If you want a replica Carmelo Anthony Knicks jersey, you might have some trouble finding it over the next couple days. That’s because supply, in most New York area stores, has been depleted.
Sources tell CNBC that Adidas shipped some 17,000 Carmelo Anthony jerseys to retailers in the 72 hours after Anthony was traded from the Denver Nuggets last week and that another 50,000 jerseys are scheduled to be on the shelves over the next 30 days.
But that is seemingly an eternity for the quick strike, hot market. Retailers have expressed concern over the amount of time it would take them to get in Anthony jerseys, fearing that fans might choose the cheaper more available items like #7 Anthony T-shirts, of which 20,000 were shipped to retailers in the days after as the trade became official.
Sal LaRocca, the NBA’s executive vice president of the Global Merchandising Group, said having enough jerseys to satisfy the marketplace immediately isn’t a realistic expectation.
"We have a variety of products to satisfy demand in the marketplace,"LaRocca told CNBC. "With the unpredictability of player movement, however, expecting accurate inventory forecasts and potential demand in each market for jerseys is unrealistic. As a result, our partners have historically shipped all the inventory they have on-hand immediately and have increased production accordingly, just as they are doing today."
Some have suggested that the reason for the wait in jerseys is because the Knicks had planned on making a change to their jerseys next year, hinting at the fact that adidas might have been cutting down on the production of the jerseys. Sources told CNBC that the Knicks since have changed their mind on the jersey change. An adidas spokesperson referred all questions to the NBA.
So was this simply the case of the perfect storm?
A relatively high priced item made overseas combined with a superstar player joining a team whose apparel hadn’t been red hot in a decade. Or could this have been avoided if retailers or Adidas had decided to assume more of the risk?
Only time will tell whether the month wait will turn into a big miss for retailers. It depends on how the Knicks and Melo continue to do and whether a $20 T-shirt will be enough to satisfy someone who was going to buy a $60 jersey. Of course, it also depends on if the turnaround is really a month. Fans who want to order the cheapest replica for $45 on NBAStore.com , will find that the note says "leaves warehouse in 7 weeks."
Update:The New York Knicks say they still have some Carmelo Anthony replica jerseys at the Garden and have more arriving this week in the mall area in the front of the box office.
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