Who: Andy Oliver
I think the Jordan "remastering" announcement is great news. I've said for years that I would have no problem paying a premium for higher quality Jordans, and now that seems to be the case. As for why Jordan is doing this, I think this accomplishes three things:
1) It gives them a great excuse to raise the price of retros across the board. Jordan Brand had been testing the consumer's willingness to pay $225+ over the last few years with the Bin23s and the Lab line, and there has been little to no resistance. Even if Jordan alienates a small percentage of customers with the bump, the price increase should more than offset those losses.
2) This appeases a small (just ask Matt Powell) but vocal minority that had been complaining about the declining quality of Jordan products. Based on initial feedback, there's also now a segment that wants the quality improvements without the price bump, which makes no sense at all, and proves forever that you can't make everyone happy in sneakerland.
3) Most importantly, "remastering" gives Jordan a good reason to reboot the retro cycle again, and gives sneakerheads a great reason to re-buy the sneakers that they bought only a year or two ago. JB used to give 5-10 years of reissue time. But with the market being as hot as it is, I'd expect to see all of your favorites remastered and back on shelves within a few years. All that being said, I don't see this being a move that will result in huge increases in retro sales. The reality is that Jordan Brand sells through the vast majority of their retros anyway. Instead, I see this as a way to keep a notoriously fickle consumer group engaged with their brand while pushing the retro price point higher and higher.