compared with a 6.6 share over a similar period in 2016.
Over the same eight-month period, per Rovell, Nike’s share of the sneaker market dropped from 39 to 37 percent. Meanwhile, Jordan Brand grew only slightly, from 9.4 to 9.5.
In 2016, for the first time in over a decade, Nike didn’t have the United States’ top-selling sneaker product, according to Powell. That honor went to Adidas’s retro-styled Superstar line. Meanwhile, consumers might be running out of the nostalgic affection that long has fueled Jordan Brand.
“Nike let the Jordan business get overheated, which slowed down the liquidations,” Powell told Benzinga, referring to a lack of scarcity for offerings with the “Jumpman” logo, which some think has decreased the brand’s cachet. “The sentiment on Twitter is that Jordan is not cool anymore, which is overblown. But there is no question that retro Jordans [are] not selling out immediately like they used to.”
“They are really customer-centric,” Powell said of Adidas. “They are making products that the kids want to buy.”