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SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 13, 1997--Genesis Merchant Group Securities analyst John Shanley this morning issued a SPECIAL ATHLETIC FOOTWEAR UPDATE highlighting the sharp rise in athletic footwear imports in the first quarter and its potential impact on US retail outlets.

- According to Shanley's notes, the US Department of Commerce has reported that imports of athletic footwear rose sharply in the first quarter. This rate far exceeded the pace of sales through retail outlets. This information may cause ripples of concern that impact the stocks of athletic footwear manufacturers. It may take a while before manufacturers can offer an explanation about this rise, and in the interim their stock might trade down.

- Imports rose 17.8% for athletic footwear containing leather (primarily high-end athletic products) and 29% for products constructed with non-leather components.

- Concern about China's Most Favored Nation (MFN) status may have influenced the level of imports. China accounts for over half the athletic footwear sold in this country. The loss of its Most Favored Nation status could result in substantially higher import duties.

- In Shanley's view, news about the level of imports is most likely to cause concern about Nike (NYSE:NKE $59) because it has the largest share of the athletic footwear business, but it may have an equal or greater impact on the secondary brands.

About Genesis Merchant Group Securities: Since its formation in 1989 by Will K. Weinstein and Philip C. Stapleton, Genesis Merchant Group Securities has concentrated upon selected transactions and individual situations of particular interest. Genesis' key areas of expertise include communications; electronic manufacturing; biotechnology; and retail industries. The firm is engaged in corporate finance, equity sales and trading, investment research and investment management services.

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Genesis Merchant Group Securities
Kate Overbeck, 415/677-5813
Kathleen Bertolani, 415/274-7570
Ray McNulty, 212/508-3522

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