MILLBURN, N.J. (Stockpickr) -- I cut my teeth in the business world while working in the garment district during my college summers. Required reading for the industry was the bible of fashion, Women's Wear Daily. Needless to say, you learned about fashion, head to toe.Right now, it's the toe coverings -- shoes -- that are one of the hottest segments of the consumer market. I this issue of The Finance Professor I want to look "down" at the shoe industry with admiration. If you associate shoes with Imelda Marcos' collection or Carrie Bradshaw's closet full of Manolo Blahniks on Sex and the City, then you might see shoes as a luxury item. Or you might remember Abebe Bilkila, who won the 1960 men's Olympic marathon gold medal in bare feet, and wonder if shoes are even necessary. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need shoes. In fact, they are considered a staple. Shoes wear out faster and are less easily repaired than other items of closing. Kids grow quickly, growing out of their shoes all along the way. On the fashion end, shoe color, style and brand preferences can change with the wind. The bottom line is that shoe-related stocks can be both defensive in slow economic times and growth-oriented during stronger economic times. The said, how can you invest and make money in shoes? Here are some styles for you to try on for size. Nike ( NKE - Get Report): Nike one of the largest and most recognizable sneaker and sporting apparel brands in the world. Nike found early success as athletic footwear company and leveraged its fame with shoes such as the Air Jordan, first released in the mid-'80s. Over the years, it has branched out, including with its purchase of the Cole Haan brand of men's and women's dress and casual shoes. Nike recently reported a good quarter, though when you dig down, the results were mixed, with strength out of North America and China and weakness out of Japan and Central/Eastern Europe. Margin expansion occurred pretty much across the board. Results were somewhat offset by the impact of currency translation. Nike remains the largest and best-run company in the athletic apparel and footwear sector.
|Who Owns Nike?|
Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.