It’s 2013 and sneaker company Converse is going strong. But just a handful of years ago it wasn’t, as Laura Lorenzetti writes for Quartz. Converse filed for bankruptcy in 2001 after more than a century in the shoe-making business. Two years after that iconic Nike bought the company and helped bring Converse to more than a billion in annual revenue today.
You could chalk it up to the ups and downs of doing business in a free market economy, where what’s fashionable where footwear is concerned remains subject to the vagaries of consumer taste and preference.
Indeed, Lorenzetti gives us little in the way of explaining exactly why Converse struggled so mightily in the late 1990s and early 2000s, which leads one to make these types of assumptions. In fact, Lorenzetti mentions only those recent periods of time in which Converse reigned supreme, including the 1980s, when Converse was the “quintessential casual footwear.”
The only thing we know for certain is that things change. Sometimes bankruptcy is required to help a once-mighty company survive and pick itself back up again. (That, and an acquisition.) But Nike saw potential in Converse, and began a targeted advertising campaign appealing to those of the Millennial generation, which has appeared to reestablish Converse as the King of Sneakers these days.
Long story short: Bankruptcy is not the end of business. It can be a new beginning.
Converse Is King Of Sneakers After Bankruptcy