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FASHION

Adidas creates new brand to tap youth fashion market

German sports apparel giant Adidas said Monday it hoped to win sales of more than €1 billion with a new brand aimed at the lucrative 12 to 19-year-old market that is already being launched in Asia.

Adidas creates new brand to tap youth fashion market
Photo: A screenshot of David Beckham for Adidas Neo.

With Adidas Neo, the firm hopes to “slice off a nice piece of the cake” of the worldwide fashion market, expected to be around €125 billion ($170 billion) by 2015, said Erich Stamminger, an Adidas board member.

Hoping to appeal to fashion-conscious teens, the brand’s collection will include items inspired by English football star and notorious clothes horse David Beckham.

“We are unlocking a new segment: children and young people between 12 and 19,” said Stamminger in an interview with German weekly Wirtschaftswoche.

“A lot of them already wear Adidas for sport, but they are looking for fashionable stuff for school and free time,” said Stamminger.

He added the new products would be priced roughly 10 percent above those offered by Hennes&Mauritz, around the same price as Zara.

“We are already opening Neo stores in markets like China, Russia, India and the Philippines…we are already banking on sales of up to 400 million in 2010. By 2015, we assume we will have more than €1billion.”

Last week, Adidas laid down an ambitious gauntlet to arch US rival Nike, saying it aimed to outgrow the world number one over the next five years.

Adidas said that by 2015 annual sales would reach €17 billion, representing growth of 45-50 percent from 2009. Profits, meanwhile, would grow at an annual pace of 15 percent.

AFP/The Local/rm

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RETAIL

German Amazon workers strike on ‘Black Friday’

Amazon workers in Germany started a three-day strike Thursday timed to disrupt the online retailer's "Black Friday" sales bonanza.

German Amazon workers strike on 'Black Friday'
Signs for the Amazon strike in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

The strike, called by the powerful Verdi union, is set to last until Saturday and marks the latest escalation in a years-long battle with Amazon for better pay and working conditions.

“We estimate that around 2,500 people went on strike today, a higher number than in similar actions in the past and given the difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic, it's a big success,” a Verdi spokesman told AFP.

To limit the risk of Covid-19 infections, the union said it was not staging any rallies during the strike.

Amazon in a statement said the walkouts were not affecting customer deliveries since “the majority of employees are working as normal”.

The stoppage affected Amazon distribution facilities in Leipzig, Bad Hersfeld, Augsburg, Rheinberg, Werne and Koblenz.

Verdi has long wanted Amazon to sign on to regional wage agreements covering retail and e-commerce, and has organised numerous walkouts in recent years.

It also wants Amazon to improve health and safety at work, accusing the retail giant of not doing enough to protect staff from the coronavirus at some of its German sites.

Amazon defended its policies, saying it offered “excellent” wages, benefits and career opportunities in a “modern, safe” work environment.

The company employs more than 16,000 people in Germany and has taken on an additional 10,000 seasonal employees to cope with a boom in online shopping triggered by the pandemic.

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