Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Turns 39

Not many media franchises belong in the same conversation as Star Wars, and none reallly compare head-to-head. That’s not a stunt, that’s a factual statement. The Star Wars machine has raked up over 12 billion (yeah, with a ‘b’) in toy sales, just over 7 billion in total worldwide ticket sales as a movie franchise […]

Jayson Tatum x Nike Air Max 97 Release Date

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 Release Date

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics are 1 win away to advancing in the 2019 NBA Playoffs. But before that happens (or if it does), we have a look at his Air Max 97.

This Nike Air Max 97 pays tribute to Tatum’s high school, Chaminade College Preparatory School in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Featuring both Red and Black across the upper which represents the Red Devils. Across the mudguard is various designs that reflect basketball. Silver then lands on the midsole which is paired with a Grey rubber outsole. Finishing the look is ’Tatum’ and ‘The Deuce’ on the tongues.

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 Release Details

The Jayson Tatum x Nike Air Max 97 will release exclusively at House of Hoops locations on June 13th. A wider release will take place on June 15th at select Foot Locker locations. For now you can check out more images below for a closer look.

Update 5/21: Release info for Jayson Tatum’s Nike Air Max 97 is now available. This pair will release at House of Hoops by Foot Locker on June 13th and another launch will take place at Foot Locker family of brands on June 15th.

They also gave additional information on his collaboration: Featuring illustrations on the upper which represent his roots in Saint Louis. In addition graphics of the Gateway Arch, his 314 area code and more is seen across the upper.

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 Release Date
Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 Release Date

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 Release Date

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 Release Date

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 Release Date

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 Release Date

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 Release Date

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 The Deuce Release Info
Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 The Deuce Release Info

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 The Deuce Release Info

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 The Deuce Release Info

Jayson Tatum Nike Air Max 97 The Deuce Release Info

Image Source: solebyjc

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De’Aaron Fox’s Nike Air Max 1 ‘SWIPA’ Release Details

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA CJ9746-001 Release Info

Nike is giving some of their younger athletes the chance to design their own Air Max. Recently we saw the Air Max 97 designed by Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum and now De’Aaron Fox who is the Sacramento Kings point guard is releasing his own Air Max 1.

This Nike Air Max 1 comes with a mismatched theme, something we have seen more of as of late. The left shoe features Red, Black and White along with an iridescent Swoosh. The right shoe displays an Orange and Blue theme while Light Purple lands on the tongue. Both will feature Fox’s logo on a Tan tongue, match equations on the insoles and his nickname, SWIPA, on the heel.

Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Details

You can expect the Nike Air Max 1 ‘SWIPA’ to release in limited quantities at select retailers and online at Nike.com on May 30th. Retail price is set at $140. Below you can check out more images for a closer look.

Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA
Color: Black/Cinder Orange-Photo Blue-Moon Particle-Desert Ore
Release Date: May 30, 2019
Style Number: CJ9746-001
Price: $140

Update 5/21: De’Aaron Fox also has his own Nike Air Max 1 releasing which is inspired by his interest in astronomy. Utilizing colors that represent the planets on different areas of each shoe. On the sock-liner we have equations that is inspired by the field of astrodynamics. On the heel is Fox’s nickname Swipa and his jersey number 5 is on an eclipse on the tongue.

You can expect De’Aaron Fox x Nike Air Max 1 to release on May 30th at House of Hoops by Foot Locker locations and then on June 1st across Foot Locker family brands.

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA CJ9746-001 Release Info
DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA CJ9746-001 Release Info

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA CJ9746-001 Release Info

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA CJ9746-001 Release Info

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA CJ9746-001 Release Info

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA CJ9746-001 Release Info

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA CJ9746-001 Release Info

Update 5/19: New images of De’Aaron Fox’s Air Max 1 ‘SWIPA’ which releases on May 31st.

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Date
DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Date

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Date

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Date

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Date

DeAaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Info
De’Aaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Info

De'Aaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Info

De'Aaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Info

De'Aaron Fox Nike Air Max 1 SWIPA Release Info

Image Source: J23App

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First Look: Off-White x Nike Waffle Racer

Off-White Nike Waffle Racer White Black Electric Green Release Info

Virgil Abloh will release three color options of the Nike Waffle Racer which will be a women’s exclusive.

