Manufacturing Practices of the Footwear Industry: Nike vs. the Competition

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Of all the major fads and trends surging through popular culture, none is more prevalent than flashy footwear. Mainly with athletic sneakers, the footwear industry has experienced a major influx in the demand for the output of iconic shoes. The current manufacturing practices of the sneaker industry, in particular companies such as Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and New Balance, takes place all over the globe. With the industry experiencing severe competition and the product requiring intensive labor, firms are facing extreme pressure to increase their profit margins through their sourcing practices. No competing sports brand is more eminent and internationally established than Nike, Incorporated. Introduced to the world in 1964, Nike has made…show more content…
Nike currently enjoys a 47% market share of the domestic footwear industry, with sales of $3.77 billion (Van Dusen). Nike has been manufacturing throughout the Asian region for over twenty-five years, and there are over 500,000 people today directly engaged in the production of their products (Van Dusen). They utilize an outsourcing strategy, using only subcontractors throughout the globe. Their majority of their output today is produced in factories in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, but they also have factories in Italy, the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea (Van Dusen). In the1990’s, Nike was investigated for underpaying worker in Indonesia, child labor in Cambodia and Pakistan, and poor working conditions in China and Vietnam. They later faced further allegations of wage law violations, excessive overtime, physical abuse, and unsafe working conditions which surfaced from its suppliers and in 1992 (Ruiz 1). Nike responded to its sweatshop labor image by developing its Code of Conduct and labor practices in the company’s Safety, Health, Attitudes of Management, People Investment and Environment program. Nike’s suppliers were obligated to comply with the basic labor, environmental and health and safety standards. Nike’s suppliers were required to observe, sign and post within their factories this Code of Conduct. Ever

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