Need to Know
- The sportswear company’s e-commerce business improved by 55% in March.
- During a first-quarter earnings call this week, CEO Kasper Rorsted said Adidas expects to exceed its prior three-month revenue target of $4.3-billion.
- The company attributes some of this digital success to the brand’s #HomeTeam campaign launched in response to COVID-19.
On its quarterly earnings call this week, athletic apparel giant Adidas indicated plans to throw additional resources behind its online retail operations, as COVID-19 continues to prevent consumers from shopping in-store.
During the three-month period ending on March 31, Adidas’ e-commerce business grew by 35%, with a 55% uptick in March.
CEO Kasper Rorsted, speaking on a call that also included Adidas CFO Harm Ohlmeyer and VP of Investor Relations Sebastian Steffen, said the company’s plan to focus on digital sales stems from the company’s experience in China during that country’s coronavirus crisis: in that market, Adidas recovered quickly through an “aggressive doubling down on digital channels,” Rorsted said, adding that digital has been the company’s focus since 2016.
“We’re taking the proven setup from China on how to stay engaged with the consumers and restart business,” Rorsted said, noting that, in February, online traffic had increased to Adidas’ digital channels, though conversions remained low. “We need to serve the consumers’ needs in digital also during the lockdown”
Rorsted, who said the company plans to “dramatically” accelerate its e-commerce efforts, said that an increased focus on digital properties would help enable the long-term success of Adidas by preparing the company for “the new normal,” calling digital storefronts “the only consistent store that’s open 24/7.”
Adidas has been working to digitally engage its customers in North America since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, launching its #HomeTeam campaign, which focuses on maintaining physical fitness and connection while distancing, on March 25. Rorsted noted that, internally, the company has also been working to maintain worker safety: “40,000 people are working from home and we’ve had a very low exposure to the coronavirus within the adidas family,” he said.