Three color options of this Nike Waffle Racer by Off-White will release which includes Black, Fuchsia and White, White, Electric Green and Black along with Vivid Sky, Black and Electric Green. Featuring a unique lacing system across the upper which dips down across the panel and a mesh overlay. Other details includes a small Orange tab by the Swoosh, Green zip-tie tag and a spiked outsole.

Off-White Nike Waffle Racer Release Details

You can expect the Off-White x Nike Waffle Racer Women’s Pack to release at select retailers during May 2019. Retail price will be $150. Once more information is available we will make sure to update.

Update 5/21: We now have a first look at the Off-White x Nike Waffle Racer in the White, Black and Electric Green color combination. The look is similar to the Off-White x Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 collaboration. Expected to release this month, retail price will be $150.

Off-White Nike Waffle Racer White Black Electric Green Release Info
Off-White Nike Waffle Racer White Black Electric Green Release Info

Off-White Nike Waffle Racer White Black Electric Green Release Info

Off-White Nike Waffle Racer White Black Electric Green Release Info

Off-White Nike Waffle Racer White Black Electric Green Release Info

Source: py_rates

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Nike Zoom Rookie ‘Memphis Tiger’ Releasing in June

Nike Zoom Rookie Memphis Tigers Release Info

Recently we saw the release of the ‘Memphis Tigers’ Nike Air Foamposite One which took place in March and now as a follow-up we have the Zoom Rookie releasing in the ‘Memphis Tigers’ theme.

This Nike Zoom Rookie pays tribute to Penny Hardaway’s alma mater and being a head coach. It features White leather and mesh across the upper while Tiger print in Black and Light Blue lands on the overlays. The Pods feature White as well as the laces and tongue while Light Blue hits the Swoosh and tongue branding to complete the look.

Nike Zoom Rookie Memphis Tigers Release Details

You can expect the Nike Zoom Rookie ‘Memphis Tigers’ to release at select retailers and online at Nike.com on June 1st. Retail price is set at $210. Soon we will have more images which will give you a closer look.

Nike Zoom Rookie Memphis Tigers
Release Date: June 1, 2019
Price: $210

Nike Zoom Rookie Memphis Tigers Release Info
Nike Zoom Rookie Memphis Tigers Release Info

Nike Zoom Rookie Memphis Tigers Release Info

Image Source: foamlicious, mr_king_bentley

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TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist. x Converse Jack Purcell ‘Americana’ Release Date

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

The second collaborative capsule from Converse and TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist. takes inspiration from the storied Jack Purcell, which originally released in 1933 and, despite its smiley face bumper, has a bit of a rebellious streak.

The sneakers’s dual character — part sport classic, part cultural classic — is conveyed by Takahiro Miyashita’s employment of a mismatched ‘Stars and Bars’ graphic canvas (a print originally introduced by Converse in 1991) and a vertical utility zipper framed by asymmetrical lacing. It is an appropriately respectful yet defiant approach to transforming the silhouette, fully in keeping with Takahiro’s ingenuity.

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Details

You can expect the TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist x Converse Jack Purcell Collection to release on May 23rd via Converse.com and TheSoloist. pop-up shop in New York City located at 165 Hudson Street. The pop-up shop will be open until July 28th. Retail prices ranges between $75 to $400.

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist. x Converse Jack Purcell Americana
Release Date: May 23, 2019

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info
TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

TakahiroMiyashita TheSoloist Converse Jack Purcell Release Info

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Release Date: Jayson Tatum x Nike Air Max 97 






Boston Celtics forward and Nike athlete Jayson Tatum will soon be getting his very own version of the Air Max 97. Shown above, the Jayson Tatum x Nike Air Max 97 pays homage to Tatum’s Chaminade College Preparatory School in Creve Coeur, Missouri. The shoe is covered in the school’s Red Devils colors with red and black on the uppers. Illustrations on the upper  represent the Tatum’s Saint Louis roots, including graphics of the Gateway Arch (also referenced through the shoe’s metallic silver midsole), his 314 area code and more. Finishing details include silver tongues that read, “Tatum” and “The Deuce” as a nod to his nickname, along with silver midsoles featuring Air Max cushioning.

