American sports clothing and accessories company Under Armour recently announced granting exclusive distribution rights to Singaporean lifestyle retailer Triple, who will be helping the firm to expand in Southeast Asia. From Spring 2014 (the second quarter of the year), the brand’s performance footwear, apparel and equipment will be made available in brick-and-mortar stores in Singapore and Manila, the Philippines.
According to the official statement, the expansion will continue in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia in 2015, followed by Vietnam and Cambodia. In addition to in-store availability, a full-fledged e-commerce offering will be launched later this year.
Triple was set up by three entrepreneurs, Michael Binger, Adrian Chai and Angelica Suiza, who have combined experience of more than 40 years in the brand, retail and e-commerce business. Adrian Chai, CMO, Triple, told e27 that the startup is bootstrapped. He added, “I believe many other people and companies have thought about bringing Under Amour, currently the fastest growing sports brand in the world, into Southeast Asia.”
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Of course, Under Armour too thinks rather highly of Southeast Asia. Charlie Maurath, President, International, Under Armour said, “Southeast Asia is a diverse region that presents a great long-term growth opportunity for Under Armour.”
Its retail channels will include branded retail stores, dedicated shop-in-shop concepts within department stores and key fitness studios, and select sports speciality doors.
Chai added that the reason behind being granted the exclusive rights could be attributed to Triple’s ability to come up with a business plan for the region which includes e-commerce. He explained, “In addition to the omni-channel approach, Triple conveyed the right approach to “build” and bring the Under Armour brand to life in Southeast Asia, rather than just acting as a distributor.”
In the next six months, the biggest challenge, according to Chai, is learning how to work with the bigger brand in the US. He said that Under Armour is in the process of a global expansion and “resources are quite limited on their end”. He added, “Being a startup will have its teething issues as well. But we intend to overcome any challenge with speed of decision-making, and passion for the brand.”
Last year, Under Armour was reported to have generated US$165 million in e-commerce sales, a good nine per cent of its US$1.8 billion overall sales in 2012. In addition, Internet Retailer had reported back then that the company was looking at online sales to target 25 per cent of overall sales in 2013.