PUMA India launches its first store in Maldives
Sportswear brand PUMA India has opened its first store in the Republic of Maldives, entering the popular holiday destination that has witnessed a triple-digit surge in inbound tourism over the last two years. With this, Maldives becomes the latest market to join PUMA India’s syndicate which includes 19 other countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.
Located in capital city Male’s iconic shopping street of Majeedhee Magu, the two-storeyed PUMA store is set to be a one-stop destination for tourists and fashion enthusiasts besides the growing local football and futsal community. The store launch also comes at a time when Maldives is celebrating its golden year of tourism.
Commenting on the launch of the first store in Maldives, Atul Bajaj, Executive Director – Sales & Operations, PUMA India said, “Maldives is coming up strongly as a travel destination, especially post-Covid. The number of resorts has swelled up over the years and the tourist-friendly economy has prompted good demand and consumption of global brands. We are excited to expand our presence in this country.” PUMA has partnered Maldives-based sports & lifestyle marketplace Sonee Sports to launch the brand in the island nation. Under this partnership, the brand will expand its offline retail presence and also explore ecommerce, sports clubs and other distribution channels in this new market.
Tourism is the mainstay in the country, which managed to keep its Covid caseload low and luxury resorts open to attract tourists from across the globe. According to the Ministry of Tourism Maldives, the tropical island nation witnessed a 138% increase in inbound travelers in 2021, highest year-on-year growth rate recorded by Maldives in the last decade. The Ministry yet again estimates 15-17% jump in arrivals so far in 2022 over last year. In fact, India, Russia, UK, Italy and USA were top source markets for Maldives during this two-year period.
Atul Bajaj added, “Maldives is also maturing rapidly as a football and futsal playing nation, indicating a real passion for sports. In Sonee Sports, we have found an experienced partner with a strong background of driving sports and lifestyle business in Male. We are looking forward to closely working with sports associations and clubs to provide access to the right sporting gear in the country and propel our commitment to the growth of sports and fitness culture with our range of apparel, footwear and accessories.”
Commenting on the partnership, Ahmed Kaleem, Managing Director, Sonee Sports said, “At Sonee Sports, we aim to continuously present our customers with BIGGER, BETTER BRANDS. We are pleased to introduce PUMA, one of the leading and fastest growing sports brands in the world. As our focus remains on improving the lives of sportsmen and fitness enthusiasts on and off the field, we are confident that PUMA fits like a glove.” Spread over 1800 square feet, the first store in Maldives will offer consumers a unique shopping experience and elevated product showcase. It will sell footwear, apparel and accessories for men, women and kids for their sports and lifestyle requirements. The store has been strategically located on Majeedhee Magu, the most popular shopping street in Male known for handloom textiles, traditional apparel, local craft, cosmetics and accessories for travellers. In the fiscal year ending December 2021, PUMA cemented its leadership position in the sports and lifestyle market of India, earning a revenue of Rs 2044 crore. The brand added 51 stores in 2021 and has a total of 450 exclusive stores in India, so far in the current fiscal.