The Jayson Tatum x Nike Air Max 97 will release on June 13th exclusively at House of Hoops locations followed by a wider release on June 15th at select Foot Locker locations.

The post Release Date: Jayson Tatum x Nike Air Max 97  appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.

A New Patriotic Colorway Of The Nike Air Force 1 Low


Things are being kept simple and classic with this upcoming colorway of the Nike Air Force 1 Low. Taking on the patriotic vibes with the 4th of July holiday right around the corner, this Air Force 1 Low gets covered in Obsidian all throughout the upper with leather dominating the front and back portions of the shoe and neoprene being placed on the side panels for a different look. Contrasting white is then placed on the tumbled leather Swooshes on the side panels as well as on the laces, the branding on the tongue and heel, and the midsole. To cap off the sneaker we have red leather heel tabs and blue rubber outsoles. Expect these to release soon with Independence Day less than two months away.

The post A New Patriotic Colorway Of The Nike Air Force 1 Low appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.

A Camo Upper And Snakeskin Detailing Appear On This Nike M2K Tekno





The Nike M2K Tekno continues its hot streak as the retro-inspired chunky dad shoe is constantly seen in new colorways covered in bold hues and exotic materials. The latest eye-catching pair that we look at above has been dubbed a women’s excusive and gets a premium look. Covered in neutral tones of Light Orewood Brown and White on the upper, this Nike M2K Tekno features a desert camo underlay in shades of grey and tan along with snakeskin textured leather placed on the toe and heel. Off-white/cream leather overlays, a white midsole, and a Laser Orange rubber outsole cap off the design on this women’s colorway that will be in the near future. Cop or pass ladies?

images: Nike

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Find Out When And Where You Can Purchase The Nike Air Max 1 Swipa






Aside from Jayson Tatum getting his own Air Max 97, Nike will also be hooking up Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox with his very own version of the Air Max 1.

Dubbed the Nike Air Max 1 “Swipa”, this special iteration of the Air Max 1 is inspired by his interest in astronomy and features common colors among the planets represented through different sections of the shoe. It takes on a mismatched look as the left and right shoes are not the same. The left shoe comes covered in burgundy, mint blue, and black with an iridescent Swoosh while the right shoe takes on a blue, orange, and black makeup with a purple Swoosh. Both are then capped off with beige tongues with Fox’s logo on the tongues, equations inspired by the field of astrodynamics on the insoles and Fox’s “SWIPA” nickname stamped on the heels.

The Nike Air Max 1 Swipa will release on May 30th at House of Hoops by Foot Locker and June 1st across the Foot Locker family of brands for the retail price of $140.

The post Find Out When And Where You Can Purchase The Nike Air Max 1 Swipa appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.

Release Date: Neymar x Nike Shox R4







Unveiled last month, Nike gives us an official look and release date for the upcoming Neymar x Nike Shox R4 collection.

Shown above, the Neymar x Nike Shox R4 comes dressed in two different colorways. One mirror hues of a watermelon that connects directly to the buzzing markets around São Paulo that were a constant in Neymar JR’s childhood. The other follows on the metallic detailing and reflective elements of the launch colorway from back in 2000. Each pair comes with Neymar branding on the tongue.

The Neymar x Nike Shox R4 will release May 30th on Nike.com and at select retailers. Will you be picking up a pair?

The post Release Date: Neymar x Nike Shox R4 appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.

Available Now: NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X Glove






Above you will get an official look at the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X Glove. Made for clay tennis courts, this new NikeCourt model debut in a Black and University Gold colorway.

The NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X Glove is equipped to handle tailored traction during game time.  The shoe comes with feature a signature exterior shroud with Monkey Paw technology from Gary Payton’s late-1990s signature shoes that also helps keep feet free from debris and anything else that can get in the way of your performance. The vintage-style Nike branding on the medial side is a bit more Son Of Glove than Zoom Flight Glove, while the large Nike Swoosh branding on the outsole and lateral side assures that people know what brand you’re rocking with.

