ASICS To Expand Offline Presence Amid Pandemic
Japanese sportswear brand ASICS is thinking differently in this pandemic and has decided to increase its offline presence in a big way while many other brands are pruning existing physical presence hit by severe COVID-19 induced disruptions.
The global sportswear company well known for its running shoes said pandemic is freeing up some prime commercial spaces and the company was grabbing the opportunity banking on a long-term strategy.
Even though in the current fiscal, e-commerce and online sales will account to over one-third of its revenue.
ASICS was optimistic on the Indian market as Covid had triggered consumers increasingly becoming more conscious about health and fitness and including running to maintain and boost their immunity.
"While a lot of brands are rescinding their plans of opening stores and even shutting down existing stores, we have added five stores in the pipeline that we expect to open by the end of 2020, and we hope to end this calendar year with close to 60 stores," ASICS India and South Asia, managing director Rajat Khurana said.
"In 2021, we hope to have a stronger growth momentum, and will look to open one store per month with plans to add 12-15 stores," he said.
"The overall sales this year will rise up in the coming year. We will continue to build up on our retail expansion strategy as we dig deep into the smaller towns to build a deeper brand recall value," Khurana said without divulging revenue details.
The brand opened doors to the consumers with its second store in Kolkata in Quest Mall and was in process of launching another store in Bangalore.
However, the company had to switch to online marketing strategies for deeper reach.
"We expect the online channel to contribute over 35 per cent to the overall sales in this year and rise up in the coming year. We will continue to build up on our retail expansion strategy as we dig deep into the smaller towns to build a deeper brand recall value," Khurana said.
"In recent months, we witnessed that most sales on e-commerce now come from smaller towns and this has motivated us to open stores in these towns," he said.
Commenting on the competition without divulging revenues he said, "We are also confident that we will achieve a similar scale soon and with the running segment growing 25 per cent YoY, we surely have a fair chance to catch up with them."
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