Sportswear giant adidas game for India story

Single-brand, franchisee-run stores to march in lock-step

Sportswear giant adidas game for India story

 German multi-sportswear and apparel giant adidas, in an effort to establish itself more firmly in the Indian market, has worked out a strategy to grow its point of sales base to garner a better customer experience, with emphasis on integrating technology at its stores.

The brand ‘adidas’ came to India in the 1990s, and grew to become one of the country’s top affordable premium sportswear and apparel companies. The organised sports footwear, apparel and accessories market in India is worth around €400 m-€500 m in net sales, of which, the adidas Group holds around 45 per cent share.

“India is important to us. It’s an emerging market where we want to invest across various areas, including store expansion, infrastructure, people, technology, and an overall customer experience,” adidas Group India Managing Director Dave Thomas told Deccan Herald.   

The adidas Group (which contains — adidas, and adidas Originals — and Reebok) currently has around 489 adidas standalone stores (including 13 Originals stores) and 259 Reebok stores in India.

It plans to take the current total of around 750 standalone stores to 1,000 in the next 3-5 years. Besides, it also plans to grow its sales through department stores and online channels.

Presently, the group’s stores are franchisee-owned, but it has applied for a single-brand own retail licence for the adidas brand, which will enable it to own showrooms in the future.

The company is specially bullish about Bengaluru, where it sees a huge opportunity, thanks to a vibrant sporting culture with active interests in cricket, football, tennis, and basketball, among others. The group currently owns 18 adidas (and Originals) stores in the City, along with nine Reebok stores.

More smart stores

The group, meanwhile, has begun integrating technology at its stores. “We have around 25 stores, where sales teams have been provided with iPads to display our entire product portfolio to customers, making their shopping experience better. By the end of this year, we will have around 200 stores with this facility,” he said.

Today, there are around 22 sourcing units (under contract manufacturing), out of which, one is a global sourcing centre for exports. Around 80 per cent of all products sold in India are locally made.

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