Available now, pick up the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X Glove from select retailers and Nike.com for the retail price of $150.

The post Available Now: NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X Glove appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.

This Nike Air Force 1 Low Takes On A Simple Look






It doesn’t get much simpler than this. Nike is giving us a new Nike Air Force 1 that will be allowed to wear with ease. This Uptown gets covered in a smooth black leather all throughout the upper with tonal detailing on the signature Swoosh logos, laces, tongue, inner liner, and the heel tab. The only point of contrast comes on the Nike Air branding on the insoles and the rubber midsole/outsole. Are you feeling this colorway or is it too plain for you? Look for a release to take place in the near future.

images: Nike

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Get A Good Look At The New adidas Kamanda Clear Green




A new colorway of the adidas Kamanda is now arriving at select retailers. This new offering of the soccer-inspired silhouette comes dressed in a Clear Green colorway done in a suede construction. Details on the shoe include   White mesh tongues and White leather heel tabs. The ribbed/textured Gum sole that extends up to the midsole is given a milky finish to complete the design of the shoe.

The adidas Kamanda Clear Green hasn’t dropped on adidas.com yet, but select retailers such as Titolo already have the in stock for $150.

The post Get A Good Look At The New adidas Kamanda Clear Green appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.

A New Nike Print Hits This Nike Air Max Plus








“GIVE ME YOUR ATTENTION!”

That’s what this new colorway of the Nike Air Max Plus yells out. Starting off with a black mesh upper all throughout the base, this Air Max Plus is then overlayed with an all-over “NIKE” print in a bright yellow all throughout the shoe. Additional details include black nubuck on the mudguard, a tinted translucent plastic overlay all throughout the upper, TN Air branded heel tabs, and a black rubber midsole/outsole. Look for this Nike Air Max Plus to arrive at select Nike retailers in the near future.

images: eBay

The post A New Nike Print Hits This Nike Air Max Plus appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.

Official Images + Release Date: Undefeated x adidas Ultra Boost White 2019












Undefeated is once again linking up with adidas to give us another new colorway of the adidas Ultra Boost. This time around the shoe takes on a patriotic appearance as the premium runner from the three stripes gets covered in a white Primeknit construction. The left shoe is hit with a large reflective Undefeated logo on the toe while the right shoe is hit with the same logo but in red. Additional details include blue adidas branding on the tongues, translucent cage overlays, a USA flag on the heels, and additional white detailing on the laces, heel counter, Boost midsole, and the Continental Rubber outsole. Check out the official images above and look for a release to take place o May 24th for $180.

images: adidas / Undefeated

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Kate Middleton Chooses the Right Shoes to Ground Her All-Pink Garden Party Outfit

Kate Middleton made a chic arrival today in a spring-ready ensemble for a garden party held at Buckingham Palace in London.

The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a double-breasted blush pink coatdress with a box-pleated skirt from one of her go-to brands, Alexander McQueen. She accessorized with pearl earrings, an elegant fascinator hat by Juliette Botterill and a matching clutch to pair it with. Middleton finished off the look with a pair of nude suede pointed-toe pumps to ground her monochromatic outfit.


Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Garden party at Buckingham Palace, London, UK - 21 May 2019

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge at the garden party at Buckingham Palace.
CREDIT: REX/Shutterstock


nude shoes, heels, suede, Prince William and Catherine Duchess of CambridgeGarden party at Buckingham Palace, London, UK - 21 May 2019

Detail of Kate Middleton’s nude heels on May 21, 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Meanwhile, Prince William went for a timeless three-piece look consisting of a topcoat, vest, shirt and tie, and trousers. He accessorized the outfit with a pocket square, top hat, umbrella and black dress shoes. The couple entered the event walking behind Queen Elizabeth, who also embraced the pastel theme with a light blue coat and printed dress. Over 8,000 guests attended the festivities.

