During 2017 ASICS notes that it ‘radically transformed its business to enable sustained growth for the future’. The transformation programme, which is operational since January 2018, focuses on building ‘closer customer connections, prioritising strategic growth initiatives, and becoming more responsive to a rapidly changing world’.
Over the last 12 months ASICS Europe has sharpened its brand positioning, defined growth strategies, and has strengthened its organisation. By creating dedicated teams for strategic accounts and emerging markets, and by building digital marketing and merchandising capabilities, ASICS feels it is better positioned to serve its key customers and diverse consumer base.
Although consolidated net sales in EMEA for 2017 declined by 5%, the multi-disciplinary transformation programme began to positively impact the business in key strategic areas – with ASICS stores showing 14% growth and e-commerce seeing a sales uplift of 39% – as well as strong increase reported in emerging markets.
2017 saw ASICS increase its Direct to Consumer footprint across EMEA with new concept stores opened in key locations – London, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Copenhagen and Vienna, as well as upgrades of five existing brand stores whilst also investing in ASICS branded environments with key retailers, whom ASICS sees as key partners for growth.
Emerging Markets continued to realise significant growth, where business in Russia grew by 30% and the Middle East displayed a positive growth since the opening of a dedicated subsidiary in 2016.
In addition, the new ‘I Move Me’ brand platform was developed and will be rolled out in 2018 across all media channels. In Lifestyle, ASICS Tiger introduced the ‘What The GEL’ umbrella campaign to familiarise younger consumers with the unique heritage of ASICS GEL technology. ASICS also reinforced its position as a leading brand in performance footwear with its global partnership with Novak Djokovic and international music icon Steve Aoki. This will combine performance and lifestyle showcasing ASICS’ appeal to engage with a broader audience, while staying true to its ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’ philosophy.
Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS EMEA commented, “In 2017 we have completely transformed our business to be fit for the future. We are encouraged by the early signs of growth, especially in Direct to Consumer and Emerging Markets, and are confident that our focused approach and strengthened organisation will deliver against our growth plans in 2018 and beyond.”