BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) - Adidas AG aims to overtake Nike Inc. in the China market by the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with a program of accelerated store openings, sponsorship deals and its acquisition of Reebok International Ltd., Adidas's top executive told the Wall Street Journal.
It plans to open an average of 1.5 new outlets a day in China over the next two years as part of a plan to double its current 2,500 Adidas-brand stores in the country by 2010, chief executive Herbert Hainer was quoted as saying in the report.
'In two years, I believe we will be market leader in China,' said Hainer, in Beijing to meet with China's Olympic Games organizing committee as an official sponsor for the games, where it has committed to spend an estimated 80 mln usd.
It currently trails Nike in both global and China sales.
Adidas's 3.8 bln usd acquisition of Reebok, which analysts see as a way for the company to increase its US market share, is also important to Adidas's China plans, the report said.
Hainer said the Adidas brand is on track to reach sales of 1.28 bln usd in China by 2010, an estimate that doesn't include new China sales from Reebok.
Nike said it racked up almost 600 mln usd in China sales in 2005.
Adidas doesn't give individual country sales but Chinese sports-marketing firm Zou Marketing Inc. estimated that its sales in China last year were 385 mln usd.
Adidas also plans to speed up the rollout of Reebok outlets in China, opening 200 to 250 stores a year, aiming for a total of 1,500 to 2,000 Reebok-brand stores in the country, the report said.
Reebok currently has 50 stores in China.