ASICS makes strides transforming EMEA business

ASICS Europe is well on the way to transforming its EMEA business to build closer consumer connections and be more responsive to a changing world.

Although consolidated net sales for the first three quarters of 2017 declined by 6.6 per cent, the transformation programme began to positively impact the business, as seen in strategic business areas direct-to-consumer – with ASICS stores showing 15 per cent growth – and strong sales increase in emerging markets.

In addition, ASICS began reorganising its sales organisation and strengthening its merchandising and digital marketing capabilities in order to further accelerate growth.

ASICS continued to expand its Direct-to-Consumer footprint, rolling out new concept stores and partnering with key accounts to invest in new ASICS branded environments. Since the opening of London’s Regent Street, ASICS has opened in Milan, Berlin and Cologne, with Austria (Vienna) and Denmark (Copenhagen) receiving their first ever ASICS brand stores this coming quarter. In addition to these environments, ASICS launched a new e-commerce platform that significantly improved the digital shopping experience which led to a sales uplift of 44 per cent.

Emerging Markets continued to realise significant growth, where business in Russia grew by 33 per cent and the Middle East displayed a positive growth since the opening of a dedicated subsidiary in 2016. ASICS has invested in dedicated resources, and reaffirmed its commitment to develop products, merchandising and marketing which is customised to the specific needs of these growth markets.

Internally, ASICS reorganised its Wholesale Sales team under the leadership of Markus Hupach who was named vice president of sales for the EMEA region. To better serve key accounts, fully dedicated and integrated teams will provide strategic account management focused on driving sell-out.

Next to these centrally managed accounts, ASICS has consolidated its regional sales teams into Area North and Area South to service its other business partners. These two newly created areas will be led by sales directors Glenn Houston for Area North and Luca Bacherotti for Area South.

Finally, ASICS continued to build its merchandising and digital marketing capabilities. The merchandising function was strengthened by bringing in Jason Vereker who is named director of lifestyle, to focus on pursuing the huge growth opportunity in this category. ASICS also established a new Integrated Marketing Communications team which is bringing the ‘I Move Me’ campaign to life across all offline and online touchpoints.

The new European business structure is expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2018, with the new European headquarters, near Amsterdam, opening in quarter four of next year, doubling the capacity of the current premises.

Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS Europe B.V., said: “We have really focused on adapting our business to be fit for the future. We’re pleased with the positive results already seen in key strategic business areas such as direct to consumer and emerging markets, with the aim to continue to create better connections with consumers and customers through other areas in the business in 2018. ASICS is faster and more responsive, we’re moving forward just like our brand campaign ‘I Move Me’ and we want to continue inspiring others to move.”

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