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Smaller cities key for Adidas

Adidas Group China, a unit of Adidas AG, plans to expand aggressively into lower-tier cities as it seeks to compete with Chinese rivals.

"We plan to open more than 2,500 additional stores in the next few years in lower-tier cities, expanding city coverage to more than 1,400 cities," said Colin Currie, managing director of Adidas Group China.

Currie commented following the company's release of its first-half report, which showed that sales in China grew 38 percent to 552 million euros ($783 million), "a new record for this region", the company said.

Currie attributed the rise to a focus on cultivating sales channels, revitalizing the brand, focusing on productivity at the retail level, forming a new leadership team in China and introducing inventory management measures.

"Our strong performance in the first half marks the start of a new era for Adidas in China," said Currie. "We are seeing improvements in our businesses across the board, and it sets us up well for the future as we press ahead with our Route 2015 strategy."

The plan calls for five years of double-digit annual sales growth in China. The Adidas Group is a global sporting goods leader, offering a broad range of products around the core brands: adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport and Reebok-CCM Hockey.

"This is an important market for the group and one where we've had great results in the past," Currie said. "We are confident that in the future with our strategy, in the lower-tier cities and also in the higher-tier cities, consumers will be looking for premier international quality sports brands."