Thursday, March 14, 2013
Mizuno To Open 50 Running-Gear Stores In China
OSAKA (Nikkei)--Mizuno Corp. (8022) plans to open 50 running-goods specialty stores in China within three years, aiming to generate 1.5 billion yen in sales from the operations in fiscal 2015.
The company opened the first location in Shanghai at the beginning of this month, and plans to open two more by the end of this year. These stores not only carry running wear and shoes but also serve as "running stations," where runners can take a shower and attend related workshops.
The sports gear firm wants to capture growing demand for goods and services related to running amid rising health awareness in China.
The company plans to expand the specialty running stores to Beijing as well as major coastal cities including Dalian and Guangzhou. It will offer more shoe designs tailored to local tastes, raising the percentage of such products to 30% of its lineup, up from 15% now.
Mizuno currently operates some 460 general sporting goods stores in China selling items for golf, running and other activities. The plan is to increase these stores to about 500 by fiscal 2015, and make 10% of them "running stations."
Competition in China is intensifying as local manufacturers enhance technology. As Mizuno expands its sales network, it hopes the running stations will help differentiate it from local rivals.
(The Nikkei, March 14 morning edition)