Nike releases its $270 shoe
The LeBron X, first wrongly reported to sell for more than $300, will still be among the most expensive ever.
At $270, Nike's (NKE) LeBron X isn't the most expensive sneaker ever made, but it's pretty close.
The LeBron X, which goes on sale Sept 22, is what The Wall Street Journal describes as a "technology-embedded shoe."
Whether this "technology" will enable users to play with one-tenth the skills of future Hall-of-Famer LeBron James remains to be seen, though it's highly unlikely. But the company is betting that plenty of consumers are willing to give it a shot. There is good reason to suspect the sneaker maker is right.
Consumer confidence rose in September to its highest level in four months. Retail sales rose in August as people bought more cars and trucks, indicating that people are spending very selectively. Expensive sneakers, including the LeBron X, will make the cut.
Investors shouldn't underestimate the power of the Nike brand. In fact, that worries some people. When the Journal first reported that the LeBron X would cost more than $300, the National Urban League expressed concerns that there would be a repeat of "the violence and mayhem that have marred releases of some hyped Nike shoes." Nike didn't respond to the criticism but said the initial Journal story about the sneaker's price was wrong.
Shares of Nike have barely budged this year as the company has struggled to overcome a rise in raw materials and marketing costs. Nike has been raising prices on its sneakers and apparel to overcome those increases, which is why the time is right to release the LeBron X.
The LeBron X won't appeal to people who couldn't in their wildest dreams conceive of spending three figures on a sneaker. Nonetheless, the shoe is sure to be a huge seller. People who otherwise might not be able to afford the LeBron X will save for it, borrow money or go into debt for it.
People who still can't afford the sneaker shouldn't fret too much, because Nike has you covered. A LeBron X without "sensors" will sell for $180. Some of the LeBron 9 models are on sale for $119.97 and $199.97 depending on the model. Nike, of course, sells much cheaper models, but those won't have the wow factor of the LeBron X.
Jonathan Berr has never spent more than $50 on a pair of sneakers. He does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter@jdberr.
Just a prime example of why I won't buy and Nike products. They market some of the most expensive shoes and have some of the lowest paid workers in the industry.
Now I'll date myself remember when you choices were PF Flyers, Kids or Converse All-Stars:).
Now don't think just because I'm that old I'm not an active person I'm doing my next marathon in 8 days.
People on welfare can't afford them...they're trying to feed their families. You must be confused! I noticed only drug dealers, gang members and hoodlums and, yes, people who can afford to buy them.
The ugliest, most over-priced item Nike could market. Hmmmm! Somewhat like Lebron James
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha I can't wait to see some idiot wear these.This kills me A sensor in them!!! Sensing what??? These shoes will see more drug deals on street corners in government housing areas than basketball courts. I bet Nike doesn't even have $20 in each pair.
People can do what they want with their own money but I'm afraid that John Q. Taxpayer will be paying Nike for most of these shoes so the welfare mama's can buy them as a "Love Offering" to their baby daddys and false status symbol for their sons. Yep this is where a small hunk of our tax money will go.
If only more NBA stars saw the impact instead of the dollar signs.
Hey LeBron, show some class for once. Pull your name out of this deal and show your fans that your name means something more than selling your soul for a buck.
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