Tag Archives: Brooks

Brooks Uses 3D Foot Scanning, Biometric Data to Create Uniquely Personalized Running Shoes

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s Brooks Running Company is partnering with HP Inc. and Superfeet to deliver the most personalized running footwear.

Leveraging FitStation powered by HP and Brooks Run Signature, Brooks will introduce the first performance running shoe created based on an individual’s unique biomechanics which will be available via special order through select retail partners beginning June 2018.

FitStation is pioneering hardware and software that combines 3D foot scanning with dynamic gait analysis and foot pressure measurements. Fully aligned with principles from Brooks Run Signature, FitStation offers customers in-depth analysis including key motion zones to identify the unique motion path of the runner’s body and information about the desired running experience. FitStation creates a one-of-a-kind holistic digital profile of an individual that combines personalized fit, biomechanics and experience.

With a singular focus on running, Brooks has a deep understanding of runners’ unique biomechanics and is committed to providing personalized experiences that enhance the run for every individual. Based on years of research, the company developed its Run Signature philosophy rooted in the belief that the best way to enhance comfort and improve performance is not to fix a runner’s “flaws” but to instead create running footwear that works with the runner’s natural motion path of his or her body. Through its partnership with HP and Superfeet, Brooks takes Run Signature to the next level and delivers the most personalized running footwear.

“Brooks is committed to providing the fit, feel and ride each runner wants. The ability to give an individual a personalized shoe based on his or her unique biomechanics is a game changer. It is a compelling offering for the runner who is interested in tip-of-the-spear technology and a totally tuned experience,” said Brooks CEO Jim Weber. “As part of our focus on reinventing performance running, we will continue to push the envelope to bring runners innovations that help them uniquely tailor their run.”

“FitStation by HP is changing what personalization means—from the in-store experience to the final product. In collaboration with Brooks and Superfeet, we are delivering truly made-to-measure footwear with a lot size of one,” said Ed Ponomarev, general manager of FitStation and business development HP Inc. “Digitalization of biometric data opens an opportunity to ultimate individualization with the speed and cost efficiency of mass production. HP brings deep experience in computing, scanning and technology integration at scale to deliver a revolutionary digital manufacturing platform, creating individualized products that are available to anyone—from casual runners to elite athletes.”

The FitStation analysis translates into specific requirements for each shoe, and is then produced by Superfeet on a state-of-the-art DESMA polyurethane injection-molding machine. The system uses the 3D foot scans to determine the proper lasts which the shoes are built around, ensuring each shoe is tailored to the specific shape of the runner’s foot. Then, using a combination of variable PU injection with direct attach capabilities, the foot pressure measurements, movement analysis of the runner’s joints, and their personal experience preferences are combined to create personalized midsole requirements with multiple tuned zones—all ensuring the runner stays in their preferred motion path and receives the running experience they desire. All personalized footwear will be manufactured in the U.S. at Superfeet’s world headquarters in Ferndale, Washington.

“Having the leader in running footwear leverage FitStation and our U.S. manufacturing facilities to create the most individualized running shoe on the market is momentous,” said John Rauvola, president and CEO of Superfeet. “Not only will it change what people expect from their running experience, it is also an important step in making a positive difference in people’s lives by delivering the best underfoot support possible. This is the beginning of the individualized fit revolution.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
—-

Running Shoe Market Forecast Projects Solid Growth

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Sports footwear makers, which include Berkshire Hathaway’s Brooks, are projected to have solid growth over the next five years.

A new report “Global Sports Footwear Market 2017-2021,” is projecting that the global sports footwear market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.71% during the period 2017-2021.

According to the report, one driver in the market is high operating margin of sports footwear. Sports footwear is usually priced higher than regular shoes. This is because their manufacturing process involves different technicalities that enhance performance at sports. Vendors focus on introducing innovative features in their products that are used for running, tennis, basketball, football, soccer, and other sports. Manufacturers also earn high operating margin from premium-priced sports footwear. This is because the manufacturing cost of these products is low, whereas they are sold at higher prices.

Further, the report states that one challenge in the market is increasing cost of raw materials. Rising fluctuations in the profit margins of the manufacturers of sports footwear are due to the increasing prices of raw material and intense competition among the vendors. This makes executing a proper pricing strategy challenging for vendors. Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), an elastomeric polymer, is the raw material used in the production of soles of sports footwear. Increase in the price of this material has a directly proportional impact on the prices of sports footwear. This further leads vendors to increase the prices of their products.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Brooks Running Company Heads to China and Brazil

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s Brooks Running Company is expanding its global footprint in July 2017 with entry into China and Brazil, two of the largest running markets in the world. Entry into China and Brazil is a significant opportunity for Brooks to introduce its innovative products and run happy spirit to the many people who run in the two countries.

“Brooks is 100% focused on the run, and it’s important that our brand is part of the running community across the globe,” said Brooks CEO Jim Weber. “Following success in Europe, Japan and Canada, entry into China and Brazil represents the next step in our global expansion strategy. I’m excited about the opportunity to inspire more people around the world to run and be active.”

Brooks will enter China on July 1 via online and brick-and-mortar distribution. At launch, Brooks’ products will be available online through T-Mall and Amazon as well as in-store at key sporting goods retailers in major markets such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In addition to the company’s industry-leading footwear and accessories, runners in China will be able to experience Brooks Run Signature at select retail locations.

Brooks Run Signature is an innovative fitting method that utilizes cutting-edge technology to assess the way a runner’s body wants to run and recommends the right shoe to fit their run.

In 2018, Brooks will continue to expand its presence in China, adding apparel and sports bras to its product assortment.

In partnership with Centauro, the premier sporting goods retailer in Brazil, Brooks will enter the Brazilian market this July. With Brazil home to the largest running population in Latin America, presence in the country will help Brooks create a brand foothold in the region. Runners in Brazil will be able to experience the company’s entire footwear line including the all-new Glycerin 15, an award-winning shoe in the company’s Cushion category.

Global expansion remains a key priority for Brooks. In the near term, the company plans to strengthen its existing presence in Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom. In 2018 and beyond, Brooks will explore opportunities to enter new countries with dedicated runner populations.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.