SBD/March 8, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Adidas Gaining Steam On Nike In China For Top Sportswear Company

adidas is “catching up” with Nike in the “race to be China's top sportswear company,” according to Laurie Burkitt of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. adidas “reported a 12% rise in fourth-quarter China sales for a 27% climb during the full year." That comes amid a "China sales slump at U.S.-based Nike and continuing problems for China's homegrown Li Ning brand.” Key to the company’s strategy is “widening the Adidas brand in China beyond shoes and sweats.” It is “shaking up its retail outlets so that individual stores focus on specific niches ranging from basketball and other athletic apparel to teen and casual wear.” adidas Group Greater China Division Managing Dir Colin Currie said that in the “next two years the company will roll out more segmented shops in its 7,000 China-based stores, offering specialized products to attract the backpacking crowd and even fashion divas.” Market-research firm Euromonitor Int'l found that adidas “now holds an 11.2% share" of China's $23.8B sportswear market, while Nike has 12.1%. Nike has “long dominated China” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/8). The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Patti Waldmeir notes the “goal is to have 1,400 cities buying Adidas by 2015.” Currie said that China’s “smaller cities still have plenty to give.” He added that consumers in "lower-tier cities have a lot more time to participate in activities that do not cost a lot, like running” (, 3/8).
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