How ecommerce fills an insights "gap" for Puma

Stephen Whiteside

The thought of brands selling their products directly to consumers is often seen as a major threat by retailers, be they bricks-and-mortar, digital pure-plays, or a mix of the two.

For Tom Davis, head of global ecommerce at sporting-goods group Puma, such a binary description fails to describe its aims in building a network of online stores that now spans more than 30 markets worldwide. "I'm not sure it's Puma versus the world, but that's how a lot of brands position themselves," he said at the Internet Retailer and Conference Exhibition (IRCE) Focus: Brands and B2B Conference.

Having rolled out ecommerce platforms in approximately 28 countries in the last two years, Davis did not deny that digital marketplaces are growth areas for Puma. But instead of marking an attempt to disintermediate the sales process – as some vendors fear – he argued this activity actually reinforces much of the existing ecosystem.