Nike to Deal Cole Haan, Umbro

(Reuters) – Nike Inc plans to sell its Cole Haan and Umbro brands to focus on its core namesake, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands, the company said on Thursday.

The process will begin immediately and be complete by the end of May 2013, Nike said.

In April, smaller rival German sportswear group Adidas said it plans to slash the number of products it offers by one-quarter to improve profitability.

Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike is the top sportswear company in the world, and anticipates high demand for its swoosh-marked clothing and shoes. However, there have been concerns about margins as sales have not been able to offset rising prices of materials including cotton, plastic and fuel.

Most of Nike’s sales come from its namesake brand. The Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands, which also sell sports and casual wear, are seen as natural complements to the core Nike line.

Nike acquired Cole Haan, which specializes in leather shoes and bags, in 1988. It acquired Umbro, which makes soccer shoes, in 2008.

(Reporting By Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Chicago, Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)

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