Which sporting goods brands performed best in the spring?

Italian version

Gianluca Bolelli


August 24, 2023

Sports keep fit. While some players in the fashion industry are performing poorly in 2023, with consumers around the world not prioritizing the purchase of new clothes, sports players are performing well if we look at the results disclosed by registered brands in the sector.

New Mach X from Hoka – Hoka

In fact, the results released this summer confirm the growing importance of some sector leaders. In the front row, the brand Hoka, born in the French Alps, in Annecy and owned by the American group Deckers (Ugg, Teva, Sanuk…), whose sales grew by 27.4%, reaching 420.5 million dollars. in the first quarter ending June. The brand says it achieved a 67% growth in direct-to-consumer sales, in part thanks to its campaign called “Fly Human Fly”, which combines physical and online activation. The transalpine brand also highlights its new “Mach X” model as a growth engine.

Another brand born in the Alpine arc, but this time in Switzerland, is On Running, listed on the New York Stock Exchange for two years, which announced that it made a profit in the second quarter of its financial year, which also ended 30 June. , revenue was 443 million Swiss francs, up 60% at constant exchange rates. Again, last quarter, On released a new model: the Cloudboom Echo 3 long-distance running shoe. Its strategy of building a community through social media seems to be paying off. The brand also opens flagship stores in major cities around the world, including Paris.

Enthusiasm for running

Both shoe specialists are first and foremost supporters of running and benefit from the global enthusiasm for the practice. They were joined by growth of historical players such as Asics, +29%, to 290 billion yen or 1.83 billion euros, or Mizuno, +24%, to 57 billion yen or 363 million euros, in the quarter ended at the end of 2019 . June. Asics, the protagonist of the segment, which is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the Gel Kayano shoe family this year with the release of its thirtieth model, saw sales of its running range grow by almost 20%, reaching sales of over 935 million euros. . The brand posted double-digit growth across all regions of the world.

Outperforming the leading players in the industry. Thus, in the last quarter, Puma’s sales increased by 11% to 2.12 billion euros, which was due, in particular, to an increase in footwear sales of more than 18%. Nike, which closed the quarter at the end of May, posted sales growth of 4.8% to $12.8 billion, with modest growth in most markets and a strong recovery in the Chinese market. Finally, Adidas, still mired in the aftermath of the chaotic end of its relationship with Kanye West and the Yeezy sneaker franchise, saw its revenue drop more than 4% in the most recent quarter, with the decline after the application of currency exchange rates amounting to almost the same decline. 5% in Europe and, above all, more than 18% in North America, which does not offset the growth of 6% in China and 14% in Latin America. Another player in a difficult situation is Under Armor. As proof that Adidas wasn’t the only company to go badly during this period, the US group saw a 2% drop in sales to less than $1.3 billion in the quarter ending late June, specifically from – for revenue. a 9% decline in North America, its largest market.

Kyrie Irving is the new creative director of Anta Sports – Anta

In the Chinese market, where consumers pay attention to technical products, international brands have a long way to go to compete with local players. Thus, Li Ning, whose strategy is focused on the development of the brand of the same name, recorded a growth of 13% in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year, to 14 billion yuan, or 1.77 billion euros. The Chinese group clarifies that sales of its top-selling products grew by 33% during this period.

But the company that stands out is undoubtedly Anta. In the first half of the year, the group recorded sales growth of more than 14%, reaching almost 30 billion yuan, or 3.75 billion euros. The group owns the Anta brand, which has, among other things, hired NBA star Kyrie Irving, who will unveil his first signature shoe in early 2024. In the first half of the year, the brand weighs the same as Li Ning. But the group also owns Fila (12.23 billion yuan, up 13.5%). Anta, through AS Holding, is one of the participants in the joint venture that manages the Amer Sports group (Salomon, Atomic, Arc’Teryx, Peak Performance, Wilson…). The Finnish group, acquired in 2019, saw a 37% increase in sales in the first half of the year, to almost 1.7 billion euros. Another asset in Anta’s portfolio are outdoor activities brands Descente and Kolon Sport, which saw sales rise 78% to 3.25 billion yuan, or 411 million euros.

So if Nike remains the undisputed leader in the sector, the competition rages on behind it and younger brands are beginning to establish themselves. Adidas or Under Armor seem to be in trouble, falling behind regional players like Anta or specialists like Asics who have made good headway. Lululemon in the fitness universe continues its operations and will present quarterly results on August 30th. Other names whose parent companies are not listed are also increasingly on store shelves, such as New Balance.

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