If you’re not yet convinced about the impact women are having on sales for sports brands, then Puma’s latest results and other big news should convince you.
Puma already has Rihanna as a creative director and today confirmed that Kylie Jenner has signed up to front a campaign too (despite her brother-in-law Kanye West insisting earlier on Twitter that it would never happen!)
But even bigger news for the business-minded was the Kering-controlled German brand saying today its sales soared 11.5% currency-neutral in Q4 to €879m, although underlying operating profits rose only 2.6% to €10.9m and the net profit was actually a loss – of €4.3m.
The brand is working hard to stage a comeback as it has been losing out to arch-rivals Adidas and Nike recently, as well as to fast-growing relative-newcomers like Under Armour.
But its strategy is obviously making strides. Women’s sports clothing and footwear is growing faster than men’s and puma is wise to invest in that area. In fact, women’s product is especially appealing to two groups located at either extreme of the sports market. The first is Athleisure-focused women who have no intention of doing any exercise but who like the look. The second is those women for whom exercise is so important that it’s a seamless part of their daily lives and so they wear athleisure for working out as well as simply living. The fact is, the numbers is both groups is growing and that should drive sales higher.
Although a lot of this year’s growth will come from sports events with a big male profile (the Rio Olympics, the UEFA European Championship and the Copa America), the company declared Thursday that “we believe the future is female”. Who am I to disagree?