Adidas had to wait three years, but has now obtained permission from the Indian government to open wholly-owned stores in the country. The Three Stripes are the first foreign sporting goods company to be allowed to do this.
As reported recently, Adidas plans together with its affiliated Reebok brand to increase the number of single-branded stores substantially from 760 to 1,000 by 2020. Until now, the company has relied on franchise partners to run the retail network. Adidas intends to continue working with local partners, but prefers to run new larger stores by itself. They are set to open in the first half of next year.
India only started allowing wholly-owned foreign retail operations in 2012. The Indian government made it possible for foreign companies but with certain restrictions, such as partial sourcing of materials and merchandise from local businesses. The idea was to protect the interests of Indian firms against internationally operating corporations whose competition might cause a headache for local players.