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Is The Under Armour Curry 3 Selling?

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Originally posted on ARCH-USA

I’m waiting on my co-owner at Housakicks to complete the charts for an analysis of the latest release from Under Armour for Steph Curry. Since the release in September there have been countless Twitter discussions and statements made about how poorly the Curry 3 is performing in stores.

Disclosure: It’s very hard to account for and analyze if the Curry 3 is selling based on my locale and the data available. While Memphis has over 30 sneaker stores, a lot for one city, Curry 3s are only sold in the Finish Line stores (3 locations), Champs (1 location) and Kids Footlocker (3 locations). What makes an analysis even harder is that I could never get access to POS (point of sale) data which limits my ability to say how well the shoes are performing.

Now that I’ve said that, let me explain how I plan to analyze the Curry 3 without being privied to the POS data from local stores. I’m going to utilize 3rd party e-commerce, perform a ratio and make what is basically a hypothetical assessment. The way I will verify my data is when NPD’s Matt Powell takes a look at Q4 sales data and delivers his quarterly report. This post is basically a prediction and since we are right on the verge of 2017 everyone likes a prediction right?

Let’s get to it.

UA Curry 3 dropped in September 2016 – It’s important to say these things. The Curry 3 dropped at back to school time in a blue colorway. Most popular shoes at back to school are typically solid colors: all white/all black. They also tend to be casual/comfortable shoes. The Curry 3 dropped at the end of the Olympics which was visually dominated by Nike Basketball and Jordan Brand releases. Curry did not play in the Olympics diminishing his profile after the upset in the NBA Finals. Under Armour failed to release any Curry related marketing which literally cemented Curry’s loss in the mind of the market. There wasn’t any branding of Curry on social media, or content creation based on Curry or UA Performance footwear leading up to the September/October launch. The shoe release did not coincide with the start of the NBA season in late October/November. The only marketing when the shoe released was the #Makethatold spot. There hasn’t been another spot yet. Under Armour has relied on sneaker blogs to discuss the release of the shoes and they have dropped too many colorways with 5 colors dropped in a 2 month span. None of the releases have content or storytelling, only names. Marketing has consisted of static pictures of the shoes, no apparel or Curry in the actual colorways. No use of other UA Basketball endorsers. I didn’t begin selling Curry 3 until late November.

Data Set 1

eBay – eBay is obviously not a strong indicator of how the market is doing. It is a resale platform and distinguishing between used, and new products and who has an account and who doesn’t makes it hard to know exactly what is happening there.

Completed Listings: 6 pages, 597 results, eBay’s listing policy allows for other models to show up. Oldest Listing October 17th a Men’s Curry 3 was sold by auction at 127.50 at below retail.

Current Listings: 842

Sold Listings: 416 It would be more efficient to look at styles and break down which colors sold at a higher price, but this is not going to be that detailed. I’m simply trying to gauge how the resale market can be proportioned to match the retail market. The average price per pair sold is based on taking 10 of the 416 sales and averaging them.

Average Sold Price: 106.69

Analysis: eBay is an extremely poor platform for the UA Brand. It would be wise for UA to take the time and do what Coach and a few other brands have done on the platform and that is Brand Gating. While many people may be buying the shoes, trying them on and deciding to just sell them instead of going through the process of a return, only 50% of listings on eBay are being sold. I also think that these are shoes purchased to try and flip. The Curry 3 shoes are selling almost 30% below SRP of 140.00. How does this possibly reflect the market? If stores are stocking the Curry 3 and only 50% are selling that wouldn’t be a bad thing. The problem is a direct comparison requires me to say that retailers are not willing to mark down the Curry 3 only 4 months after its release. Which means that I’m going to cut the 50% sell through in half. My prediction is that UA is seeing about a 25% sell through of the Curry 3 based on this eBay analysis.

Data Set 2 – Amazon is a much stronger marketplace than eBay. Over 50% of online transactions take place on the platform. The buyer’s there, unlike eBay, have the option for 1 click purchases which drives the impulse buy. Those buyers are also less likely to shop on other platforms due to a level of comfort with the Amazon brand, the A to Z Guarantee and the perception of lower prices on the platform. I’m utilizing my stats in this analysis which I label a micro of the macro market. Unfortunately I have to do an approximation on the number in inventory as this number fluctuates and is based on what I buy.

Total In Stock: Unfortunately, I don’t have any way to know exactly how many pair of shoes each store gets, but I can make an approximate guess. Each size typically gets a full size run. For Kids sizes 3.5 – 7 (8 sizes x 2=16 pair – shoe companies typically triple bigger sizes in kids on 7,6.5 so add 4 for 20 pair x 2 = 40 total) I purchased from two locations on the 1st listing below. The second row below I only purchased from one location (Approximate total = 20 total). The third row below is for Mens. (Sizes 7.5 – 13 would be 11 pair in a full size run x 2 plus double in size 10 and 10.5 – the most common size sold = 26 pair total) That means I had access to approximately 86 pair.

