New retail initiative by Adidas

German sportswear giant, Adidas, has given 'ownership' of one franchisee retail store to each of its 75 employees in India
German sportswear giant, Adidas, has given 'ownership' of one franchisee retail store to each of its 75 employees in India in a rare retail initiative aimed at spurring sales.
This means annual increments and bonus payouts for each of these employees — the list includes Adidas Group India managing director Dave Thomas and its brand managers — will partly be based on the performance of the store they have 'adopted' and 'own' on parameters such as sales, conversions from walk-ins to actual buying, time consumers spend at the store, consumer feedback, and support to the store team. 
The stores range from mainstream Adidas or Reebok stores in malls to obscure factory outlets, and employees don't get to choose which store they adopt, said Arijit Sengupta, Adidas Group's senior director for human resources.
The move is expected to inspire a spirit of ownership among employees and make them feel responsible for brand building and sales. "The objective was to reach the shared target for the entire company — brand performance and sales — across functions and roles and move beyond vertical expertise. It's ultimately about getting all hands on the deck and into the consumer's shoes," Sengupta said.
HR experts said such initiatives are rare in the retail world. In sectors such as telecom senior level officials could be asked to 'adopt' a region or circle, but in consumer product space linking individual retail store performance to employee contribution and their incentives is uncommon.
"In terms of construct, it's a great concept because taking cross-functional ownership and responsibility at the retail level breaks silos and structures," said Vibhav Dhawan, managing partner at search firm Positive Moves Consulting. "But actual success of such a move will depend entirely on how effectively the strategy can be executed and implemented," he said.
Adidas had invited all its 450 employees across hierarchy and verticals to apply for 'store
ownership' under the 'heart' programme as it is internally being called. While participation was voluntary for most employees, for leadership team it was mandatory, Sengupta said. And the selection was not based on hierarchy or verticals. "Selections were made from across finance, human resources, marketing, supply chain, communication — any function. Stores were assigned based on importance of location, employee residential areas and so on," he said. Each employee is being allocated one store each for a year, and leadership team members are assigned the least footfall generating stores, Sengupta said. There are about 500 Adidas outlets and 250 Reebok stores in the country, all run by franchisees.
To start with, the 'heart' programme is being rolled out at 75 stores in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and other big cities. Typically, conversions from walk-ins to actual purchases range from 10-11% in a non-mall store, to 15% in a mall, Sengupta said. 
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