Yesterday, Middleton attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London in a different choice of footwear: white Superga sneakers. She paired them with a set of cropped wide-leg pants and a simple white blouse for the outdoorsy event.


pink alexander mcqueen dress, nude shoes, Prince William and Catherine Duchess of CambridgeGarden party at Buckingham Palace, London, UK - 21 May 2019

Kate Middleton wears a dress by Alexander McQueen on May 21, 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

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Retail Store Closures: All the Companies That Are Downsizing in 2019

The so-called “retail apocalypse” is well underway for 2019.

Thanks to rapidly changing consumer trends and mounting pressure from e-commerce players, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and brands have been closing doors at a tremendously high rate. In fact, retail and technology advisory Coresight Research estimates that U.S. retailers announced 5,399 store closures in the first 12 weeks of 2019. Sound high? It is. There were 5,726 closures in all of 2018.

While some closures are the result of bankruptcy proceedings — such as for Payless and Gymboree — others are restructuring as they seek to lower costs and prioritize better-performing stores and channels in order to survive and possibly even thrive in today’s challenging selling environment.

Below is a list of major firms that are shuttering stores this year.

Dressbarn

Dressbarn is closing up shop after more than 50 years in business. On May 21, parent company Ascena Retail Group Inc. — which also owns Ann Taylor and Loft — announced that it would shut down all of the women’s clothing retailer’s 650 stores across the United States. (The move would affect about 6,800 employees.) As it winds down operations, Dressbarn stores and its e-commerce platform will remain open for customers.

Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli’s U.S. subsidiary, which operates under the name ArtFashion Corp., filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in late March at the same time that the board of Roberto Cavalli SpA filed a restructuring plan with the Court of Milan. As part of the filing, the brand’s U.S. stores ceased operations on March 29 and are to be liquidated. Its portfolio included eight doors and four outlets in the U.S.

Family Dollar

Dollar Tree Inc. declared in March that it would shutter about 390 Family Dollar outposts as it seeks to evolve its business strategy. During the firm’s Q4 conference call, Dollar Tree president and CEO Gary Philbin said age, layout, location, unfavorable lease terms and other factors contributed to the decision to shutter — and not renovate — the underperforming stores.

Charlotte Russe

When Charlotte Russe initially filed for Chapter 11 protection in early February, its plan called for closing about 94 of its 500 store locations. But the teen retailer failed to secure a buyer for the business and a month later announced that all stores would shutter and its website would go dark. Chief restructuring officer Brian Cashman said the company was unable to keep pace with today’s “rapidly evolving fashion trends.”

JCPenney

In February, JCPenney confirmed that it would close a total of 27 stores this year, including 18 full-line stores (three of which were identified in January) plus nine ancillary home and furniture outposts. The Plano, Texas-based department store said the closures were intended to help align “its brick-and-mortar presence with its omnichannel network” after the firm saw a 7% decline in sales in 2018 to $11.7 billion.

Payless ShoeSource

After one failed bankruptcy in 2017, Payless ShoeSource in February announced a second Chapter 11 filing, and this one would be decisive. The discount retailer said was ceasing operations in North America and would shutter all 2,500 of its stores here. However, Payless will continue to exist internationally, operating 420 stores across 20 countries in Latin America, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Saipan, as well as 370 franchise doors in 16 countries across the Middle East, India, Indonesia, Indochina, the Philippines and Africa.

Saks Off 5th

While Saks Fifth Avenue is back on solid footing, its offshoot chain, Saks Off 5th, continues to post declining sales. As a result, parent company Hudson’s Bay Co. announced in February it is reviewing the discounter’s 133 stores and expects to close at least 20 locations in the U.S. At the same time, the firm said it is shutting down its Home Outfitters business in Canada this year.

Gap

Formerly a staple in U.S. malls, Gap Inc. shared plans in February to close more than 200 of its Gap locations to instead focus on online sales. (Nearly 40 percent of its revenue comes from the web right now.) At the same time, the firm announced it will split into two publicly traded companies, spinning off Old Navy into its own entity. The Gap Inc. umbrella now includes Gap, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix and Hill City.