Sold Listings: 42

Under Armour Curry 3  Sessions Session Percentage Page Views Page Views Percentage Buy Box Percentage Units Ordered Unit Session Percentage Ordered Product Sales Total Order Items
Under Armour Kids GS Curry 3 Basketball Shoe 11,340 1.60% 14,377 1.55% 4% 28 0.25% $4,439.72 28
Under Armour Curry 3 Dub Nation Home (102) 2,582 0.37% 3,194 0.34% 2% 9 0.35% $1,439.91 9
Under Armour Men’s Curry 3 Basketball Shoe Bl 14,124 2.00% 17,929 1.93% 1% 5 0.04% $949.95 5

Average Sold Price: Now here is where things get interesting based on data. My average sold price on Amazon for kids has been 5879.63/37 = $158.91. On the men’s shoes my average has been 949.95/5 = $189.99. I’ve done this before on other posts, but it’s buried so I will explain a few things again. I have a perfect feedback score for over 6 years. My store return policies and information are all clearly present and I operate a website that can be searched and studied. Buying from my shop is unlike most sellers who don’t supply the same amount of information. I’ve created a level of trust that rivals Amazon. All of these things factor into my ability to sell at a higher price than even the company itself.

Let’s look into this average price even further. Out of an approximate 86 pair I’ve sold 42. That’s a 48.84% sell through. Now in the eBay analysis I said that if it was compared to retail 50% of the Steph Curry shoes are being liquidated. I then decreased that total to 25%. This was an approximation based on the average price on eBay and that I am assuming that retail isn’t discounting the shoes so they are selling at half the rate of 50%. This is guesswork and it’s rough.

But now that we are looking at the micro to macro of my shop, the number is right around 50%. This doesn’t mean that all stores carrying Under Armour Curry 3 are experiencing sells similar. I’m a third party seller and my goal is to move shoes. I’m buying for the macro e-commerce market on Amazon. This is important because you need to note the listing in the chart above that says Buy Box Percentage. Notice I’ve only owned the Buy Box 4%, 2%, and 1%. That means that other sellers on Amazon are cheaper than me and I have to wait for those items to sell. Those sellers are selling at an average price on kids of $126.35 which is above retail. They are selling the men’s shoes at $140.00 and most of the listings are sold out on the Dub Nation version which is the only men’s shoe I carried.

If these shops are selling out at retail and above retail then the eBay market can’t be compared to the Amazon market. They are two completely different buyers and markets. They both hold some interesting data and my store in particular carries considerable weight in resale.

Analysis: I tend to place Amazon in direct alignment with the market. As I’ve analyze my data over the years it almost perfectly follows the trends. When basketball slowed down my marketplace slowed down considerably. As it shifted to runners and retro, my marketplace shifted. I showed this in the recent post on the NMD vs Nike. If I’m selling at almost a 50% clip on the UA Curry 3 and I’m only in the BuyBox 1-4% of the time. There are 96% more sellers of the Curry 3 who are actually selling the product below, at and above retail. Which means that I’m bumping up the sell of Curry to 75% based on Amazon which isn’t bad. I am adjusting that 75% to account for the poor performance on eBay. Which brings me back to…

I’m predicting that the shoe is selling through at a 50% rate.

Now, the data for Q4 isn’t in yet. Predictions are that the Curry 3 is underperforming. I agree that the shoe is under performing, but contrary to popular thought that the shoe isn’t selling because it’s ugly, or because basketball and performance footwear is down overall, the shoe is not selling for one reason to me. Marketing.

I base my decisions to buy on my data. I have access to two years of very detailed data at all times. Using this inventory I can see trend changes with the shop. In that NMD article above I showed how and where the shift to adidas began. It was all in the numbers. Right now in Q4 I’ve seen an uptick in basketball sales.  I haven’t done the research yet, but my prediction for basketball is that the numbers are going to be better for Q4 2016 and the sales will maintain into 2017 Q1 and Q2, due to a very intriguing NBA season.

The Curry 3 is a victim of some of the worst marketing I’ve seen associated with sneakers. Actually the marketing is weak overall for the footwear market. There has been a reliance over the last four years on Facebook and Fashion/sneaker blogs. Very little attention is being paid to the brands own platforms and Under Armour is a serious offender when it comes to content creation and utilizing grassroots strategies for the Curry 3. There has been exactly 1 commercial done for the shoe. There aren’t any YouTube series, videos, photos of Curry actually wearing any other colorways than the Dub Nation first release and the in store storytelling for retailers is abysmal. I think the Curry 3 could be a very good performer, but marketing has shifted and UA isn’t fast enough in adjusting and it’s hurting the brand overall.


Chris B. is the founder of ARCH.

The ARCH network is unlike other sneakerhead sites. ARCH is a more informative look into sneaker culture. By presenting information about the business of sportswear through marketing analysis, updates on stock prices and introductions to new brands and styles, the site is easily distinguished from the everyday site only giving you release dates.

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