The Rise Of Ufa Corporation
The world’s largest bookshop chain has entered the Russian market with the brand UFA. The brand’s entry into the Russian market comes as the end of long delays in the country’s entry into the World Wide Web. The long awaited move comes after the company had signed a deal with a Chinese based online shopping website. The deal included a number of digital book stores from across Asia offering discounts on the popular UFA range of travel and camping accessories. In the coming days, more Asian online bookstores will be added to the list.
The new partnership between Ufa and its Chinese partner follows the same pattern of other Russian brand entries into the Chinese internet shopping scene. In the past, the two brands have collaborated on the production of branded sports equipment, particularly for sports leisure. Earlier this year, they had joint venture deals with prominent sports wear brands such as Reebok and Adidas. Their association with Ufa marks the beginning of a more ambitious expansion plan for the company. Although no firm details have been disclosed, it is believed that the venture is motivated by the aim of boosting sales in China and opening up further markets such as Hong Kong and Japan.
Ufa is not the only Chinese based sports equipment retailer on the international scene. On the contrary, there are several other Chinese-based companies that are increasingly making waves in the global sports equipment market. Such companies include Xigong Group, a leading manufacturer and seller of fitness equipment and sports equipments in China and also Ctripo Group, which has its own line of fitness and health wear.
The emergence of such large players in the Russian sports accessories market may have positive and negative implications for Ufa. On the one hand, it opens the space for other Chinese retailers to enter the Russian market. At the same time, it could also have adverse implications for the already existing Western companies in the field. For example, Reebok had made a strategic decision to limit their presence in Russia to only two outlets in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Though the move had earlier looked like a setback for Ufa, the emergence of Ctripo as a direct competitor could change the landscape of the situation. Reebok’s entry into the Russian markets could hinder Ufa’s ambitions to acquire greater market share in China and Asia-Pacific.
However, despite the negative implications, there is still much to recommend Ufa as an athletic equipment manufacturer. For one, Ufa products have always been known for high quality and advanced technology. They also offer stylish designs and attractive marketing campaigns. For example, their recent advertising campaign featuring Chinese youngsters roping and swinging an enormous log was considered an innovation in outdoor advertising. In addition, Ufa also manufactures equipment that is very light-weight and can be easily packed into small sizes for use in sports competition.
In addition, besides its wide range of fitness equipment and sports apparel, Ufa also manufactures golf club head covers, exercise bikes, rowing machines, treadmills, and health and fitness clubs. With its vast array of offerings, Ufa has consistently sold in huge volumes. It’s obvious that if Ufa continues to branch out into new areas, it will be able to sustain itself in the highly competitive sports equipment market.