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Exercise 11


    Questions 34 to 38 are based on the following passage:

    Reebok executives do not like to hear their stylish athletic shoes called footwear for yuppies. They contend that Reebok shoes appeal to diverse market segments, especially now that the company offers basketball and children’s shoes for the under-18 set and walking shoes for older customers not interested in aerobics or running. The executives also point out that through recent acquisitions they have added hiking boots, dress and casual shoes, and high-performance athletic footwear to their product lines, all of which should attract new and varied groups of customers. Still, despite its emphasis on new markets, Reebok plans few changes in the up market retailing network that helped push sales to ’1 billion annually, ahead of all other sports shoe marketers. Reebok shoes, which are priced from ’27 to ’85, will continue to be sold only in better specialty, sporting g goods, and department stores, in accordance with the company’s view that consumers judge the quality of the brand by the quality of its distribution. In the past few years, the Massachusetts-based company has imposed limits on the number of its distributors (the number of shoes supplied to stores), partly out of necessity. At times the unexpected demand for Reebok’s exceeded supply, and the company could barely keep up with orders from the dealers it already bad. These fulfillment problems seem to be under control now, but the company is still selective about its distributors. At present, Reebok shoes are available in about five thousand retail stores in the United States. Reebok has already anticipated that walking shoes will be the next fitness-related craze, replacing aerobics shoes the same way its brightly colored, soft leather exercise footwear replaced conventional running shoes. Through product diversification and careful market research, Reebok hopes to avoid the distribution problems Nike ca

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