Adidas, the world's largest football goods company, said Tuesday that the Germany-based sports company predicted that Russia and the CIS countries could be Adidas’ biggest market in Europe by 2010.
"We are well positioned with all our brands in Russia. The Adidas Group is growing so fast in this large country that it is already one of our most important markets in Europe, with the potential to claim the top spot by 2010," Herbert Hainer, CEO and chairman of Adidas, said in statement released by Adidas.
In the release, the company said sales in Europe had increased 12 percent on a currency-neutral basis in the first quarter, but sales in Russia and CIS countries had leapt more than 50 percent.
The adidas Group is the clear market leader in Russia, with a market share more than twice the size of its nearest competitor. A focus on key accounts and the expansion of mono-brand stores have been the growth driver for both adidas and Reebok.
At the end of 2007, the adidas Group operated over 460 stores in Russia and the CIS and is planning to take that number to more than 750 stores in 2008. The adidas Group is also the market leader in the Ukraine and successfully entered the market in Kazakhstan in 2007.
"Russia is a very dynamic country and is known for world-class athletes, as well as enthusiastic fans. By expanding our own-retail network in Russia and the CIS countries, we are giving consumers access to a unique brand experience and the equipment to achieve their personal best,"
Martin Shankland, managing director of Adidas in Russia and the CIS countries, said in the statement.