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Adidas to use Football as a main driver of its ambitious growth in China

Adidas is remaining optimistic about the future of the Chinese economy despite the recent slowdown and has announced that it plans to open 3,000 stores in China over the next five years.

The German sportswear giant is aiming to grow its 9,000 stores in China to 12,000 by 2020, according to its China head Colin Currie.

At a recent news briefing Currie said that Adidas was looking to capitalise on the surging popularity of  football in the region which stems from the new government policies designed to foster the growth of the football industry within the country.

“We are cautiously optimistic, but we’re far more on the optimistic side,” said Currie. In taking a cautious approach to the expansion Currie said the company's executives would keep a close eye on sales data in order to track any fallout across what is now its fastest growing market.

The company has grounds for the optimism given its continued growth in the face of the economic downtown which hurt sales figures for many foreign food and beverage companies such as Yum Brands Inc., owner of the Pizza Hut and KFC franchises, and chocolate maker Hershey Co.

Adidas revealed that its annual sales figures in the China region for 2015 had increased by 18 per cent as a result of its aggressive expansion across the country.

Football remains a key driver in the company's vision of success in the region and it has made moves to embed it's brand within the sport with a three year deal to create soccer programs in 20,000 elementary and middle schools across China, training 50,000 teachers and running a national summer camp.

Source: WSJ

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