Asda's George strikes deal with Umbro ahead of summer of sport

Asda’s George brand has received a major boost for its sportswear after agreeing to a new partnership with global sports brand Umbro.

The three year deal will see George at Asda sell a range of exclusive Umbro sportswear, leisure wear, footwear and accessories as part of an agreement which marks the first time the supermarket has partnered with a sports brand.

The first collection will go on sale before the summer season, with a 26 May launch date, and will target shoppers looking for sportswear ahead of what will be a busy summer of sport with Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics.

Following up on the initial launch, a second collection will hit stores on 2 June, one week before Euro 2016, allowing Asda to make the most of an anticipated 5.9 per cent uplift in sports retailing market this year.

The Umbro range will be available within the George department of Asda stores and online, while 20 of Asda’s biggest stores will house dedicated Umbro areas showcasing the range.

The deal follows on from Asda’s ‘Project Renewal, an 18 month plan to revamp its 95 biggest stores, invest in prices cuts and halt expansion plans for its click and collect services following the worst sales performance in its 50-year history last year.

Managing director for the George brand, Nick Jones, said: “Umbro is the perfect partner for George – both brands have longstanding heritages built on innovation, but we also share the same values, and are passionate about delivering quality affordable products.

“Now, as we prepare to get behind our nations for some huge sporting events this summer, our partnership will mean that customers can get great sportswear, whatever their budget.”

Michael Scholz, general manager for Umbro UK, said: “The changes to the UK retail landscape are well-documented, especially in the sports industry, so this partnership gives us immediate scale with one of Britain’s most well-loved retailers. The product offering will be tailored to the George consumer – relevant lifestyle and sport product at affordable prices.

“It’s an exciting time for our business and we are proud to be partnering with George to provide families across the UK with branded sportswear they can enjoy and trust, without compromising on quality.”

Asda will hope that the strengthening of its George line will help turn around what has been a prolonged period of under-performance for the Walmart-owned brand, which suffered a 4.7 per cent sales slump last year, more than any of the other big four supermarkets.

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