Monday, September 17, 2007

Talking shop

4:25 PM - 10 miles, 1:07:30 - Reebok International.
Roads to Blue Hills trails and back with Keith, then added on 2 miles with Ted once back on campus. Good run, legs seem to have bounced back well from yesterday's effort.

Great afternoon at Reebok world headquarters in Canton checking out new product, talking shop and going for a run with Keith Kelly, our store's sales rep and an all-around good guy to boot. It was cool to see how the other side of the athletic footwear industry operates and get a peek at all the shit that has to go down before a new shoe lands itself a spot on my store's wall. The amount of innovation, design, testing and tweaking that a shoe undergoes before it gets released is absolutely mind-blowing. And even then there's no guarantee that they "got it right", but that's where feedback from retailers and wear-testers comes in handy before the designers go back to the drawing board, so to speak. From a retailer's perspective, it's always exciting to be asked for product feedback by a vendor who really wants to improve the quality of the stuff they're putting out and then to actually see those improvements take place. Reebok is a company that certainly falls into that category. A lot of the old footwear from back in the DMX days left a sore spot on a lot of runner's feet and has made a lot of folks, specialty retailers included, reluctant to give their current line a shot. It's too bad, because while the new RBK stuff certainly isn't perfect, it's a lot better than it used to be. And an early look this afternoon at next year's line showed me that Reebok is willing to take the steps necessary to improve a product that can compete with established industry leaders. Ridiculous past marketing campaigns aside, this company has the right people in the right places to make it happen, so it's up to specialty retailers like PR Running to give the Reebok product a shot and help grow the brand as best we can. As someone who's seen up close the direction Reebok Running wants to go in, I'm happy to do so.

Quote of the Day

"I don't rest on past laurels."
- Steve Scott

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