Arena archives a record year with revenues up 46% on 2021, +12% on 2019 and 18% more than expected. This is a homogeneous growth, well distributed among the product categories and markets. But with a very powerful driver: the stars and stripes market which grows by 54% on 2021. And for the first time Italy is undermining the top step of the swimwear company’s market podium.
«Next year the United States will be the company’s first market – confirms Peter Graschi, president and CEO of Arena from 1 July 2021 -. We had very strong demand and this had a big impact on growth. In the USA we are working a lot on performance products, signing contracts with athletes and clubs». In the post-pandemic period, the CEO confirms, «people seem to be more attentive to their health and therefore to the sports they practice and, in particular, we have recorded an increase in sales in the open water sports segment. It’s a small portion of our business, but it’s growing a lot.” Numbers in hand, sales of these products have risen by 14 percent.
2023, which will be the year of Arena’s 50th anniversary, has already given positive signals: «The 2023 spring-summer collection recorded orders up 33% compared to the 2022 spring-summer». Thanks to an increasingly high attention – in addition to performance – to style and sustainability. The PE 23 collection, in fact, has swimwear made with recycled fibres. The same goes for most beachwear items.
The historical link with Italy, n growth of 40%
Arena, founded in the seventies by Horst Dassler, within Adidas France, sold at the end of the nineties and after having passed from hand to hand since 2014 controlled by the Swiss private equity fund Capvis, is based in Tolentino, a medieval village in the province of Macerata. Italy, therefore, has a very close bond with the company and, although destined to cede leadership to the USA, it remains an important and, above all, growing market: «In 2022 it will score a +40% compared to the year last. The history of the brand in Italy – Graschi confirms – is deeply rooted, Arena is a well-known label also thanks to the fact that among our partners there are numerous Italian champions». Among them, Gregorio Paltrinieri, former gold medalist at the 2016 Olympics and current world champion in the 1500m long course and 10km open water race, and Nicolò Martinenghi, twenty-three-year-old European champion in the 100m breaststroke in long course and short, in the 50m breaststroke in long course and world champion in the 100m breaststroke in long course. Other important partners mentioned by Graschi are “Italian physical stores”, which contribute to the boost in sales.
Then among the most interesting markets for Arena (which sells its products all over the world with the exception of Asia, where the brand is managed by another group, ed) are «Germany, which is doing very well: in 2022 has recorded double-digit growth and where we want to invest is the United Kingdom», continues Graschi.