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ASICS India to double store count by 2026 amid 40% growth: Rajat Khurana, MD

In 2015, ASICS made its mark in India with the inauguration of the first mono-store, marking the beginning of a journey that has witnessed remarkable growth. Over the years, ASICS’ comprehensive product portfolio, encompassing both footwear and apparel, has resonated exceptionally well with Indian customers, translating into a notable increase in demand. This past year alone, ASICS India achieved a robust 40% growth and is positioned for continued expansion.

Innovation & Technology
ASICS has established itself as the leading choice for high-performance running shoes, earning this reputation through a fusion of technology, innovation, and unwavering commitment. In the realm of technological advancements, the brand’s journey began with the introduction of flight foam technology, primarily designed to provide optimal cushioning and comfort. This technology has evolved through various stages, including Flight Foam Plus, Flight Foam Blast, Flight Foam Blast Plus, Flight Foam Turbo, and Flight Foam Turbo Plus.

Similarly, the ASICS 4D Guidance System has transformed, culminating in the latest iteration known as the Adaptive 4D Guidance System. This advanced system is instrumental in delivering stability and aiding with pronation. The essence of the brand is rooted in an unyielding pursuit of excellence in athletic footwear. This unwavering commitment to cutting-edge technologies, combined with meticulous craftsmanship and a deep understanding of athletes’ needs, has propelled ASICS to the forefront of the running shoe industry. ASICS’ dedication to excellence has demonstrably earned us a reputation as synonymous with top-tier running shoes.

Emerging Categories
ASICS has recently launched NOVABLAST 4 which is a limited-edition shoe introduced as the official merchandise of TCS World 10K Bengaluru Run along with apparel for both men and women. The brand is also increasingly catering to the growing demand for stylish, comfortable footwear beyond the track. ASICS Sportstyle segment offers a blend of performance, everyday wear, stylish shoes, and apparel, perfect for those who value both function and fashion.

Product Development
ASICS India takes a fundamentally different approach to design technology and innovative development in the footwear segment. This commitment is fuelled by the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS), the brand’s dedicated research and development powerhouse. The ISS is a global team of scientists and athletes who delve deeply into the human form, movement patterns, and physiology. Their insights are the foundation for every innovation that goes into an ASICS shoe.

All material chosen undergoes a rigorous testing process, not only within ASICS’ laboratories but also in real-world scenarios by actual runners. To further elevate its quality assurance measures, ISS imparts ASICS with expertise in biomechanics and sports science disciplines for the optimal balance of comfort, support, and durability in all products.

Leveraging Digital Platforms
ASICS integrates technology into all its offerings, enriching the online shopping experience with personalised features. Beyond sales, the brand invests in digital marketing, fostering connections via various platforms. Its goal extends beyond selling – it provides valuable content, fitness insights, and meaningful engagements on its digital media platforms.

Top Technologies Adopted by ASICS

  • AI & Machine Learning: Used to forecast consumer trends and adjust product offerings and marketing strategies accordingly.
  • Data Analytics: Used to understand current consumer preferences and predict future demands, redefine strategies and stay agile in the dynamic sportswear market.
  • 3D Foot Scanning Technology: Used to help customers find the right shoes for their feet. This personalised approach leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Mobile Apps: The RUNKEEPER app helps users track their runs, set goals, and find races.

Expansion Plans
Having established ASICS India’s presence with 103 stores nationwide, the brand is now poised for expansion across India, specifically in Tier 1, 2 & 3 markets over the next few years and potentially doubling the number of stores by 2026. ASICS India is currently present across 103 stores in India and 60% of its sales come from physical retail stores. It has a robust e-commerce website and also retails on other e-commerce sites and marketplaces.

In terms of its distribution network, ASICS is currently in Tier 1 & 2 cities and plans to further expand in Tier 3 cities following the strategic movement planned basis its wholesale distributors analysis to increase points of sale, which are currently around 800.

The Next Big Change in Footwear
The next big change in the footwear segment in India will likely be a move towards a more holistic approach to well-being. Consumers are looking beyond just footwear and towards a complete running experience that integrates technology and caters to their overall fitness journey. ASICS India is well-positioned to address this by blending comfort, style, and performance in its products.

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