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The main competitor Nike and Adidas —  Under Armor — entries Ukraine The main competitor Nike and Adidas —  Under Armor — entries Ukraine

The main competitor Nike and Adidas — Under Armor — entries Ukraine

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MD Group will enter the Ukrainian market one from sportswear most technological brands — the American Under Armor. The consultant on retail real estate,... The main competitor Nike and Adidas —  Under Armor — entries Ukraine

MD Group will enter the Ukrainian market one from sportswear most technological brands — the American Under Armor.

The consultant on retail real estate, the brokerage company top manager, and also the MD Group representative confirmed the information by the brand upcoming entry the Ukrainian market to RAU. “Yes, we will represent Under Armor, but have not yet signed all the documents, so it’s too early to talk about the cooperation details”, —  the MD Group specified. However, the entry Ukraine of one from the most sportswear popular brands in the West, —  is the resolved issue — according to the RAU interlocutors. Only the terms and conditions for the brand’s entry the Ukrainian market remain unknown.

Apple in sportswear

Now Under Armor has already outperformed the Adidas sales in the US, second only to the world leader in sportswear — Nike.

At the same time, the company is considered one of the most technologically advanced in the world, constantly introducing innovations in “the things Internet” field, developing its own mobile applications and experimenting with materials. For example, Under Armor has acquired in recent years start-ups MapMyFitness, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal for more than $ 500 million, which allowed the company to actively develop “the things Internet” direction. Bought companies are working on applications that are synchronized with trackers and other gadgets, reading information about the person state on the basis of which personal recommendations are created. As a result, in 2016, the brand first entered the rating of the most innovative companies in the world from Boston Consulting Group, becoming one of the ranks with Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other high-tech giants. Now, Under Armor fans expect the company new products release no less than the Apple’s fans —  new iPhone model.

Global expansion

In 2016, Under Armor increased its sales by 22%, to $ 4.8 billion: mainly it is due to the increase in the footwear sales by 50%. The expansion to the Europe and Asia countries also helped to support the company’s growth rates. However, it is in the global market Under Armor cannot yet the serious success boast.

It seems that now the company seriously intends to increase its presence outside the home market. Including – it is in the Eastern Europe countries.

In addition to Ukraine, the company is also preparing to enter the Russian market. In early 2017, the local media reported that Under Armor will begin the franchising development in Russia this summer. The brand first store with about 450 sq. m. square was supposed to open in Moscow’s SEC Oceania, which belongs to the development company TPS Real Estate (by the way, in Ukraine it owns one of the most successful shopping malls in the country —  the capital’s Ocean Plaza), as Vedomosti wrote. 

Ukrainian market

As for Ukraine, the RAU interviewed experts believe that MD Group will also develop Under Armor in the monobrand stores format. “For those projects with which Colliers International (Ukraine) works, it is known that MD Group plans to develop Under Armor in the monobrand stores format”, — Igor Zabolotsky says, the Colliers Ukrainian division retail real estate department director.

At the same time, the expert does not rule out that Under Armor products may appear in other retailer chains. “Taking into account that there are such multibrand stores as STEM and WALKER in the company’s portfolio, we do not rule out the possibility that the brand can also be represented in such locations, in agreement with TM owners”, —  Zabolotsky says.

The market participants themselves refrain from official comments regarding the dangerous competitor emergence in the country. However, many believe that its success in Ukraine is not guaranteed at all. “First, in Ukraine this brand is little known. And in recent years, the little-known brands attempts to gain a foothold in the country ended not very well. In addition, now the Ukrainian consumer increasingly prefers democratic-priced brands. Given, that Under Armor works in the “middle plus” segment, it is unlikely to be able to count on winning a significant market share in the coming years”, — one from the interlocutors RAU says.
However, most market experts are inclined to believe that Under Armor has good prospects in Ukraine. “MD group has a wide working experience with different brands and not only in Ukraine. Undoubtedly, the company analyzed in detail the brand prospects and, understanding its relevance, took upon itself the obligations to develop it”, —  Igor Zabolotsky says.

MD Group has been operating on the Ukrainian market for more than 14 years. There are — in the company’s portfolio — more than a dozen already known brands in Ukraine and more than 140 stores in the country. In Ukraine, the group develops the Tommy Hilfiger, Walker, STEM, Oodj, Accessorize, G-Star, Diesel, Gant, Pepe Jeans chains and others.

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Виктор Нагорский Deputy Chief Editor Ukrainian Retail Association

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