Stories by Eric Young and Mark Roberti

The swoosh stumbles

Nike was ready to spend US$400 million to streamline and further automate the way it produces, ships and sells shoes. Instead of taking a month to plan and start producing a new line of sneakers, a new software system would narrow that window to a week. By being able to better match supply with demand, the company thought it could avoid getting stuck with warehouses full of shoes that had gone out of style, while boosting sales of the cool pairs that everyone wanted.