The largest sportswear making company Nike Inc is reportedly looking at options for its surfwear brand Hurley International which also includes a possible sale of the business unit, claimed a report published by Reuters news agency quoting sources with knowledge of the issue.
The possible exit of Nike from the global surfwear market is reflective of the position and attitude adopted on the overall by most of the major consumer companies of the world for this industry sector. There is virtually very little appeal for surf brands for those consumers who are not into surfing – who instead now are rooting for boutique brands and retro streetwear.
According to the Reuters report, an outright sale of the Costa Mesa, California-born brand, is one of the major options that Nike is seriously considering as an option for the business unit, sources reportedly said. The identity of the sources was kept secret in the report.
The sources quoted in the report could provide any information the amount that the sale of the business unit could fetch Nike. No comments from on the news was available from Nike.
It was back in 2002 that Nike’s strategy of expanding beyond athletic-focused apparel and venture into other sportswear such as surfing, skating, and snowboarding prompted it to purchase Hurley from its founder Bob Hurley for an undisclosed sum of money.
The surfwear company was founded by Bob Hurley in 1979 and became notoriously famous in the 1970s after the company designed a surf board for world champion Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew.
According to analysts, there has been a considerable waning in the onetime burgeoning trends and demand for beach lifestyle and culture over the last few years. The segment demand has dropped so much that in 2015, the former global leader in the segment – Quiksilver, was forced to file for bankruptcy. It was later acquired by private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management.
Surfwear has lost out in consumer in favor to athleisure for mainstream fashion while those consumers who want emerging fashion is exhibiting a very clear trend of favoring urban streetwear brands such as Carlyle-backed Supreme, and throwback looks like the revived sportswear brand Fila and Champion.
The struggling Australian company Billabong, the owner of its namesake brand along with other lifestyle brands such as Element and VonZipper, was acquired last year by its rival Boardriders Inc, the company behind Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes that is owned by Oaktree.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)