Under Armour set on winning athleticwear crown from Nike

Discussion
Photo: Under Armour
Feb 02, 2016
George Anderson

Stephen Curry doesn’t have the same skill set as Michael Jordan on the court, but Under Armour is counting on the Golden State Warrior all-star to help the brand achieve a similar level of success off the court that “His Airness” has done for Nike.

There’s no doubt about it. Under Armour is on a winning streak. The company posted an increase of revenues of nearly 31 percent in the fourth quarter while net income was up eight cents per share.

At last month’s National Retail Federation Big Show, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said the company planned to open 200 new stores around the globe this year.

According to an article by Brian Sozzi on TheStreet, Under Armour is likely to open stores under a variety of formats, including factory stores, “brand houses” featuring the company’s best products, as well as store-within-a-store locations inside of Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dick’s is also working on a new Under Armour shop design that has not yet debuted.

Late last year, the founder and former CEO of Lululemon, Chip Wilson, told Bloomberg that he considered acquiring Under Armour several years back. More recently, Under Armour was rumored to be considering an offer for the yoga-inspired Lululemon business.

How important do you think company-owned stores are to Under Armour’s future prospects? Would a bid for Lululemon or another complementary retail brand make sense for Under Armour?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I think a variety of store formats is an excellent way for Under Armor to expand and shows that they are paying attention to local needs. Under Armor already has an excellent reputation while Lululemon has faced some scandal."
"Are company-owned stores a good idea? I think there is certainly no better time to have a clean slate to figure out what the future of stores should be, and I like that Under Armour has a suite of options it’s willing to try out when it comes to store formats."
"Under Armour is aggressive enough to pull it off if anyone can. Nike definitely knows they are in for a fight for supremacy. However, they are going to need more than Curry as a lead spokesperson to beat Nike."

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8 Comments on "Under Armour set on winning athleticwear crown from Nike"


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Zel Bianco
Guest
2 years 11 months ago

I think a variety of store formats is an excellent way for Under Armor to expand and shows that they are paying attention to local needs. Under Armor already has an excellent reputation while Lululemon has faced some scandal — I think Under Armor would be best served by developing their own yoga/atheleisure line.

Naomi K. Shapiro
Guest
Naomi K. Shapiro
2 years 11 months ago

Company stores will be an important aspect of Under Armour’s future. Their brand should establish itself as a go-to place and as a specialty department, as in Dick’s Sporting Goods. Under Armour should stand on its own, it would just muddy the waters if they got involved with Lululemon and its baggage.

Bob Phibbs
Guest
2 years 11 months ago

As I wrote in this post Steal These 9 Visual Merchandising and Store Ideas, Under Armour’s flagship store on Chicago’s Miracle Mile is very impressive. They “get” how to brand a location that is engaging, true to the brand and not filled with distractions. It is a knockout anyone in retail should pay a visit to, to witness their unified vision from a customer standpoint.

Because of their understanding of what makes great retail, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think they could make Lululemon or some other retailer even better.

Nikki Baird
Guest
Nikki Baird
2 years 11 months ago

I think it’s a very interesting question at a time when Amazon is trying out a store, and yet Wall Street seems to think stores are dead (as their hammering of Walmart and Macy’s has proved).

Are company-owned stores a good idea? I think there is certainly no better time to have a clean slate to figure out what the future of stores should be, and I like that Under Armour has a suite of options it’s willing to try out when it comes to store formats.

You’ve still got to have stores to be a high-growth, successful retailer. But I don’t know that a store strategy will ever look like the ones that drove Walmart’s or Macy’s growth — and Under Armour is wise to consider alternative paths.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
2 years 11 months ago

Under Armour is aggressive enough to pull it off if anyone can. Nike definitely knows they are in for a fight for supremacy. However, they are going to need more than Curry as a lead spokesperson to beat Nike. Curry is excellent, but he is not Michael Jordan or Lebron either on or off the court when it comes to the ad dollars.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
2 years 11 months ago

No company should ever depend on another for survival. Direct-to-consumer sales and marketing that allows for third-party supportive participation is only dependent on company-wide employee skill sets and good weather.

W. Frank Dell II
Guest
2 years 11 months ago

Company stores, when operated correctly, can be a positive for a manufacturer. Too many times they are a negative as they try to be things the company’s products are not. Apple is a good example of a manufacturer’s stores being a success. Disney was a good example, then the execution got stale and it fell apart. Under Armour should consider any strategic purchase that is cheaper to acquire than to build their own. Remember, companies without experience acquiring companies usually fail the first time around.

Kai Clarke
Guest
2 years 11 months ago

Company-owned stores are not what is driving Under Amour’s business. Instead, it is developing great outdoor athletic apparel, to further develop their UA brand, and offer new designs with cutting edge fabrics and styles.

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Braintrust
"I think a variety of store formats is an excellent way for Under Armor to expand and shows that they are paying attention to local needs. Under Armor already has an excellent reputation while Lululemon has faced some scandal."
"Are company-owned stores a good idea? I think there is certainly no better time to have a clean slate to figure out what the future of stores should be, and I like that Under Armour has a suite of options it’s willing to try out when it comes to store formats."
"Under Armour is aggressive enough to pull it off if anyone can. Nike definitely knows they are in for a fight for supremacy. However, they are going to need more than Curry as a lead spokesperson to beat Nike."

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