An Adidas spokeswoman said the company intended to sell online as a complement to its retail offer. She said: “We have done and will continue to offer online retailers our products. Our own online offering should be seen as an add-on to our retail activities,” she said.
Like other international sports brands, Adidas has increasingly developed its own distribution network. In 2006, retail operations made up 15% of Adidas brand sales and by 2007 it had 500 of its own Sport Performance and Originals stores. Internet sales in 2006 only accounted for 1% of its retail turnover.
The Adidas group, which has a strong heritage in football, is performing well in the run-up to the Euro 2008 football tournament. In the nine months to the end of September, total turnover was €7.9 billion (£5.7bn), up 5% at constant exchange rates. Of that, the Adidas brand made up €5.5bn (£4bn) sales, up 8%. Operating profit rose 15% to €471 million (£339m).
The group has been boosted by particularly strong sales in Latin America, up 35%, and Asia, up 15%. The Reebok brand, which the group bought in 2006, has so far proved a disappointing acquisition, with sales of €1.8bn (£1.27bn), rising only 2% in constant currency terms.
However, profitability has been helped by combining the sourcing activities of Adidas and Reebok, resulting in cost savings of €85m (£61m) this year.
Last month, Adidas unveiled a four-year tie-up with young fashion brand Diesel to launch a new jeans sub-label, Originals Denim by Diesel. It will offer two male and two female jeans styles, to be sold from next February through Adidas Originals stores worldwide.