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German sportswear brand Puma has launched its shopping app in India, the first market globally where it will sell merchandise through its own app.

“India is a very important market for us and our local team has done an outstanding job in establishing Puma as the Number 1 sports brand in the country. Given that India is a very digital-savvy market where eCommerce has high penetration, we felt it natural to launch the app here first. It will then be rolled out globally during the year,” said PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden.

The company said it has renewed its investment in India as a high-priority market with this move. Puma posted a revenue of Rs 2,044 crore in India during the financial year ending December 2021, a 68.2% jump over the previous fiscal. The brand also added 51 stores last year and has a total of 450 stores in the country so far.

“With the launch of the PUMA app, we will offer our consumers a faster, seamless and convenient digital shopping experience. The app is powered with multiple technology-led features and that will enhance user experience,” Abhishek Ganguly, managing director, Puma India and Southeast Asia, said. "Puma was the first brand in India to realise the potential of ecommerce and launched its online shopping platform in 2016. Now with this app, we are ready to take the shopping experience to the next level and engage with consumers more closely with the help of interactive features."

India is one of the fastest-growing and largest international markets for footwear companies. Brands such as Adidas, Nike and Puma have been around for nearly two decades in India and have grown by partnering cricket and other sporting activities. However, many players have shifted their positioning to lifestyle and regular athletic wear brands.

Since the onset of Covid-19, demand for fitness wear and sports equipment for sporting disciplines other than cricket has expanded in India. In addition, the contribution from ecommerce channels has more than doubled for most lifestyle and consumer goods companies. Puma generated nearly 43% of its sales from eCommerce last year, a sharp jump from 25% in 2019.