Nike to raise ante in India

American sportswear brand Nike will strengthen its business in India.

Nike plans to take advantage of the vacuum created by Adidas’ subsidiary Reebok, which is clouded by fraud allegations.

Nike India MD and GM Tarun Puri said the company will further its retail presence, strengthen distribution and develop consumer-centric products.

Nike, which currently has 300-400 franchise operated stores, says it will continue to work with its franchisees. By comparison, Reebok has 900 stores but it announced in May it would cull one third of its network, citing commercial irregularities and aggressive restructuring.

Nike has also been seeking strategic partnerships with multi-brand operators in an effort to widen its reach in India. It now has a retail presence in 3000 multi brand stores.

Nike also plans to develop more consumer-centric products directed towards fulfilling the increased awareness and health consciousness of consumers.

“If a few years ago, people were content buying any pair of sports shoes. Today, the accent is on specific requirements,” says Puri.

India’s sports goods industry is valued at Rs3500 crore (US$700 million), growing at a rate of 18 to 20 per cent annually.



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