Gratifying its mission to be the leading sports brand in the world, adidas for over 80 years is meeting the needs of all sports people in the world. Sharing the successful voyage, Andreas Gellner, Managing Director, adidas India, talks about the company
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Kindly elaborate the mission of adidas and inspiration behind its entry into India.
Andreas Gellner (AG): The mission of the company is ‘To be the leading sports brand in the world.’ adidas meets the need of distinct groups of sport-oriented consumers. The company’s products and marketing initiatives primarily focus on key sports categories and on the sports lifestyle market. India is a key growth market for the adidas Group and we are looking at expansion through our exclusive stores. At the same time, we are intensifying our co-operation with key retailers that have the vision and financial strength to grow aggressively with adidas.
RK: How many stores adidas has at present?
AG: At present, we have nearly 500 exclusive stores across the country and more than 2,000 distribution points with adidas products on their shelves.
RK: How do you define the eligibility criteria for taking up the partnership of the company?
AG: adidas looks for potential partners that are willing to invest time and money. Moreover, the company expects from our partners to possess a long-term vision and business plan. Along with this, they should have a cultural fit with the adidas brand, i.e. possess the passion for performance and the determination to lead.
RK: What kind of support and training do you provide to your partners?
AG: At adidas India, we have a comprehensive and multi-tier training programme aimed at developing a generation of world class retail professionals called the adidas Retail University (aRU).
Based on a globally successful retail training programme, aRU is a pan India training initiative with the objective of training all front end sales staff, thereby equipping them with the adequate knowledge and skills to deliver a first class shopping experience to consumers at adidas exclusive stores.
This structured learning process covers topics such as customer service, selling skills, visual merchandising and shop management. The objective is simply to set the industry standard in customer service at retail. adidas regularly benchmarks its ability to deliver a first class shopping experience through independent research.
RK: Highlight some challenges to the success of footwear business in India.
AG: Footwear business involves storing a large inventory of products keeping in mind varying consumer preferences, variety due to fast evolving fashion trends, and the sizes. Therefore, there is a requirement of large working capital and extra effort to manage the logistics.
RK: Could you please elaborate on the USP of your brand?
AG: We are globally a renowned premium sports brand that has a strong long term commitment to the Indian consumer. adidas offers a predetermined margin to the partners. These stores are designed as per adidas’ global retail guidelines and provide high visibility. The brand offers advice and assistance to its partners on every facet of retail operations.