To counter falling sales, Asics has increased its focus on digital sales and also sped up its planned development of products in China to capitalize on an expected rebound as stores around the world reopen. The brand also reduced its spending on marketing.
In North America, the company increased the discount for health-care workers and first responders to 60 percent and also provided free access to its Asics Studio app, allowing all consumers to utilize its library of at-home workouts. The brand is also partnering with its retail partners to provide shoe donations to front-line workers as well as T-shirts for screen-printing and fund-raising efforts.
In the first quarter ended March 31, the overall sales of Asics North America dropped by 18.4 percent year-over-year, with sales in Mexico declining by 10 percent and while those in Canada falling by 5.5 percent. In the US market, the brand also saw a 14.2 percent decrease in performance running product.
For the corporation as a whole, the operating loss in the first quarter was 882 million yen, or $8.2 million, compared with operating income of 6.2 billion yen in last year’s first quarter. Net sales fell 13.5 percent to 85.3 billion yen, or $793.4 million, from 98.7 billion yen in the first quarter of 2019. However, the brand’s e-commerce sales jumped by 60 percent in the period.
By category, Asics’ performance running sales declined by 11.5 percent to 38 billion yen from 43 billion yen in the first quarter of last year, with operating income falling 87 percent to 239 million from 1.8 billion yen last year.