Lockdowns across India and Southeast Asia have had a marked impact on consumption patterns at Puma, says the sportswear brand’s regional general manager.

“With people still working from home and taking to fitness more seriously, we are seeing a lot of our customers buy athletic leisure wear and also home fitness gear,” Abhishek Ganguly told Business Insider India.

He observed a desire among consumers to build their immunity and lead a healthier lifestyle. “Over the last few months, we have seen people take to fitness more than ever before and it has now become a way of life for many,” he said.

And that’s the case for children as well as adults, with current consumption in the kidswear segment more like what it is during school holidays. “Kids who used to only buy motorsports are now buying fitness and performance apparel,” he noted.

Another area where behaviour patterns have changed is on the brand’s website where people are discovering products through searches much more than before.

“It shows consumers are very clear about what they want and there is an intent to buy,” said Ganguly. “Purchase patterns are very similar to offline stores – with apparel and footwear growing significantly.”

He claimed apparel share had risen by 12 percentage points as people have been buying “T-shirts, tracks and shorts that are suitable for home workouts as well as leisurewear”.

On e-commerce generally, he reported this side of the business has been growing fast – “over the last 3-4 weeks we have seen our business almost doubling on this channel” – even as footfall and conversions in stores have also increased in recent weeks.

While that’s encouraging, the immediate future remains difficult, not least because of issues around demand planning; the days of designing a fashion range 9-10 months in advance will have to give way to a more agile approach that will necessarily entail a re-engineering of the supply chain.

The pandemic has not, however, led to any significant changes in Puma’s media mix. “We have always prioritised digital marketing and have had a digital-first approach in our content and campaign planning,” said Ganguly.

Sourced from Business Insider