Reebok, which was acquired by the Adidas Group in 2006, is embarking on a quiet retail revolution in a bid to inspire consumers and help to communicate the brand story. The new Fit Hub model – which initially launched in test markets such as China and Russia, and have now started to hit developed territories such as the UK and US–is part of the strategy. We spoke to Adidas Group’s Michael Stanier about the concept and how it fits into Adidas Group’s overall strategy.

What characterize the Reebok Fit Hub concept?
Our aim with Reebok Fit Hub is to inspire our consumers to live a fitness lifestyle. It’s not a fad – it’s about making fitness a fun and rewarding part of your life. The Fit Hub concept reflects that mentality, and everything within the stores has been geared towards the consumer that wants to get fit and have fun along the way. Hence we’ve recruited staff with a sound background in fitness. The manager of the new London store, which opened in September, is a certified personal trainer and has a sports science degree, while another staff member hopes to become an Olympic weightlifter. You can’t get anywhere in retail without the right people – the Fit Hub staff fit the concept perfectly and will be able to inspire consumers and offer them expert advice at the same time.

You’ve worked hard at refining Reebok’s DNA lately. How does it fit into the general Adidas Group strategy– retail wise and overall?
We’ve decided to push the fact that Reebok is about general fitness, aiming to inspire consumers to make fitness a fun part of their lives. Reebok’s product is specifically designed for fitness, while Adidas equips you to excel at specific sports such as soccer or basketball. These differences are clearly reflected within the two brands’ respective retail concepts. Historically, Reebok has been a wholesale-led business and it still is, but we’ve had a lot of success introducing the product within a mono brand environment. Standalone stores help us tell the Reebok story and we have been very successful when rolling out the Fit Hub retail concept across our consumer direct markets – such as China and Russia. Now it’s time to establish the same shop format in developed markets such as the UK and US, and there will be ten Fit Hub stores in the UK alone within the next couple of months.

What lies ahead for Reebok, and how will you achieve your goals?
Reebok will always be the smaller partner within the Adidas Group, but it will continue to inspire consumers to shop and of course it has to be profitable. It remains to be seen where we end up in terms of the exact balance between retail and wholesale, but the general growth depends on how good we are at taking the brand forward; a strategy which involves several elements including the quality of staff at our stores, the product we offer and how well we communicate the brand values.