Asics Wants to Regain Top Share in North American Running
Coming out of fiscal 2020 where its North American full-year sales slipped 17 percent in Yen and 15 percent in dollars to approximately $612.6 million, Asics has its sights set on increasing profitability in North America and “gaining back the Number 1 running brand position.”
The latter objective, part of Asics’ Mid-Term Plan 2023, might be a tall task given the rise of brands such as HOKA and the more crowded field of competitors in the performance running category. Asics’ approach, as it aims to regain category market share, will include focusing on digital marketing, investing in young consumers and enhancing its brand positioning within the marathon segment.
“ASICS remains one of the top brands of running shoes in the US,” commented Matt Powell, senior industry advisor for The NPD Group. “Many running brands struggled pre-pandemic. But now as the virus is bringing a new runner to the activity, I expect all running brands to thrive in 2021. HOKA and On operated as if there were no pandemic.”
Beyond its objective for running, Asics wants to improve overall profitability. The North American operating loss was approximately $42.6 million last year. Apparel, which will concentrate on running and training going forward, is a particular area where profitability needs to improve for the brand. Additionally, Asics intends to triple membership in its OneASICS program to five million by the end of FY23.
Globally, the “Sound Mind, Sound Body” brand intends to accelerate its focus on sustainability, vowing to achieve approximately 15 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per product by FY23 (compared to FY15) that would increase to a 55 percent reduction by FY30 with an endgame of virtually no greenhouse gas emission by FY50.