There have been a lot of challenges lately on the playing field for the world’s leading athletic brands. The sporting goods industry, like others in the retail sector, hasn’t been robust. Nike kept growing, though, with strong sales overseas and powerful branding in performance sneakers. But lately, upstart competitor Under Armour has come on fast. And rival Adidas has had success with eye-catching colorful styles. Nike’s response? A 2 percent cut in its global workforce, announced Thursday, and a decision to winnow down its styles by 25 percent. Nike wants to focus on high-end experiential flagship stores around the world. And like Adidas, Nike is developing digital tools to customize shoes for consumers. Ultimately, Nike wants to sell a customized sneaker online.
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