The FINANCIAL — According to Puma’s financial report their global sales reached EUR 1.4 billion in the first half of 2007 and brand sales, which includes consolidate sales and license sales, has reached EUR 612.9 million so far in the second half. This leading trademark is opening a shop in Tbilisi at the end of September. The owner of the franchising is “Orion Group.”
“Puma is the first sports shop for us,” said Mamuka Makhatadze, director of “Orion Group” the owner of Puma franchising in Georgia. “We chose this brand for several reasons: it is a world trademark, its philosophy is close to us and it is a profitable business. Our main aim is to give Tbilisi customers high quality goods and the chance to develop their life style with Puma. Puma is not only for sportsmen, it is also suited to those people who simply choose to live a healthy style of life in keeping with modern fashion trends.”
To start with, Makhatadze aims to work by the following strategy: First – to make Puma well known in Tbilisi; Second – to provide the highest quality goods at adequate prices; Finally – to help create a higher standard of lifestyle.
The biggest competitors of Puma are Adidas and Nike which are already presented on the Georgian market. On that point Makhatadze has said that he respects these brands and thinks that the competition will be good for them. “These trademarks are as well known and strong as Puma, they are in earnest our competitors, but as a result our motivation is growing and we are doing our best to become first on the Tbilisi market,” said Makhatadze.
“The founder of Puma was one of the brothers of Adi Dassler, who created Adidas. Rudolf Dassler made his own trademark in 1948 and the same year launched his first Puma Atom football shoes. As a result Puma has its own history and much experience in matters of competition,” added Makhatadze.
According to Grigol Lekveishvili the founder of the shop net of Nike, Giordano and Adidas – Tbilisi Puma is a serious competitor, but in Georgia these brands have a head start of almost ten years and this gives them an advantage. “We know our customers very well, know their preferences and needs. Our competitor is less experienced on the Georgian market, so this difference in experience is to our benefit,” said Lekveishvili.
However according to the Georgian owners of these trademarks their customers are people with middle and high incomes. It should be said that the prices are not too different from each other. For example in Adidas a shirt usually costs from GEL 70 (about USD 42) and in Nike from GEL 50 (about USD 30), sports shoes are particularly similarly priced as they range from GEL 170 GEL (about USD 100) in both shops. Lekveishvili said that most prices in the shops depend on the collections. “In general Adidas has higher prices than Nike, but sometime it’s vice versa,” said Lekveishvili.
In the words of Lekveishvili, in Tbilisi there are other sport shops working without licenses and the goods presented in their shops are only partly original. Most of the goods come from China and are not originals, however the prices are still relatively high. “They think that the average customer buys only by price. This is wrong as the Georgian consumer knows well the prices worthy of quality and original goods and those that aren’t. Our distribution net is very wide and the products that come to us in Georgia come from factories belonging to the original brands,” concluded Mr. Lekveisvili.