Do racquet and shoe companies really benefit from constantly stopping production of favourites?

d-quik

Hall of Fame
I just think like... it costs so much to design new shoes and racquets, then to go advertise/market the designs, some of which have no structural changes. Whereas they can keep the old stuff which still sells in production.

Like these business executives aren't stupid and I am sure they have weighed the costs and stuff. But I still wonder like HOW do they lose anything by not keeping like vapor tours, 6.0 85s, or 6.1 95s in production? Sold out everywhere so they know people are buying them.

Does keeping the Vapor 9 Tour, 6.0 85, or 6.1 95 in production REALLY MAKES THEM lose more money than pouring $$$s into the R&D + marketing of the next generation of stuff? Asking from a business perspective. Also if yes, what do they lose by producing both the new and old stuff.

I am talking about old stuff that actually sells well not like trash tier products like the nBlade. Those can get discontinued no problem.
 
When the old models sales are reaching diminishing returns, and everyone is looking for the "easy pill" to make them play better, manufacturers' marketing teams will surely deliver it. If your competitor offers an "easy pill", you had better offer one that works just as well.
 

cortado

Professional
I find it frustrating. Why take the time to really gel with a particular racquet if you won't be able to get hold of more in future?
 

McGradey

Professional
But
you do not think they can still make money selling 6.1 95s? Or Vapor 9.5 Tours?
A popular shoe like that would def still sell
They do still sell the 6.1 95 in a limited way. The 6.1 was once a flagship product with a huge audience, but times change, and it's now a legacy product with a small audience.
 
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Hidious

Professional
Very good question. I couldn't believe it when I saw Barricades did not exist anymore. If I had not found enough pairs on reselling platforms, I would've moved on and tried another brand. Definitely not profitable from this point of view.

Those giant brands (mostly Nike and Adidas) have so many different markets, almost one for each sport, that even the most popular model of a tennis shoe, for example, is most likely negligible for them in the big picture. Not sure about Wilson, but perhaps the 6.1 95 had been around long enough... I wouldn't picture Babolat stopping production of Pure Drives and Aeropro Drives though, but who knows, maybe the hype is fading.
 

Crocodile

Legend
I guess it depends on the brand and how they are going with their various lines and how the competition is fairing as well. For example, Babolat has been very successful with their Pure Drive and Aero Drive lines for quite a long time with the younger demographic, some of them not so young anymore so the changes have been gradual. In the last few years comfort has becoming more of an issue and other companies have been catching on to this which has triggered Babolat to make some adjustments in this area as well. The original retail version of the strike series didn’t go down too well, so that line has seen more change and development, because it needed it.
Each brand has different things that they need to address with their lines. Will be interesting to see what happens to the RF 97 when Roger decides he has had enough.
I think the shoes is a very hard market to assess. Shoes are a very personal thing from a consumer’s point of view. There has been a few occasions where I had to change brands because the updated models didn’t fit well. K Swiss Hypercourt changed the broadness of their shoes so people switched to New Balance,
 

tim-ay

Hall of Fame
And so why would they stop making something that can still make them money?
Business 101 - and I’m an engineer by background, lol. If you’re selling 100K per month of something and sales drop to 1500 per month, are you going to continue to use production resources for that or the next product that sells 100K per month? It depends on capacity, resources, and dollars. And I’ve never worked in apparel, but I’m sure aging inventory is the death sentence in anything like that…. So youre going to risk capital on an aging product line that produces little net margin? Nope…..
 

Hit 'em clean

Semi-Pro
Do companies make mistakes from time to time? Absolutely, but most of the time they are pretty good at knowing where the tipping point is... when a product line might be 'jumping the shark'. Every once in a while though we unknowingly band together and don't like something to the point where they bring back an old name or even old product... which can be a nice marketing tool, btw. Remember 'new' Coke and 'Classic' Coke?

All the current products usually have some commonalities in design processes, materials, etc. An older classic product line might not fit into the new direction and ideas of where they are today and where they are going. To keep old 'classics' around can be contradictory to new ideas/products and mfg being used/developed... not to mention the marketing scheme/image they are trying to go with.

Most of the time consumers are sheep and can be constantly led to the shiny new toy. There are a lot of people (older people) that love flip phones and 'refuse to get anything but'. There is certainly a market for flip phones... so could Apple or Samsung bring out an old style flip phone... absolutely. Will they... I'm gonna say that's a highly unlikely. So why doesn't Apple or Samsung not make a flip phone and make some 'easy' side cash? Because it's a big waste of their time and not worth the small amount of money compared to the bigger bucks they make by just forcing everyone to get the most current stuff. It's also very important to realize as well that new products have much higher profit margins generally than older products.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
If there is enough of a rabid following then the companies will keep going, but they will definitely only do so for strong sellers. So you can still find Head TiS6 frames, POG 107's, Head Microgel Radicals, Wilson Hyper hammers.
Generally those are unique frames where there isn't much competition in that segment so sales remain strong.

