Puma Looks To Double Revenue Despite Factory Closures And Supply Chain Issues
Puma is on the rise. And Bjorn Gulden, chief executive of the German sportswear brand, has even higher hopes for the brand.
Gulden was quoted in the German-language Handeslblatt newspaper as saying that Puma has the potential to double its sales to more than €10 billion, equivalent to over $11.5 billion, in the longer term. He told the newspaper, according to a Reuters report, that Puma’s third quarter bodes well for the fourth quarter, even with the challenges of factory closures and shipping issues.
Matt Powell, senior industry advisor for sports for The NPD Group, says that currently Puma’s sales are up nearly double. “Puma is one of the hottest brands in the U.S. market,” Powell says. “If the brand manages the marketplace and executes well, doubling the business is certainly a possibility.”
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Founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler, brother to Adidas founder Adi Dassler, both Puma and Adidas are headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, a city of just over 24,000 residents about 14 miles from Nuremberg. Puma became known for its soccer cleats, namely the Atom and the screw-in studs.
Soccer remained the staple business for Puma, which added the brand’s Formstripe logo in 1958. By the 1970s Puma had entered basketball with the Clyde sneaker for Clyde Frazier. In 1985 Puma joined the upper echelon of tennis with a signature sneaker for German star Boris Becker. Puma was the first to usher in the fashion icon status of Serena Williams, signing the young tennis player to her first big contract in 1998.
But Puma’s place in the sports industry started to take a hit in the 2000s, with sales really falling about a decade into the new century. Puma was no longer a player in basketball or tennis and had fallen far behind Adidas and Nike
The Puma turnaround wasn’t long in coming, though. In December 2014, the brand surprised the industry by announcing singer Rihanna as a global ambassador and a new creative director. The foray into the entertainment space brought with it new collaborations with fashion brands, such as a popular Fenty partnership.
Puma also reentered the basketball space with performance footwear in 2018 and has retained its culturally relevant position in both lifestyle and performance sneakers. The brand has continued to push into both new technologies and the running shoe space, the largest performance market in footwear.