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ASICS Seeks to Capitalize on Surging Running Trend in Indonesia and India Post-Pandemic

Japanese sportswear giant, ASICS, is strategically expanding its footprint in Indonesia and India, targeting the burgeoning running trend that has gained momentum in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The move underscores ASICS’ commitment to tap into the fitness consciousness that has swept through these emerging Asian economies.

In Jakarta, ASICS is throwing its weight behind the newly inaugurated Sports Hub, a dedicated running facility poised to open its doors this Saturday. This initiative is envisioned to play a pivotal role in cultivating Indonesia’s vibrant running community.

The brainchild of Japanese contractor Kajima, Sports Hub’s strategic proximity to a public running course is expected to be a major draw for enthusiasts. Equipped with essential amenities including locker rooms and showers, it caters to the needs of runners, offering a convenient space for changing and freshening up. Positioned for a higher-income demographic, single-visit tickets are priced from 50,000 rupiah ($3.20), while a monthly pass is available at 500,000 rupiah. The facility anticipates welcoming a monthly footfall estimated at 5,500.

ASICS is optimistic about India as well, where the running craze aligns with the country’s economic progress. The surge in running events across the nation, with 1.4 billion people, underscores this growing trend. In 2019, India witnessed 1,579 such events, nearly doubling the count from 2016, according to Mumbai-based sports consultancy Procam.

In August, ASICS revised its forecast for consolidated net income for the fiscal year ending December 31 to 25 billion yen ($167 million), marking a 26% surge from the preceding fiscal year. Elevated sales of running shoes in Japan, greater China, Southeast Asia, and South Asia have been instrumental in bolstering the company’s earnings.

ASICS has set ambitious targets for its main “focus growth markets” – India, Indonesia, and the Middle East. The company aspires to triple consolidated sales in these regions to 12.7 billion yen by year-end, from the 2020 figures. To achieve this, ASICS plans to ramp up the number of ASICS brand stores in Indonesia from five in 2020 to 25 by the end of this year. Similarly, the company aims to double the count in India from 2020’s figure to reach 105 stores by the close of this year.

While ASICS faces formidable competition from global sportswear giants like Adidas and Nike, the emerging Asian market offers ample opportunities for companies like ASICS to carve out their niche. According to Anindhitha Maniath, Euromonitor’s research analyst for beauty and fashion, leveraging popular social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, and collaborating with local influencers to craft content that resonates with the local audience, can significantly enhance brand visibility and popularity in these markets.

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