In the first quarter of the year to March 31, Li Ning’s offline retail business saw “low-eighties growth” on a year-on-year basis, while e-commerce registered around 100 percent growth on the year, the Chinese sportswear giant reported in an operational update.
Chinese sportswear players have seen impressive growth in recent months, and have been helped by broader factors - including a boom in fitness-related categories in China, as well as a backlash against international brands (including Nike and Adidas) for their stance on sourcing cotton from the Xinjiang region. This being said, the same period last year in China also saw widespread retail closures as the country battled the worst of its Covid-19 outbreak in the opening months of 2020, meaning this growth comes off a lower base.
As of March 31, the total number of points of sale for Li Ning stood at 5,784, which represents a net decrease of 128 since the beginning of this year. This was mostly accounted for by a consolidation of wholesale accounts, which decreased by 104 on a net basis.