ASICS Europe continues to grow its business across the continent by delivering an overall net sales increase of 8% between January and September 2012. This follows an 8% sales uplift in the first half of 2012 for the company. For the full-year, ASICS expects its results to be even better after a strong last quarter of 2012.
ASICS performed particularly well in performance running – the brand’s leading strategic category – with apparel sales increasing by 40%, and running footwear increasing by 10%. In tennis, one of the brand’s key sports, ASICS recorded impressive double digit growth figures in apparel and footwear. ASICS also posted strong results in ‘core performance sports’ footwear, such as volleyball, handball, court sports as well as sports accessories.
Specific regions that contributed to the revenue growth across Europe included ASICS Benelux, Scandinavia and the European distributors, which all posted single digit growth. ASICS Germany and France provided strong double digit growth; and Spain, Poland and Russia delivered ‘outstanding figures’. Sales in ASICS’ own retail outlets increased by 66%.
NPD Sports Tracking Europe data indicates that, particularly in the third quarter of 2012, ASICS grew faster than the total sports footwear market (+13.8% versus +5.7%), the running footwear market (+20.9% versus +11.2%) and running apparel market (+18.8% versus +9.5%) underlining ASICS’ leading position in the running market across Europe.
NPD data also highlighted the continued success of ASICS’ natural running collection – ASICS 33 – which has already grown to become the second biggest concept in the ‘natural running’ category in Germany and the third biggest concept in France. ‘Natural’ is Europe’s fastest growing running footwear category; and following the recent introduction of ASICS’ FluidAxis concept in its natural collection, the brand expects to continue to gain share and bring innovations into this segment.
During 2012, ASICS further improved its brand awareness amongst target consumers indicating the positive effect of the brand’s marketing and advertising initiatives across the region. For 2013, ASICS will continue its strong media presence with a new advertising and digital marketing campaign called ‘Journey of Improvement’.
Next to the significant media investment, ASICS has also recently announced a four-year sponsorship and kit supply deal with the French Athletics Federation and the signing of Gaël Monfils as a brand ambassador in tennis. ASICS will continue to support runners at major events across Europe such as the Paris, Barcelona, Rome and Stockholm marathons and the Great Run Series in the UK.
Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS Europe BV said, “The first three quarters of 2012 were challenging for ASICS in Europe following the strategic decision to terminate a number of high profile accounts as part of the re-positioning of the brand across Europe through the implementation of a selective distribution policy. Despite this realignment and difficult trading conditions we achieved strong growth above 8%.
“Our running performance, tennis and apparel results were all outstanding. We expect 2013 to be strong and the trend for performance ASICS products continues unabated thanks to our continued investment in TV advertising, which helps us grow brand awareness and brand meaning.”
Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning ‘A Sound Mind in a Sound Body’, is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by Kihachiro Onitsuka and is now a leading designer and manufacturer of running shoes, as well as, other athletic footwear, apparel and accessories.