HERZOGENAURACH, Germany—Adidas is likely to move production of footwear and other sports goods from Asia back to Europe and North America, according to CEO Herbert Hainer.
Launching a new five-year business plan, Hainer, said the firm wants to bring production to where the consumer.
“If we have robotics that can do the production [Adidas] can put it into America, Germany, France, the UK, wherever it's needed,” the executive said.
“Today we don't have production [in those countries] because it is too expensive. In the future [production] can be much more flexible.”
Hainer said the aim is to increase the company's ability to respond to fast-changing consumer trends achieving, for example, concept-to-shelf targets of 45 days for its Adidas and Reebok footwear brands.
Under the “Creating the New” business plan, Adidas aims to develop a series of “independent and scalable” manufacturing cells in operation by 2020. To this end, it is working with industrial partners and participating in advanced manufacturing initiates led by the German government.
Hainer also highlighted the importance of collaborations with materials companies in the plans. He cited, in particular, recent work with BASF to develop Adidas' Boost shoe cushioning based on an expanded thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer.