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Leading retail analyst removes Nike from his list of top stocks

In the athletic footwear sector, "it's almost that innovation is more of a given today," JPMorgan equity research analyst Matthew Boss told CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report" on Monday.

Boss, the top-ranked analyst in the retail sector, according to Institutional Investor's All-America Equity Research Survey, made the choice to drop Nike from his list of preferred stocks in favor of Foot Locker, which he says combines consumer-oriented elements more effectively than its established competitor.

Now, sneaker retailers are refocusing their efforts to broaden their target audience, he said. "Eighty percent of sneakers today are being bought with no intention to ever make it to a field or a court," he told CNBC.

Boss said he is seeing fashion, colors and price point overshadow innovation among Nike's competitors.

The collection Under Armour released with two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, for example, used a hugely popular figure and an affordable price point to displace Nike for a time in basketball shoe sales, Boss said.

The analyst believes this increase in competition will drive vendors to put out better products while continuing to emphasize their hit products, like Adidas' Stan Smith collection, which is expanding into children's sizes, different colors and beyond.

Still, "on a multiyear basis, Nike will figure this out," Boss said. But while he believes innovation remains its key to success, he said the industry will be experiencing more competition and less consistency moving forward.