Victoria’s Secret

L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, told investors in late February that it will close 53 stores in North America this year, up from 30 closures in 2018. According to WWD, those 53 locations make up about 4% of Victoria’s Secret’s 1,170 stores. Executives at the struggling lingerie brand said they are working to fine-tune all aspects of the business, including marketing and merchandise.

Sears

After a prolonged battle, Sears chairman Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc., finally prevailed in convincing a bankruptcy court in February to accept its plan to keep the lights on at the company. According to his proposal, Lampert intends to keep 425 stores in operation (representing roughly 45,000 jobs), a significant drop from the 1,700 stores that it had last fall prior to its Chapter 11 filing.

Gymboree

Gymboree Group Inc. — parent of the Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores — said in a Chapter 11 filing in January that it would liquidate all of its roughly 800 stores and close down its websites. As part of the bankruptcy auction, Gap Inc. acquired its Janie & Jack children’s label, while retail rival The Children’s Place snapped up the rights to the Crazy 8 and Gymboree brands.

Foot Locker

Foot Locker Inc. said in early March that it will close 165 stores globally in 2019 despite a blockbuster Q4 earnings report. (It also plans to open 80 new locations, but it has reduced its total store count every year since 2014.) “The store closures will be across our geographies, with the greatest concentration in Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker in the U.S., Six:02, Foot Locker and Runners Point in Europe,” CFO Lauren Peters told investors.

FN will continue to add to this list as more news arises about store closures.

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Congresswomen Ask Nike’s Mark Parker for Details on Contracts of Pregnant Athletes

After elite runner Alysia Montaño called out an apparent disconnect between Nike’s portrayal of female sports stars in its ad campaigns and its actual treatment of athletes when they become pregnant, two legislators said they would open an inquiry into the matter.

Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) on Friday sent a letter to Nike chairman Mark Parker pressing the Beaverton, Ore.-based company for details on how it handles paying athletes “who are pregnant, breastfeeding or in the postpartum period.”

Beutler and Roybal-Allard serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care.

“We are deeply concerned by recent reports that Nike has reduced sponsorship payments, or ceased payment entirely, for female athletes during their pregnancy and postpartum recovery,” the congresswomen wrote in a letter obtained by FN. “It has also been reported that Nike has required sponsored athletes to engage in unpaid work activities and appearances during their pregnancy.”

The New York Times reported on May 12 that the company at one time wrote contracts for its female track and field athletes that reduced payments — and sometimes paid them nothing at all — if they weren’t able to compete for a variety of reasons, including pregnancy and the subsequent postpartum period.

After considerable public backlash, Nike admitted last week that it had previously reduced contracts of female athletes but said it had amended that policy in 2018. On Friday, the company added — via a statement on its corporate site — that it would take further steps to support female athletes through their pregnancies.

“Moving forward, our contracts for female athletes will include written terms that reinforce our policy,” the statement read. “Our mission has always been to support athletes as they strive to be their best. We want to make it clear today that we support women as they decide how to be both great mothers and great athletes. We recognize we can do more and that there is an important opportunity for the sports industry to evolve to support female athletes.”

For her part, Rep. Roybal-Allard said today that she was still “deeply concerned.”

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

“I’ve been deeply concerned by news that Nike has stopped or slashed sponsorships for pregnant and postpartum athletes,” she wrote on Twitter. “I’m seeking a full accounting from Nike with @HerreraBeutler. Athletes, including mothers & mothers-to-be, deserve fair treatment in every stage of their career.”

The letter from the congresswomen asks Nike seven pointed questions about its pay fairness policies and company contracts with female athletes who are pregnant. It also asks if the company had ever required male athletes to engage in unpaid work activities or appear on the brand’s behalf after becoming a father. What’s more, the inquiry asks if Nike ever stopped sponsorship payments to male athletes who became fathers.

“Given Nike’s public support of equal treatment and fairness for all people (e.g., its sponsorship of Justin Gallegos, the runner with cerebral palsy, the ‘Dream With Us’ February 2019 commercial, ‘Dream Crazier’ May 2019 commercial, ‘Just Do It’ ad featuring Colin Kaepernick September 2018), the reported instances of pay inequality and workplace discrimination against mothers do not seem to fit with its mission,” it states.

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