The middle of the road is where you get killed.

With Under Armour grabbing the hardcore athlete, and Lululemon taking hold among women finding their spiritual core, Nike Womens suddenly finds itself repositioned in the squishy middle between the two younger brands. This is the same place Sears and Kmart found themselves in when Target took the design-for-all end of the mass retail spectrum while Walmart seized the fundamentals of good-old-home-town-low-prices. Absolut vodka found itself similarly stranded in the middle of the road when other vodkas went premium. Gap has found itself in limboland between basic jeans and designer brands for some time. Even Starbucks finds itself being repositioned between new higher-end Nespresso shops, and every corner coffee shop they inspired. None of this bodes well for Nike, a brand that has always shimmered. Maybe Nike needs a refresher course on the rules of the road.