Due to UEFA EURO 2020 and the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 was going to be a strong sporting year. However, the COVID-19 outbreak hit and forced most countries into lockdown. Both tournaments had to be canceled, and sports in general were restricted or even prohibited in many countries over a long period of time. This hit hard on sports gear producers and dealers. Like many others in their segment, German sportswear and equipment manufacturer Adidas saw an unprecedented slump in demand and stationary sales.
The company reacted quickly and put an ever-greater effort into digital channels. As a result, Adidas increased its total e-commerce sales by 53% year-on-year in 2020. This means a pronounced shift from offline towards online sales, as the company's overall 2020 net sales decreased by 16%. Their top online stores all registered a net sales increase comparable to or even higher than the company’s overall e-commerce growth.
The success in digital sales channels also reflects in the net sales developments of the three top online stores of the company. The three biggest stores by net sales adidas.com, adidas.co.uk, and reebok.com all increased their net sales remarkably compared to 2019.
Reebok.com registered the highest year-on-year growth. With an increase of 125%, reebok.com more than doubled, reaching total net sales of €262 million. Thus, it is closing the gap to adidas.co.uk, which still generates a higher amount of net sales in 2020 (€322 million). However, it grew almost half as fast as reebok.com, namely by 67% year-on-year.
Taken individually, adidas.co.uk’s growth was still remarkable, though. The frontrunner adidas.com generated almost four times as high a net sales amount as second-placed adidas.co.uk. Total net sales of adidas.com amounted to €1.2 billion, following a year-on-year growth of 58%.
Given the recent great success of its online business, the sportswear company is planning to extend its digital strategies even further. Part of this concept is a multi-channel solution. By connecting offline and online activities into a digital ecosystem which centers around an app. Using a new premium membership app among other things, the company is also enhancing growth in its direct-to-consumer sales channels. The new integrated online-offline approach hits a nerve, as consumer surveys and similar strategies by other great retail players show.
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