Adidas to operate 12,000 shops in China by 2020 in bid to tap growth in leisure wear, sports participation

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 March, 2016, 8:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 March, 2016, 8:00pm

Growing enthusiasm for sports in mainland China has helped Adidas to power up it sales revenue in the world’s most populous nation, even as a economic slowdown has put the brakes on consumption through out the wider region.

The athletics apparel giant said on Friday its sales revenue in Greater China had surged 18 per cent on year to more than 2 billion euros.

China, Hong Kong and Taiwan collectively represent the most profitable sales region for Adidas, said Colin Currie, the group’s managing director for greater China.

The company is planning to bolster its retail sales network to 12,000 outlet in China by 2020, with much of the growth slated for smaller cities, Currie said. At present Adidas operates 9,000 stores across China.

“Our performance after the Chinese new year gave us optimism that Hong Kong is still a great market for sporting goods. Like in China, we see more and more consumers, not only Hong Kong residents but also tourists running to buy our brand for sports participation, but also for the sports casual business,” he said.

Adidas will open two flagship locations in Hong Kong this year, including a multi-storey venue in Central that was previously home to Coach, and another in Causeway Bay, said Currie.

Adidas reported its 2015 global revenue increase by 10 per cent on year. Apart from China, double digit sales growth was also seen in Western Europe and Latin America.

Sales growth in China was driven by categories linked to football, children’s wear and the outdoors as a burgeoning middle class is spending more on their kids and placing bigger emphasis on fitness, according to Currie.

“In the next few years we would very much focus on the kids stores… With the relaxation of the one-child policy, more and more money and focus are being put on kids. We really believe this is going to be a tremendous growth segment for us,” he said.

Much spending growth on football-related products is expected thanks to a plan by president Xi Jinping encourage player development among schools.

The company began a three-year cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Education to provide football training courses and training wear targeting mainland schools last summer.

“I think it’s all about China’s wish to be much more competitive on the world stage not only in individual sports, but also in popular sports and team sports… We know that our leader here is a football fan and football is on the national agenda,” Currie said.

He added that Chinese consumers exploring

He added that the outdoor segment remains especially promising amid growth in China’s domestic tourism market that will likely see more people taking to the nation’s hiking trails.