Adidas is planning to use a tough keep-fit trend and retro products to increase sales at Reebok to €3 billion (£2.4 billion) by 2015, after the unit was hit by a fraud scandal in India and the loss of its NFL American football contract.
With Reebok’s sales down 7% in the first quarter and annual sales expected to fall from 2011′s €1.96 billion (£1.57 billion), its performance contrasts sharply with the rest of the Adidas group, which expects overall sales to rise nearly 10% in 2012.
Along with the NFL contract loss, a rush for its Easytone toning shoes, favoured by women looking to tone their legs, has petered out as the market became flooded with rivals and US authorities challenged the health benefits.
Herbert Hainer, the CEO of Adidas said that the company did not want Reebok to be seen as a women-only brand, and that a tie-up with gruelling Crossfit, a fitness regime currently sweeping the US, along with more retro Classics products should help regain it some lustre.
Hainer added the group should be in a position to give an update on the fraud case in India, which it estimates will cost it almost €200 million (£160 million), with quarterly results in August.
The chief executive officer is confident the sporting goods industry will continue to be shielded from the economic misery sweeping Europe, saying that its products were still selling well in debt-ridden countries like Spain.
“Our products are not so expensive that people can’t afford them and the children always seem to have the money for iPhones or football jerseys or both”, he said.