Japan-based ASICS is looking to repeat success it has enjoyed elsewhere. The footwear and sports apparel industry is highly competitive worldwide, with huge players such as Nike and Adidas.
ASICS, the Japanese footwear and sports apparel maker is looking to take a big share of the sports equipment market in the Middle East that is currently $750 million in size. The company launched a new regional subsidiary recently in Dubai.
In a statement from the company’s new office at the Dubai Design District, Alistair Cameron the ASICS CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa said the goal for the company was to capitalize on its gains across Europe, where the brand has a market share of over 30% in the running footwear and apparel market.
Cameron added that for the company to continue growing it needs to look at different markets that are prime for additional investment. He indicated that the company’s market share at this time across the region of the Middle East was small.
To increase its share, ASICS is currently building a wholesale division as well as strengthening its partnership with different retailers Pairs, Go Sport, Foot Locker, Stadium, U-Mark, Sportsone, The Athlete’s Foot and Namshi.com.
ASICS is also planning to launch its own new, standalone 200-square meter store concept that will be operated with regional franchise partners. This will come following launches in Seoul, Brussels, Amsterdam and Tokyo and one that is upcoming for London.
Despite the ongoing economic challenges along with lower spending by consumers in some GCC countries tied to low prices of oil, Cameron said ASICS is planning to repeat the success it enjoyed in Spain during the height of that country’s recession.
In Spain, it was able to jump from being No. 9 to No. 3 in the market by advertising campaigns and point of sale.
Cameron said the goal of the company in Middle East was to increase sales of its retail partners as well as grow during the same time which would mean the company was doing well.
ASCIS’ decision to change its regional distributor in the Gulf, Falaknaz, came as the business was seeking to grow in its emerging markets after it was hit by foreign currencies losses in exchange and declining sales in its Americas sector during 2016.
Consolidated sales for the company were down 6.9% in 2016 to just over $3.54 billion.