Adidas flirts with fashion but remains dedicated to football

Retailers face European challenge
Retailers face European challenge

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Story highlights

  • Adidas is now working with top designers, such as Stella McCartney
  • But its main priority will always be sportswear
  • Adidas has navigated the worst of Europe's economic difficulties due to its strong brand
Adidas, the brand loved for its sports gear, might be expanding into fashion but it won't desert its fitness loving fans, the chief executive says.
Adidas is now working with top designers, such as Stella McCartney, to create a distinctive genre of sportswear and lifestyle fashion products. But while ceo Herbert Hainer is happy with the diversity the collaborations provide, its main priority will always be sportswear, he told CNN.
"Football is our heart and our soul," he said. "This gives us a driving edge in Europe," he added.
Adidas is an official partner of the European Champions League and the 2012 European Football Championship. This means its commitment to Europe will grow despite the continent's vulnerable economic conditions, Hainer said.
"Europe is still a huge market," he noted. "Be it in the mature markets [France, Germany, England] or the emerging markets... especially Russia," he said. "I am not concerned about Europe. There is no doubt that we will further grow in Europe," he added.
Adidas has navigated the worst of Europe's economic difficulties thanks to the strength of its brand name and the diversity of its product portfolio, he said.
The German sportswear giant has grown steadily throughout the first half of 2011 across all of its brand name titles, including Reebok and Tailor Made.
Consumers are looking for innovative products and despite difficult economic times across the world, Adidas is delivering, Hainer said.
"We have an unbelievably healthy situation because we have global brands, bring permanently innovative products to the market and this is what the consumer really appreciate," he added.