Adidas unveils Europe factory plan

Adidas logo and stripes Image copyright Reuters

German sportswear firm Adidas has outlined a turnaround plan that includes making some of its goods in Europe rather than Asia.

The company's chief executive, Herbert Hainer, said: "We will bring production back to where the main markets are."

Adidas hopes the changes will help it to make new products available more quickly, as well as increasing net income by 15% a year by 2020.

The firm is keen to stop rival Nike eating into its market share.

It said it was testing automated production units that would speed up manufacturing and allow customers to personalise their purchases.

However, the plan failed to make a huge impression on investors. Adidas shares traded slightly higher in Frankfurt.

City focus

As part of the strategic business plan, called Creating the New, the company will invest in talent and marketing in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo.

The company's executive board member in charge of global sales, Roland Auschel, said: "Global brands are created in global cities. If we win running in New York and Los Angeles, we will win running in the US."

One marketing expert called the shift to strategic cities a sensible move. "Those areas are important because they are opinion leaders," said Vince Mitchell, professor of marketing at Cass Business School.

Mr Mitchell added that swift production speed was the secret to the success of such High Street retailers as Zara.

Adidas is trying to gain market share and rebound from a previous business plan that did not achieve its goals.

In a blog on the company's website, Mr Hainer wrote: "We had to accept in late 2014 that we'd not met all our financial ambitions which we'd set ourselves in the light of the strategic business plan Route 2015 five years ago."

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