Adidas’ decision to close down one-third of Reebokstores, across India and the decline in sports goods outsourcing from India by other global brands like Puma and Slazenger, owing to low demand and slow economy in the West has badly affected the sports goods industry in Jalandhar. The industry, which was upbeat after the performance of Indian sportspersons at the London Olympics and had been expecting 10-15 per cent growth in the current financial year, now foresees flat growth ahead. Jalandhar’s 1,200-odd sports goods manufacturers – a majority of them being SMEs – generate annual revenues of Rs 700 crores, including exports. The industry supplies to global brands such as Webb Ellis, Reebok, Puma and Slazenger, as well as to the domestic market under local brand names.
While the industry was upbeat in the wake of Olympics, with manufacturers expecting growth in both domestic and exports markets, the ongoing slowdown in the western markets coupled with Adidas’s decision to bring the down number of Reebok stores in the country have cast a dark shadow over the future of the industry. In the last two months, sales have come down drastically.
The sports goods industry in Punjab provides direct employment to about 10,000 workers and indirect employment to 40,000 workers.