Asics aims to leap into premium. A process that, as Carsten Unbehaun, CEO for the EMEA area for the German brand explains, has already begun. In China and Japan, Onitsuka Tigers have made the leap from sports shop windows to boutiques, with the approval of customers. Although the change has also affected prices. Before seeing their new look in Europe too, however, we will have to wait until 2022.
Ups and downs
Unbehaun explained to wiwo.de that, in the first quarter of 2021, the brand’s sales grew by 35% on an annual basis. Beyond this, in 2020 the brand regained some important slices of the market in Germany and Europe. Market shares, explains Unbehaun, that had been lost over time because “we had strayed too far from the core of the brand, neglecting our core segment”.
Leap into premium
Among the biggest hits of the group are the Onitsuka Tiger. “We are repositioning the brand – announces the manager – and we have already done so in Japan and China. We have moved from the cheaper sports style segment to high-end fashion boutiques. This has been very well received by customers, with sales on the rise in China, for example. For us, Onitsuka Tiger is a premium fashion brand and what it was recently shown in Milan what it will look like in the future”. In Europe, however, the “new” Onitsuka Tiger will arrive only in 2022.
For the leap, you need the leather
“The new positioning of the brand will also have an impact on prices – continues Unbehaun -. Some models cost more than 300 euros, but this is mainly due to the fact that shoes are becoming even more precious – he continues -. For example, we are already offering Onitsuka models made of Japanese leather, and produced exclusively in Japan. And there are many customers around the world who really appreciate it”.