Global fitness and lifestyle brand Reebok has unveiled plans to open 500 FitHub stores in China by 2020 as part of a major push to become the region’s leading fitness brand.
The label, owned by Adidas, aims to expand its physical presence in China where it says the market for fitness is growing fast.
The FitHub concept is an extension of the brand’s new positioning as a fitness-focused label and offers customers an integrated store experience with in-store classes, events and a team of product experts who can provide advice on the right gear for every workout.
Reebok has already opened seven FitHub stores in China in the last few months, including locations in Wuhan, Qingdao, Hangzhou and Beijing.
And 50 further stores are scheduled to open this year to meet the target of 500 FitHubs in China by 2020, according to local media reports. Reebok is collaborating with its retail partner Belle International Holdings Ltd to drive the rollout.
“For a fitness brand, there is no better country to invest in right now than China,” said Chad Wittman, general manager of Reebok Greater China to China Daily.
“We’ve spent a lot of time and energy putting together a China strategy that meets the specific needs of Chinese consumers in terms of product, messaging and experiences.”
Wittman said the strategy of offering events in stores will resonate in China, where consumers “want to do fitness activities to be more healthy and more successful. There are lots of opportunities to offer Chinese consumers a better life through fitness activities.”
In addition to its global range of fitness apparel, footwear and equipment, the brand will be working with teams based in China to design and manufacture products that meet the specific needs of Chinese shoppers.
Reebok, a 120-year-old brand, has been shifting away from celebrity athletes and repositioning itself as a brand for fitness lovers in the past few years. It is currently focusing on three key categories: running, training and classics, and this year running will be a key category according to Wittman.