Nike eyes $4 billion in China sales by 2015 -- WSJ

Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:51pm EDT

Oct 11, Reuters - Sports apparel maker Nike Inc has set a target of boosting its annual sales in China to $4 billion by 2015, its chief financial officer told the Wall Street Journal in an interview in Shanghai.

But to reach that goal, Nike will have to help change the exercise and recreational sporting habits of Chinese citizens.

"China has one of the biggest populations who are tuned into sports, but they aren't yet participants," CFO Don Blair told the Journal.

The sportswear company had sales in China of about $2.1 billion last year, according to a market research firm cited by the Journal. In its fiscal first quarter ended Aug. 31, Nike reported China sales of $528 million.

The Oregon-based company plans to open more stores in China and emphasize Chinese sports stars with which it has endorsement deals, such as French Open tennis champion Li Na, the Journal reported.

Nike, which sells its products in 7,500 outlets in China, is hoping a tie up with Chinese track star Liu Xiang will lead to increased sales of its running and athletic gear, the report said.

It is also planning to host a snowboarding event near Beijing next year in an effort to boost interest in its apparel for the sport that gains popularity with each Winter Olympics.

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