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Marketplace Morning Report

Foot Locker’s plan to avoid the fate of American malls

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Jul 31, 2019
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A pair of Nike Huarache sneakers.
Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

If you’ve visited a shopping mall in this country, surely you’ve seen a Foot Locker. It was an icon of sneaker sales for years, with thousands of stores nationwide. But then sneakers became more than just something to wear to the gym.

They’ve evolved into “a marker of identity, status and a form of self-expression to young people,” according to Elizabeth Segran, senior staff writer for Fast Company, who recently wrote about Foot Locker. The young people she’s talking about, often called “sneaker heads,” collect rare and vintage sneakers, fueling an underground sneaker market.

Foot Locker has a new plan to attract that customer and insulate itself from the decline of the American mall in general. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Segran about her reporting on the company’s latest strategy.

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

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