n. The proliferation of choices available for a product or service.
Other Forms
I think there will be many choices in the future for the consumer," he said. "We call it the 'sneakerization' of the auto industry. … It used to be you had Ked's or Converse or Jack Percell's. Now you have so many choices of tennis shoes it's tough to make a decision.
—Celia Lamb, “The drive for change; alternative fuel cars,” Sacramento Business Journal, September 14, 2001
1994 (earliest)
Nonprescription sunglasses once were uniform commodities, too. Today, they have been "sneakerized." In 1993, fashion and premium sunglasses, highly varied, accounted for almost half of this $2 billion market. Bausch & Lomb's Revo line comes in 80 frame styles, for example, with a choice of four lens tints for each. Indeed, sneakerization is everywhere. Sony produces more than 100 varieties of Walkman devices. Seiko makes more than 3,000 watches. Philips has 800 models of color television.
—Steven L. Goldman, “Why Seiko Has 3,000 Watch Styles,” The New York Times, October 09, 1994
Anyone who has visited a largish sport shoe retailer and stood, mouth agape, staring at some huge wall of shoes and shoe categories — basketball, running, cross-training, walking, biking, tennis, and on and on — knows intimately the true meaning of sneakerization. From stereos to cereals to cell phone rate plans, commodity choices have gone from limited to downright plethoric. The use of the sneaker as the exemplar for this process dates to the mid-90s:
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