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adidas to Combine Canadian and US Business Units in Major Organizational Shift [Exclusive]

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Retail giant adidas has confirmed it is consolidating its U.S. and Canadian operations, Retail Insider has learned.

“We are combining our U.S. and Canada teams to work most effectively and ensure we are positioned for continued success in an ever-changing marketplace,” said the company in a statement. 

“Historically, these teams have operated separately as two individual markets. Therefore, this restructure will enable more speed and cohesion across the entire North American market. The implementation of these changes has started and will conclude by the spring. Business operations will be mainly based out of our U.S. headquarters in Portland, Oregon.” 

The company has 33 retail stores in Canada.

adidas Canada Head Office in Woodbridge, Ontario (Image: Trade Electrical)

“Unfortunately this will lead to a reduction of our Canada based corporate employees. We sincerely thank our entire team in Canada for their many contributions to adidas. We are committed to keeping an open dialogue with impacted employees and supporting all our people throughout the transition to our new integrated One NAM organization,” said adidas. 

“The decision does not have any effect on the availability of adidas products to consumers in Canada. Consumers in Canada will continue to be able to shop for adidas products online, in our retail stores and at our wholesale partners.

“We thank Alim Dhanji for his contributions to adidas. As GM for Canada, Alim delivered strong results over the past two years. His growth mindset, innovation and leadership positioned the Canada team for continued success. We wish him all the best.”

Recently Dhanji announced on his LinkedIn profile that he will be joining Equinox Group as Chief People Officer and be based in New York City.

“Equinox Group is a high growth collective of the world’s most influential, experiential, differentiated lifestyle brands that includes the Equinox Fitness Clubs, Blink Fitness, Pure Yoga, SoulCycle Inc., Equinox Hotels and Equinox Media,” he wrote.

Alim Dhanji

“I was attracted by their notion that fitness can empower a life well-lived and foster a community of high-performance individuals. Throughout its 30 year history, Equinox continues to lead and disrupt a category it singularly defined, operating globally.

“Everyone I met at Equinox beams with energy, passion and creativity. With such an amazing team, the potential is truly unlimited – a team I’m fortunate to join.

“I thank Scott DeRue and Harvey Spevak for their confidence in me to lead the people function. I can’t wait to get started and build on their strong growth momentum by reimagining talent strategies that create an inclusive, inspiring and rewarding career destination for high-performance people.”

adidas at The Tenor in Downtown Toronto (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The adidas brand has evolved in recent years to meet the challenging retail landscape. The brand flagship is the Halo store, which is the store at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre. One Halo store exists today but there are plans to move into the Vancouver market.

The Toronto store is nearly 13,000-square-foot space and adidas opened its first Halo store in New York City on 5th Avenue in 2016, and have subsequently opened many halo stores in key cities around the world including Dubai and London most recently.

Another concept that adidas has launched is the outdoor first branded Terrex store in North America in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver. 

ADIDAS TERREX KITSILANO (CNW Group/adidas Canada)

Globally the first Terrex branded store opened in Munich, Germany in November 2021. Terrex is adidas’ outdoor brand with an extensive product assortment of footwear, apparel, and accessories.

The location chosen on West 4th in Kitsilano is a very busy destination for the young urban outdoor enthusiast and is just under 2,300 square feet.

The Collection is for adidas Originals – a space that curates moments and captures culture, contrasting the past stories with a future vision, just as the Original brand does. The first store will open in Canada next year at massive mixed-use development The Well in downtown Toronto. Bordering Front, Spadina and Wellington, The Well is an extension of the urban vibrancy of King West. It is on 7.8 acres and will include 320,000 square feet of total retail space, 1.2 million square feet of office space, 1.5 million square feet of new residential space and 1,700 condominiums and purpose-built rental suites.

Future adidas at The Well (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The store will be 5,800 square feet and is located in the highest profile, most visible space of the project, at the main entrance of The Well and surrounded on three sides by windows.

It also has plans to introduce this year The Pulse at some existing stores that will be renovated. It will be a factory outlet for value seeking consumers.

And in the past year adidas has also worked out a partnership to bring its products in dedicated spaces within several Indigo stores in Canada as well as online. 

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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