Adidas AG is looking to better tap rapidly changing consumer tastes by increasing the pace of development and production, and, eventually, printing out customized shoes right in its stores.
“Trends change extremely fast these days,” Chief Executive Officer Kasper Rorsted said in an interview with Euro am Sonntag. “What’s hot today in New York or Tokyo spreads in seconds around the world through social media.”
The German sports apparel giant is accelerating the time it takes to bring a new shoe to the market from as long as 15 months to six months or less, and aims to generate 50 percent of its revenue with such quick-turn products by 2020, Rorsted said.
The Herzogenaurach-based company also aims to make better use of its highly automated “Speedfactories” in Atlanta and Ansbach, Germany. For instance, the company could produce a special line of shoes the day after a team wins the Super Bowl or Germany’s Bundesliga soccer league, Rorsted said, adding that in-store shoe printing will probably be reality in 10 years.
“We have to be able to react to trends faster,” said Rorsted. “Speed is a competitive advantage.”