Japanese sportswear major ASICS expects the online channel to account for 50 percent of its total sales in India in the next two-three years with consumers opting for more digital purchases due to the pandemic, according to a senior company official. At the same time, ASICS India, the company's arm, is also accelerating the expansion of its physical retail stores to tap into the growth potential in the country.
"Prior to the pandemic, digital sales from our own website and marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart was around 25 percent of the total sales. Now it has touched 35 percent of the total business...It is still growing," ASICS India and South Asia Managing Director Rajat Khurana said.
Stating that the shopping behavior of consumers has changed, he said, "In the next two to three years, digital sales will contribute to 50 percent of the overall sales."
Khurana said ASICS India had clocked wholesales of around Rs 200 crore last year. Even otherwise, he said the company's business has grown and it is witnessing strong growth in the 'performance' segment, where it is "the market leader".
"Post pandemic we have witnessed a strong upside in the performance segment...I will say we are the leaders in the performance segment and there are certain things that are in our favor. The demand for performance is increasing and we being a leader in the performance segment, the category is around 55 to 60 percent of our sales. We aim to be the number one running brand in the next three years," he said.
The company competes with the likes of Nike and Adidas in both performance and athleisure segments of the sportswear category. Commenting on ASICS' growth in India, he said the company has witnessed strong momentum with both offline and online growth.
"For the first half of the year, it is more than 40 percent over the last year but I would say since the stores were closed for two months last year in the first half, the comparison is not a real one," Khurana said.
However, he said for the full year the company is expecting "a growth of around 25 to 30 percent (this year) over the last year".
This, he said, will be helped by the company's ongoing retail expansion plans.
"In two-and-a-half years we have opened more than 25 stores and this year we'll be opening 10 to 12 stores this year," Khurana said adding that by the end of the year, the company is targetting to have a total of 85 stores across India. ASICS currently has 72 stores across India.
Khurana said as ASICS continues to develop its retail locations, it is also adopting new materials and technologies to improve the sustainability of stores while also providing a holistic shopping experience and service to its consumers.