Millennium Post

Japan sportswear giant Asics to divorce Reliance Retail, sell solo in India

Japanese sportswear major Asics will not renew its exclusive distribution pact with Reliance Retail and is setting up its own sales operations in India to tap the growing market here.

The company that has been in India through distribution partnership since 2009 has launched its own sales operations, Asics India Pvt Ltd.

“We have an exclusive distribution agreement with Reliance Retail (Footprint) which will be finished by end of March 2015,” Asics India Director Rajat Khurana said.

He said the company would work with its trade partners directly “but Reliance will be our preferred partner for retail operations in India.” The company said: “The change is intended to bolster sales of Asics products in the country.” Bullish on the Indian market, Khurana said, “First year’s sales target is Rs 28 crore. We aim to triple the sales in three years.” Commenting on Asics’ plans in India, Asics Asia Pacific Division Senior General Manager and Asics India Director Dae Chul Kim said: “India is a promising market and has a huge potential.

“We plan to expand our sales network and bolster marketing support for retail shops in order to establish Asics’ value and image as a true sport performance brand.” Kim further said: “Running is the fastest growing category in sports in India. So, we will be focusing on popularising the sport...”

Khurana said Asics will expand sales channels and setting up of the company’s flagship stores is “currently under consideration”. The company’s products, priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 12,500, will compete with the likes of Nike and Adidas.

To promote its products, Asics has been sponsoring events like the Mumbai Marathon for which its is the official sponsor.
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