The Price of a Pair of Nike's in 1995 (Conley, 2008)
The Price of a Pair of Nike's in 1995 (Conley, 2008)

What Works

The smart thing about this graphic is that it does not oversimplify. The story about Nike that gets told in popular conversation often reduces the profit makers to a monolithic Nike entity. But here we see that profit is extracted at three points in the process – only one of those profit chunks goes to Nike, the other two go to the suppliers and the retailers. It’s also instructive to see just where the rest of the money is allocated – rent, shipping, materials, labor, import duties, marketing, and some rather large “other” catch-all.

What Needs Work

The shape of the shoe just confuses things. It makes it hard to visually compare the relative volumes of the various chunks. It would have been more helpful to skip the gimmicky shoe shape and line up the profit chunks in one row, the labor chunks along a row, and so on for ease of visual comparison. Right now “production labor – $2.75” for the supplier looks to be only a bit smaller than “materials – $9.00” for the manufacturer when in fact, they differ by a factor of three.

Relevant Sources

In case you recognize this citation from yesterday, I should say that I am currently looking at Intro to Sociology text books so I pulled a few things from the same book.

Conley, D. (2008) You may ask yourself: An introduction to thinking like a sociologist New York: W.W. Norton & Company, p. 399.