Geeky pair of Puma high topsWe're struggling to make sense out of this one. Earlier this week, Puma sportswear announced that its net-earnings in the 4th quarter were down 78.8%. Ouch. That surprises us because: a.) dude, we freakin' love Puma's geeky shoes, and b.) labels on the mid-lower end seem to be the only ones doing any business these days. Apparently, any brand that hasn't hammered out a distribution deal with Wal-Mart is totally screwed.

Over the last few years, Puma's been campaigning to upgrade their image a little, launching ventures like a 15 piece collection by Christian Siriano and golf line designed by Luke Wilson and Johan Edfors. Now, it looks like they're going to have to tone it down. According to Puma's CEO:
"we have implemented measures in the fourth quarter to prepare us properly for the coming year and will react flexibly to further changes in the market environment."
Maybe Puma is suffering from the Starbucks effect, i.e. not really seeming like a smart value. It's not exactly pricey, but their apparel's a little on the high side for what it is -- windbreakers and nerdy sneakers. When it comes to that stuff, Urban Outfitters has you covered, and for way less cha-ching.