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Adidas India is in preliminary talks with a few franchise partners to takeover some of their individual stores or operations for cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. The India unit of German-headquartered sportswear company had, a year ago, received government approval to open 100 per cent foreign-owned stores in India, will throw open its first store in Delhi by July, according to Dave Thomas, managing director of Adidas’s India operation.

By 2020, the company will open 30-40 big flagship stores. However, as finding premium real estate is a challenge in India, the company has got into talks with its existing franchises to take over some of their large stores. In the last couple of years, Adidas, that also operates Reebok in India, has been consolidating its franchise partners and retail footprint. In 2012, when the financial fraud rocked Reebok, the company had to close 500 franchise partners working for the two brands.

Also in the last two years since Thomas took over the India operations, the company has shut down more stores than it opened. However, it is shuttering down smaller stores and opening fewer larger stores. As such the net square feet space it operates in India has increased.