Amidst the recent flurry of news about ending its partnership with Ye, adidas has hired Puma’s CEO Bjorn Gulden as its new chief. With over 20 years of experience, Adidas is hoping Gulden can chart new partnerships and a path for growth for the company when he starts in January 2023.
- During the past 12 months at Puma, Gulden presided over considerable YoY growth during the 2021 holiday season and solid comparable visitation up until about June 2022, which is when many retailers began to struggle due to inflation. Puma had a large dip in YoY visitation come August but seems to have made some headway in October.
- Gulden noted that "Despite all the global uncertainties, the third quarter was again a very good quarter for us. With sales being up 24% in Euro terms at EUR 2,354 million and EBIT up 13% to EUR 258 million, it was the best quarter in Puma history’s history. Improved product availability due to a more stable supply chain, better than expected sell-through and Puma’s continued global brand momentum overcompensated all the negative external factors. During the first nine months, we achieved sales growth of 24% in Euro terms (18% on a currency-adjusted basis) to EUR 6,269 million and an EBIT of EUR 600 million. Our Performance categories like Running, Soccer and Basketball continue to do very well. We still see strong demand for Footwear, but we also observe that high inventory levels in the market, especially for Apparel, have led retailers to order more cautiously than a year ago." (Note: Puma’s distribution is 79% wholesale vs 21% DTC.)
- In fact, when looking at Yo3Y visitation trends, Puma visitation is up compared to pre-Covid. Come January 2023, Arne Freundt, a 10-year Puma veteran and current CCO, will be the new CEO and will go head-to-head against his previous boss.