The first quarter of 2020 for ASICS North America (ANA), which includes the United States, Canada and Mexico, saw the adverse effects on year-over-year performance of the wholesale and retail channels across the region due to COVID-19. While the global health crisis created difficulties, ASICS did see strong demand for running footwear and apparel across the online business through retail partners’ online channels and ASICS’ own ecommerce channel.
"There is no question that these unprecedented times have created challenges for our brand and the industry as a whole,” says Koichiro Kodama, ASICS North America CEO. "We have also found that our brand philosophy of Sound Mind, Sound Body is more important than ever, especially as people have needed to adjust to these new circumstances and fitness regime. With these adjustments and during this time, we have also seen an increased demand for ASICS performance footwear products online through our key partners as well as our own ecommerce.”
In the first quarter, ASICS U.S. was down 18.4 percent year-over-year while Canada and Mexico were down 5.5 percent and 10 percent year-over-year in local currency respectively. ASICS U.S. saw a year-over-year decrease of 14.2 percent in performance running due to COVID-19.
Before the pandemic, ASICS launched several footwear products, including Evoride, which became the third member of the ASICS Energy Saving Series. ASICS also debuted the Gel-Nimbus Lite and Novablast models.
Even with sales down due to the pandemic, ASICS continued to support consumers and partners through various activations.
ASICS increased its healthcare and first responder discount to 60 percent in the U.S. and is providing free access to the ASICS StudioT app, allowing consumers to utilize the full library of at-home trainer lead workouts.
Additionally, ASICS is working closely with key running retail partners throughout the region to identify areas of need within their communities – from shoe donations for local healthcare workers and first responders to T-shirts for screen printing and fundraising efforts.