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Retail 2009-11-11

Sporting it well

By Feature Writer
Sporting it well

A key player in the sporting goods market with leadership positions in footwear and apparel industry, adidas has a dominant presence in the world of sports. In an interview with the Franchise India Holdings Ltd, Andreas Gellner, Managing Director, adidas India shares the success journey of his company.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): What inspired adidas to take the franchise route. How franchising is contributing to its performance?

Andreas Gellner (AG): adidas has a clear mission – ‘To be the leading sports brand in the world’. To accomplish this mission, adidas meets the needs of distinct groups of sport-oriented consumers. Our product 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 cooperation with key retailers that have the vision and financial strength to grow aggressively with adidas.

RK: What is the eligibility criterion for taking the franchisee of your company?

AG: adidas is seeking for potential partners that are willing to invest time and money. Moreover, we expect from our prospective franchisees to possess a long-term vision and business plan. Along with this, they should have a cultural fit with the adidas brand, i.e. possesses the passion for performance and the determination to lead.

RK: How many franchisees do you have?

AG: At present, we have nearly 500 stores across the country and more than 2,000 distribution points with adidas products on their shelves.

RK: What kind of support and training do you provide to your franchisees?

AG: At adidas India, we have a comprehensive and multi-tier training program aimed at developing a generation of world class retail professionals called the adidas Retail University (aRU).

Based on a globally successful retail training program, aRU is a pan India training initiative with the objective of training all front end sales staff, thereby equipping them with 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.

RK: What are the challenges franchisees usually face while running footwear franchise outlet?

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 mange the logistics.

RK: How is it beneficial for an aspiring entrepreneur to take adidas franchise?

AG: Our prospective partners can look forward to work with a globally renowned premium sports brand that has a strong long term commitment to the Indian consumer and market. adidas offers a predetermined margin to the partners, who retail from adidas’ exclusive stores. These stores are designed as per adidas’ global retail guidelines and provide high visibility. The brand offers and assists its franchisees on every facet of retail operations. All new franchisees are provided with a detailed return on investment.

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