Adidas drops wearables in favor of apps
Adidas America has dropped out of the wearables race having recently announced it is discontinuing its digital sports division which previously made GPS running watches, fitness trackers, smart apparel and footwear.
The American division of the company will restructure its wearables business, ceasing to run it as a separate division and focusing instead on integrating the digital experience into the brand's products, most likely through apps and software. The changes could see a restructure that would affect over 70 jobs, although Adidas has stated that it has plans to reassign those employees.
A spokesperson for Adidas said the company has redefined its digital business to integrate "digital across all areas of [the] business", adding that the brand will "continue to grow [its] digital business but in a more integrated way."
The digital sports division has been disbanded and its members have now been tasked with helping Adidas meet its goal to become the first fast fashion athletic apparel company.
The team, which included data scientists, engineers, user experience designers and algorithm developers had formerly managed the miCoach platform and related products.
With the removal of its digital sports division, Adidas will likely turn to its existing infrastructure of apps. In 2015, the company acquired Runtastic, which boasts 70 million users, for a reported $240M. It has also relaunched its Adidas app, which uses artificial intelligence to deliver a better shopping experience.
While Adidas continues to redefine its strategy, its wearables business has taken a similar path to that of Nike and Under Armour's, shifting from hardgoods to software. Both Nike's Fuelband and Under Armour's HealthBox have been retired in favor of app development in an effort to forge a more meaningful relationship with the consumer as user.
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