|Posted by K.D Lean Inc. on February 18, 2016 at 11:55 PM|
Pop star Rihanna is helping Puma turn sneakers into gold.
The German sportswear maker saw a 40 percent increase in US sales of its women’s shoes last year, one analyst said — a gain largely attributed to the September debut of the singer’s Creeper line of shoes.
The line sold out in hours, Puma said.
The company followed up the hot-selling line with the November roll-out of Rihanna’s Eskiva line.
Rihanna in one of her creationsPhoto: Reuters
Overall, US sales of women’s athletic shoes grew 8 percent last year, meaning Puma left rivals Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Under Armour in the dust, the analyst said.
It also underscores the success of Puma’s plan to focus on women to take market share away from its larger rivals.
Rihanna has become a Puma brand ambassador and creative director.
“We believe that the future is female,” the company said when announcing its fourth quarter results on Thursday.
Not that the other brands have been ignoring females; all have been marketing to women for decades.
Adidas just hired the former chief executive of Lululemon Athletica, Christine Dey, as a strategic adviser.
“But Puma has been much more successful in a very short time than many of their competitors,” analyst Matt Powell of NPD Group pointed out.
Rihanna is the most marketable celebrity endorser in the pop culture universe, outshining the wattage produced by Beyoncé, J. Lo and Khloe Kardashian, according to NPD.
Puma doesn’t seem to be altering its focus.
It just clinched a deal with Kylie Jenner to be its brand ambassador for its spring and summer women’s campaign.
In fact, the Jenner announcement created a bit of a feud in the famous family.
Jenner’s brother-in-law, Kanye West, has a deal with Adidas and promised the world in a tweet that Jenner would stick with the “family brand.”
The popularity of the Rihanna lines and the overall growth of athleisure apparel may signal an “anti-heel movement” according to Wendy Liebmann, chief executive of WSL Strategic Retail. “There were a lot of flats on the runway this year.”