During 2018, ASICS reported strong growth in key strategic areas. Although consolidated net sales in EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) declined by 3%, sales in emerging markets grew currency-neutral by 21%; and sales in direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels increased by 22%.
All emerging market territories realised growth on a currency-neutral basis, led by the Middle East which saw a notable 99% increase and Russia which saw a 19% increase. Throughout EMEA, ASICS continued to expand its DTC footprint by both opening own stores and investing in ASICS branded environments with key retailers. E-commerce sales grew by 105% versus 2017.
In order to accelerate growth across all areas of its business, ASICS has introduced a new organisational structure with a new leadership team. The new organisation will be category-led to drive growth in: Running, Core Performance Sports, and Sport Style. It will also seek to create greater alignment and efficiency through a consolidated commercial organisation.
The new category organisation will combine the product, marketing, and merchandising functions, and will be led by Gary Raucher, who joins ASICS on March 1st. The new commercial organisation will combine the planning, buying, and sales functions for both wholesale and direct-to-consumer, and will be led by Scott Wakefield, who previously led the DTC business within ASICS.
Both Raucher and Wakefield will be part of a new management team, which also includes Robert Vermin, who will continue in his role as Chief Administrative Officer, and Melinda Brooks Bray, who will continue in her role as VP Human Resources. All four will report directly to Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS EMEA.
Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS EMEA said, “I am encouraged by the growth we are continuing to see in key strategic areas, and I am confident for the future.
“The changes we’ve made to our organisation will enable us to drive category-specific strategies and take a more holistic view of the market. I’m excited to work with my new management team to drive growth across the region.”