After shouldering aside Adidas to be another biggest sportswear brand in the usa, global sports apparel and footwear retailer cheap under armour shoes presently has Australia within its sights.
Under Amour founder and chief executive Kevin Plank, estimated by Forbes to be worth $US3.2 billion, is speaking to Australian landlords by using a view to opening flagship stores in main cities inside the next 1 year, augmenting wholesale sales through Super Retail Group’s Rebel Sport chain.
Under Armour brand is hoping its US success will follow it to Australia.
The company also hopes to promote more sports T-shirts, leggings, shorts and runners towards the three million Australians that have downloaded one of the company’s four physical fitness and health apps, three of which have been acquired throughout the last 15 months for around $US740 million ($954 million).
With annual sales of $US3.1 billion, the 19-year-old company edged aside Adidas to be second in the united states sports apparel and footwear market last year and it is hoping to become one of several three top players inside the $1.8 billion Australian market within 5 years, lifting revenues to more than $100 million.
Under Armour’s sales are growing in Australia by more than 40 per cent annually, albeit off a low base, and Mr Plank believes that retail shops displaying more of the company’s range, put together with an enhanced digital offer, will accelerate growth.
Under Armour set up an Australian subsidiary, led by William Phillips, a couple of years ago which is benefiting from existing relationships with landlords including Westfield Group to secure 800 to 3000 square metre sites “within the best locations” in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
“If it’s a fantastic store that could generate income and this will add to our Australian visits, we’ll open it up,” Mr Plank said.
“It’s not about us trying to cannibalise or take anything far from our wholesale partners just as much as about creating an event which includes our wholesale partners say ‘wow – I never had any concept that under armour outlet sydney could look this great’.”
The bricks and mortar strategy is consistent with the company’s mantra – “we have to protect this house” – and stores are created to be profitable from your outset instead of a loss-making exercise to develop the Under Armour brand.
“We’ve been exploring in america and throughout the world whatever we call our brand house concepts, our committed stores,” Mr Plank said. “The word flagship is not really one I’m excited about, it carries this connotation that its OK whenever we don’t earn money, it’s a marketing expense.”
“Profitability is a culture and our culture is winning, the R of ROI is extremely important, so we’re considering that with our brand houses … and we’ve built one that’s capable of doing that.”
A former highschool and university football star and self-proclaimed “sweatiest guy on the football field,” Mr Plank started the company in 1996, making light-weight football shirts and compression pants from fabrics that wick away sweat.
Since listing nine years ago, Under Armour’s sales and earnings have risen a typical 30 % per year and the company has clocked up its 19th consecutive quarter of 20 %-plus revenue growth.
“Once we average just 21 percent for the following five years by 2020, we’re a $US10 billion brand,” Mr Plank said.
Under Armour has 140 stores in the US and 67 stores beyond the US and sells online to consumers in more than 80 countries.
The company can also be taking advantage of the boom in “athleisure” with the addition of apparel such as yoga pants and fishing shirts to the range. However, its decision to spend greater than $US700 million buying physical fitness and health apps MapMyFitness, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal continues to be questioned by analysts.
Mr Plank says the technique is about 83dexlpky an electronic community and growing sales by better understanding customer needs.
“It’s simple math the more someone exercises, the more under armour basketball shoes sydney they’re gonna need and apparel they’re planning to need,” he explained. “This is not about adding a sixth growth driver, this is something that can increase the five existing growth drivers we now have.”