There were leaked news that Nike was moving their factories from China to the US. Although the news was later confirmed to be fake, it is worth discussing what would happen if Nike actually did decide to move out of China. It is true that it will create more jobs in the US and can improve the economy, but the question this article will be attempting to answer is what would that mean to the average sneakerhead?
Increase in Quality of Sneakers
If Nike does decide to move the production of sneakers into the US, Nike will have to build new factories to maintain the level of supply that they had when producing in China. The new factories built are likely to be equipped with newer machinery compared to the ones is China. This can improve the quality of the sneakers produced. Nike’s HQ is based in the US, if all the production of sneakers are happening within the country, this opens up the possibility of more regular inspections which would have been more difficult when production was happening in China. For example, when Zion broke his shoes back in Duke, Nike engineers had to fly to China to quality check the shoes that were being made for him. With factories back in US, engineers will have easier access to the factories and the company can have a closer eye on the production of sneakers allowing higher quality sneakers to be produced.
Change in Price of Sneakers
When Nike moves most of it’s production from China, the shoes will have to be outsourced or new factories will have to be made. The factories that are newly built will have better machinery than the machinery used in the Chinese factories. The use of newer technology can allow the Nike factories to increase the production of its sneakers. As the Nike factories become more efficient the cost of producing the sneakers will decrease. This will allow Nike to decrease the price of their sneakers, allowing sneakerheads to have access to cheaper shoes.
Less Leaked Information on Sneakers
Majority of leaked images of sneakers are from China since most of Nike’s sneakers are made there. This results in a lot of sneakers getting leaked either by a worker or people that backdoor sneakers that are yet to be released. If Nike decides to move the production of sneakers to the USA, the established industry of leaking shoes in China will fall apart. There is lower potential of an industry of that kind growing in US because, as mentioned before, the Nike HQ is in the same country. This allows the company to impose tighter regulations during production which prevents the sneakers getting leaked or backdoored by a worker.
Less Fake Sneakers
The industry of producing fakes is also mostly based in China with them producing the highest quality fakes. The reason behind their high quality fakes is their access to the Nike factories and resources. There are some fakes that are produced in the same factory as the official shoes which makes it difficult to tell the fake and real ones apart. If Nike moves their factory to the US, it can mean the end to the huge industry of producing fakes as the companies producing fakes won’t have access to the factories and resources anymore. There is no doubt that the industry will live on in China, but considering they won’t have the same resources and machinery as they did before, it will be difficult for them to be producing at the level of quality as they did before.
As discussed most of the impacts are positive impacts on sneakerheads. However, this may not always be be the case. For the price and the quality of the shoes, Nike doesn’t have a reason to increase or decrease the quality of the shoes because majority of consumers are willing to pay for sneakers at a higher price with the current quality. Furthermore, the wage in the US is relatively higher than China so the decrease in price of sneakers due to newer machinery can be countered by higher wages. For leaked sneakers, it may be harder to leak shoes but there is no doubt that there will always be someone who is successful at leaking sneakers. For the industry of fakes, it will take a hit initially but it is likely to recover in locations where the new factories are set-up and the fake factories in China may update their machinery to keep up with the the level of quality of the real shoes.
Although, the news turned out to be fake, it’s a situation worth considering when a large shoe company decides to move the majority of their production to a different country. But for now, we can keep that thought as a what-if.