Amer Sports’ ambition is to have one billion euros of softgoods sales in 2016.

Amer Sports’ ambition is to have one billion euros of softgoods sales in 2016. Andy Towne, president of Apparel & Gear, explains the strategy to achieve this.

Amer Sports’ organic growth in softgoods has been extraordinary. “In 2009 it was a 300 million euro business. Now softgoods are getting to 800 million,” says Andy Towne.

“We believe that we can maintain fast growth because it is founded on sustainable building blocks. We see enormous growth opportunities."

The target for 2016 is one billion euros. That would be around 40% of Amer Sports’ revenue.

According to Towne that number could grow even further to around 50%. 
Amer Sports has a clear strategy to achieve this.
  Arc’teryx – growing fast towards 500 million 

“We have tripled the Arc’teryx business. It is now approaching 200 million euros annually,” says Towne.

There is a lot of potential for future growth. “We are adding doors. At the same time, we can sell much more in the doors we have today.”

Towne explains that Arc’teryx sells better when it looks better in store. An important way to accomplish this are “shop-in-shops”.

“Today we cover only about 5% of our distribution with shop-in-shops. We believe that over the next few years we can grow that to 20%,” he says.

To add “more doors” Arc’teryx is expanding to new markets, growing the number of doors and then sales per door through selling in wider collections and new product categories like casual wear and footwear. Amer Sports’ strong go-to-market organization makes this much easier.

Own retail is also one tool for growth. “In the past 12 months we have opened three new brand stores, and these stores are performing very strongly,” Towne says.

Arc’teryx is also broadening its presence in e-commerce; the brand is already present in 17 countries. “We are yet to open in China and Japan. We are only just starting that journey with Arc’teryx,” says Towne.

At the same time, the product portfolio is growing. “In spring 2015 we are launching Arc’teryx footwear,” says Towne. Arc’teryx plans also to grow in women’s wear and city-style clothing.

Salomon – towards one billion euros

“Salomon has now 186 brand stores. It is becoming quite a serious player in retail,” says Towne.

In 20 years Salomon has been transformed from a pure hardgoods company into a 2/3 softgoods company.

Footwear has been a very strong performer. Salomon is the leader in trail running and Salomon footwear is growing towards 500 million euros of annual sales, says Towne.

One growth area is the new concept called CityTrail. “We bring trail running spirit into cities,” Towne explains. This is supported by a CityTrail smartphone app.

Salomon is also extending footwear to new countries, for example to Russia, Japan, China, and Korea. One area of focus is of course e-commerce.

Growth continues also in apparel. “Salomon apparel is starting to reach critical mass and scale,” says Towne.

Growth plans include establishing a significant year-round outdoor pillar, leveraging that to casual outdoor and accelerating. Amer Sports has chosen to play in the biggest market segment, outdoor, which creates a new, year-round performance pillar. Based on this, the company builds the credibility to expand into casual wear.

Salomon is benefiting from Amer Sports digital ecosystem. “In the beginning of October we will launch our first connected apparel, a bra and a t-shirt with integrated heart rate sensor,” Towne reveals.

Amer Sports is accelerating softgoods also with other brands, for example with Wilson and Mavic. Atomic apparel has been launched for this winter.

“We are growing towards one billion euros in softgoods. We are on track and we believe the growth is sustainable,” says Andy Towne.

Source Amer Sports

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