June 17, 2021

Brands: What’s happening with Reebok?

2 min read

Speculation that Adidas will sell Reebok has existed for some time. Now it is no longer speculation. In an official statement the sports giant announced that “as part of the development of its new five-year strategy, Adidas has begun to assess strategic alternatives for Reebok“.

According to the German company these strategic alternatives include both a potential sale of Reebok as well as Reebok remaining a part of the company. A final decision will be announced on March 10, 2021, when the company’s new strategy is officially presented.

Adidas acquired the fitness and sportswear brand in 2006 with high hopes. As Adidas comments today, the outlook for Reebok seemed promsing recently: “As a result of the successful implementation of the turnaround plan ‘Muscle Up’ initiated in 2016, the brand [Reebok] was able to significantly improve its profitability and returned to the profit zone in 2018, two years earlier than initially planned under ‘Muscle Up’. In 2019, Reebok also returned to the growth path. Driven by double-digit growth in its home market North America, global Reebok sales increased by 2% on a currency-neutral basis compared to the previous year.”

Reebok sports- and fitness apparel

Reebok sports- and fitness apparel

So Adidas remained patient. In an article of German newspaper Welt am Sonntag back in 2018, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted was quoted: “It was never my expectation that the situation could be turned around overnight,” he said. However, Rorsted continued, there was “a very clear, non-debatable plan until 2020, which will be consistently enforced”.
Rorsted kept his word and despite the positive development as well as some buzz around Reebok created through collabs with celebs such as rapper Cardi B, turnover and profit of the Boston-based sportswear company don’t reach Adidas’ expectations.

Candidates for a possible takeover have been circulating for some time as well and range from the new Supreme owner VF Corp to the Chinese Anta Group and the US multibrand holding Authentic Brands Group (ABG).

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