26 Feb Asics America Surpasses $1 Billion Target in 2014
Asics America Group, which includes the United States, Brazil, Canada and Mexico, announced that it surpassed $1 billion in net sales for the first time in 2014. Sales reached $1.1 billion, up 14.9 percent year on year.
Operating profit also rose a healthy 20.1 percent year on year. This is the third year in a row Asics America has shown sustained growth and profitability, a testament to the brand’s strength in the marketplace.
Driven by fitness trends, including increased participation in running and jogging in both traditional and non-traditional events*, running footwear led the growth with a rise of 11.7 percent. Sales in performance running footwear were headlined by the popular GT-2000 2, GEL-Kayano 21, GEL-Nimbus 16 and GEL-Cumulus 16. Further, Asics launched the entire new Natural33 Collection, expanded the Lite-Show collection and expanded the Kids Collection, which included toddlers for the first time. Focused on innovation, Asics also introduced two new technologies in running footwear this year, the FluidFit Upper and the FluidRide Midsole 2.0.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the phenomenal sales growth achieved by the Asics America Group in 2014,” said Asics America Group President and CEO, Kevin Wulff. “We continue to lead the way in performance running footwear, gain substantial traction in apparel and in newer categories such as training, volleyball and tennis, and are already on pace for a strong 2015. The running industry is growing and transforming in terms of the way people are engaging with the sport, and runners and fitness enthusiasts alike continue to choose Asics because they trust our superior performance products.”
Categories such as Training and Volleyball also saw expansive high double-digit growth last year, as did the Asics sports lifestyle footwear category, which includes Onitsuka Tiger. The category for Asics was up an astonishing 48 percent versus last year.
The iconic GEL-LYTE III, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, was another lifestyle super-star that contributed to the outstanding growth in the sports lifestyle category.
Apparel and accessories continued to exceed expectations and surpassed projections by double and triple digits. The running apparel showed the strongest growth up nearly 75 percent over last year. Socks and headwear sparked significant growth in accessories with strong new colors and prints to complement the apparel collection to create complete head-to-toe looks. Expansion of the Quick Lyte® and Invasion styles were at the forefront of sock sales growth, as was the Kayano Single Tab.
Asics expanded the product range in its popular Accelerate Hope Cancer Awareness Collection for the third straight year, introducing the brand to new customers eager to support a good cause by lacing up in the special edition product. Asics donated more than $400,000 to men’s, women’s and children’s cancer charities through the program.
In 2014, Asics America opened 11 new retail stores including a new flagship location on 42nd Street in New York City’s Times Square, as well as Scottsdale, AZ, Chicago, IL, Skokie, IL, Paramus, NJ, Boston, MA, Roseville, CA, Santa Clara, CA, San Francisco, CA, San Diego, CA and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Asics America plans another 10 store openings this year.
Asics was proud to be recognized with the following industry awards in 2014:
- Best Debut, Asics GEL-Pursue™, Runner’s World, Fall 2014
- 2014 Plus Award for Running Footwear Design, Footwear Plus
- 2014 Top 10 Shoes – Asics Super J33™ (no. 7), The Running Network
- 2014 Top 10 Shoes – Asics GEL-DS Racer™ (no. 9), The Running Network
* According to the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), total running and jogging participation in 2013 was 42 million, up 5% from 40 million in 2012. Since 2009, participation is up 30 percent, with men up 14 percent and women up 50 percent. According to Running USA, race participation has increased 61 percent since 2009, attributed largely to training programs, family-centered community events, color runs, mud runs, obstacle runs, and running series. In just five years (2009-2013), participation in non-traditional running events in the U.S. grew from 100,000 to 4,000,000 — a 40-fold increase