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In The News: Curry Brand, Crocs, Fleet Feet, Grassroots Outdoor


Stephen Curry and Under Armour announced the signing of a multi-year partnership with rising NBA star De'Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings as the first signature athlete with Curry Brand. Fox will get his own signature footwear under Curry Brand in 2024. Launched by Stephen Curry and Under Armour in 2020, Curry Brand is a performance brand that has grown to include footwear, apparel, and accessories across multiple categories including basketball and golf.

Crocs has launched a new Retail Takeback Pilot Program in 10 states that allows consumers to responsibly repurpose old shoes. Consumers can bring old Crocs shoes – in any condition – back to all Crocs retail stores in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Each participating store will be equipped with a designated collection box. Gently used Crocs shoes received as part of this pilot program will be donated to Soles4Souls. Well-worn Crocs that may be unwearable will be repurposed and reimagined, giving the materials another use, for example through upcycling into new Crocs shoes.

Fleet Feet, which now has more than 260 locations in 40 states, announced it has acquired Charlotte-based run specialty store The Ultra Running Company (URC) from owner and industry veteran Nathan Leehman. Renamed as Fleet Feet Charlotte–Myers Park, the store will now be run by operating partner Brett Albers, a Hickory, NC, native who also currently leads the teams at Fleet Feet Charlotte–Waverly Walk and Fleet Feet Fort Mill. Several URC employees will become Fleet Feet employees.

Grassroots Connect, the twice-annual buying show of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, will return to the Kansas City Convention Center next week for its for Nov. 5-9 event. Grassroots Connect expects to welcome more than 400 retailer buyers from 145 independent specialty stores as well as 190 total brands – 123 on the main floor and 68 in the Discovery Marketplace.

Heading into the event, Grassroots retailers are reporting a flattening of overall sales in the trailing 12 months prior to September, which Grassroots Outdoor Alliance describes as “an expected return to earth” after back-to-back record growth seasons in 2021 (+32%) and 2022 (+11%). Within those numbers, 32% of Grassroots retailers are reporting growth of more than 3% in 2023 (YTD), while 46% are showing a decline of more than 3%.