“Will Yeezy find it easy to operate stores?” by Matthew Stern via Retail Wire

“Will Yeezy find it easy to operate stores?” by Matthew Stern via Retail Wire

Sneakerheads and streetwear enthusiasts may soon have a new brick-and-mortar store to visit. YZYSPLY, the sneaker and apparel company of sometimes-controversial rapper, producer and fashion entrepreneur Kanye West, has filed a trademark hinting that a physical storefront for the brand could be on the way. The trademark provides the foundation to let the brand expand from “online ordering services” and “online retail ordering services” to brick-and-mortar “retail stores” and “retail store services,” according to Hypebeast. In addition to sneakers, the filing mentions the availability of clothing and accessories, such as lingerie, t-shirts and hats. Mr. West’s branded Yeezy shoes and clothing are produced via partnerships with Adidas AG and Gap Inc., and in 2021 the brand was worth between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion, according to Bloomberg. His exclusive, collector-oriented sneaker line is known in particular for its limited-release drops. The sneakers are so sought after that purchasing most releases requires winning a raffle, according to Sneaker News. Physical sneaker retail has undergone a big shakeup over the past few years, as top brand Nike began withdrawing from some of its biggest wholesale relationships and significantly throttling back what is available through others. Nike has stated that its move away from wholesale is intended to pare down its “undifferentiated” retail partners as it simultaneously focuses on selling via its direct-to-consumer channels. The brand has long had a footprint of standalone Nike stores through which it sells its products. It also orchestrates drops and other exclusive selling events through its popular Nike SNKRS app. Nike’s change in plans earlier this year left Foot Locker, a major sneakerhead destination and Nike co-opetitor, looking for other partnerships to...
“Judge bars Walmart from selling shoes Vans alleges are knockoffs” by Ben Unglesbee via Retail Dive

“Judge bars Walmart from selling shoes Vans alleges are knockoffs” by Ben Unglesbee via Retail Dive

Courtesy of https://corporate.walmart.com/photos/walmart-store-exterior-at-night Dive Brief: A federal judge issued a temporary injunction barring Walmart from selling shoes at the center of a lawsuit filed by Vans last fall.Vans, in its original complaint, alleged that Walmart “embarked on an escalating campaign to knock off virtually all of Vans’ bestselling shoes” with Walmart’s own private label lines.Walmart called Vans’ claims “weak” in a filing this year. In banning Walmart from selling the contested shoes, the judge in the case wrote that the similarities to Vans’ stripe mark were “unmistakable.” Dive Insight: At issue in the lawsuit suit filed by Vans in November are what the skate shoe brand calls more than 20 “blatant knockoff versions of Vans shoes” that Walmart sold through its own private labels, including its Time and Tru, Wonder Nation and No Boundaries brands.  The shoe company argued that the marks Walmart used created confusion among its customers and that the retailer has “flooded the market with cheap, low-quality, and confusingly similar shoes that harm Vans’ goodwill and reputation.” In its lawsuit, the company is seeking to permanently ban Walmart from selling the shoes as well as monetary damages.  (2021). Retrieved from Vans legal filing.  Walmart, for its part, argued earlier this year that “Vans is not losing sales and its reputation is not being diminished” and that the brand, owned by VF Corp, “is not suffering any irreparable harm.” The company also said, before receiving one, that a preliminary injunction would cost it sales as well as the logistical costs of removing and disposing of shoes, which Walmart estimated to be at least $1.4 million.  More broadly, Walmart argued that many of the elements the...