You can find HL 93-97" 21 mm beam rackets on the market (VCORE 95, Prestige Mid, Prostaff, Prince Tour 95, etc) to keep 6.1 fans reasonably well covered.

And really, how long does it take to gel with a new racket with similar SW, balance and weight?
 

tim-ay

Hall of Fame
You really think a 6.1 95 will only generate 1.5% of sales vs a Triad Five?
haha… no idea. but even six one lovers like me have moved on to different things. there is still a market, but it’s much smaller. and you can buy new six ones, wilson pro labs. google that. so the niche market is served… i’m guessing sales have been extremely low however.
 

pow

Hall of Fame
You really think a 6.1 95 will only generate 1.5% of sales vs a Triad Five?
You're speaking completely from your perspective. You are a big fan of the 6.1 95 but you don't realize you're in the minority if you zoom out. Talk tennis is full of enthusiasts that may know what a 6.1 95 is but you are completely discounting the demographic that goes to Target or Big 5 to pick up the lightest and largest racquet.

Neither of us has Wilson's sales data and research but it's very possible a Triad can outsell a 6.1 95 today.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
(sort of like that crumb cake they sell that's about an inch and a half of crumb, with just a quarter-inch or so of cake under it)
 

A_Instead

Legend
New is always better... even though new isn't new at times...
It does make it interesting to see new stuff.. that you know is old..
Just like when you here a cool song for the 1st time...then later you hear the original..then the redo..then the next redo .
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
If you take a look at many manufacturers and the entirety of what they sell, you'll find many, many similarities between shoe design and different sports. Tennis is not the prime money generator for companies like Nike or Adidas and their tennis products "change" to match the trends of far bigger profit generators.
 

socallefty

Legend
Players play with a racquet for many years and I can see why a manufacturer releases new models frequently to get them to buy new racquets sooner. But, shoes are consumable items and players keep buying new shoes from the models they like when they wear out. So, I understand the logic less on why popular shoe models get discontinued and replaced by new shoe models that feel and fit very differently. If a shoe model's sales drops off a lot from its peak, then I can see the point. But popular models like the Barricades, Gel Resolutions etc. don't need to be changed every year in my opinion.
 
And so why would they stop making something that can still make them money?
Although a product might make money, it takes away from their other products. Why would they sell a Vapor 9.5 if it's taking sales away from the Vapor Cage, or some other shoe that might make more money. With rackets, they can't just keep raising the price on a racket, so they have to make a "better" one that people are willing to pay more money for. Sure, Wilson could sell a 6.1 95 for $150 and make money, but they want people to plop down $220-250 for a newer, "better" one, and they don't want a $150 racket stealing sales away from their more expensive models.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
It's funny how this never happens in golf and you never see golfers complain. Legacy clubs just don't exist. The industry moves forward always. I think Callaway tried to bring back the Big Bertha driver as a legacy gambit and it failed pretty miserably.

Marketing and sales models dictate that people want the promise of an easy mode and will buy new equipment on that basis. Even if its largely a gimmick.

There is a reason Pickleball is getting so popular. It's easy mode tennis.
 

Hidious

Professional
I just remembered an example of a company that never stopped producing a particular model from a few years ago. I went to check on TW and I couldn't believe that the Head Microgel Radicals MP and OS are STILL being sold and marked as top sellers no less.
 

A_Instead

Legend
Of course they are top sellers..the longer they are offered the more opportunity for unit sales..
And the price point in the draw...
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
It's funny how this never happens in golf and you never see golfers complain. Legacy clubs just don't exist. The industry moves forward always. I think Callaway tried to bring back the Big Bertha driver as a legacy gambit and it failed pretty miserably.
The persistence and love affairs with classic, legacy equipment existed in golf for decades. The emergence of launch monitors changed everything. One might love “classic blades”, but the objective numbers don’t lie and it doesn’t take much to convince someone that the new (albeit somewhat uglier) modern iron is better for their game when it clearly provides 10yds greater distance, 8% tighter dispersion etc. Whether that actually translates to better scores on the course is a different matter, hence why I still use Mizuno MP33s and still get round in under 80 routinely.

Despite Swingvision, the reactive nature of tennis means that it’s much harder to see and demonstrate measurable gains from equipment changes.
 
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HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
If manufacturers didn’t close out product lines, there’d be no incentive for us to hoard up on equipment we like, thereby pushing up sales volume. Why buy say 5 Prestige Classic racquets if you know that it will be available from HEAD year after year after year. Such is modern day consumerism.
 
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