I was talking with my running store partner, Dave Welsh, this evening about the fact that business so far this year is up - and seems to be getting better each month as compared to last year. We were down Jan. 09 to Jan. 08. By March we were up over 20%. So far in April we are up even more!
I am wondering if running shoes might be a way for people to partake in inconspicuous consumption? As I have discussed before, the vast majority of the population that is still earning what they have been earning the past several years. But it is not cool to shop and spend excessively. Hummers are out, Saks Fifth Avenue sales are down 25%+, but buying a nice pair of running shoes is not viewed as excessive. And maybe people want to get more natural - driving less, taking more walks and trying to get in shape by doing some running.
I have no idea if this theory is right, but we sure hope it keeps up!