Adidas is working to fix a huge mistake it's been making for decades

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Adidas' Prototypes Custom Tailored Sneakers

Adidas has recently paled in comparison to athletic behemoth Nike and the swiftly rising Under Armour.

The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Adidas was facing a major challenge — to make the brand cool again amid falling market share.

But the company appears to have identified a way to improve its business that might be bigger than attaining the elusive goal of becoming "cool"— selling to women.

View photos of the evolution of Adidas sportswear:

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Adidas is working to fix a huge mistake it's been making for decades
1954. Photo: Hanns Hubmann (Photo by bpk/Hubmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Germany, Berlin: teenager in a sport shop looking at a gym bag by adidas - 8th July 1966 (Photo by Bernd Thiele/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
September 25, 1973. (Photo by Brauner/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
7th September 1977: Football and rugger shirts and balls with trainers and sports shoes. Puma, Adidas, All Star are some of the brands. (Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)
Singer Rod Stewart wearing an Adidas hooded tracksuit top, 1983. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
17 Apr 1996: A portrait of former USC Trojan and All American wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, the potential number one pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, taken during the press conference to announce his multi-year agreement with Adidas America, Inc , helda
Close-up detail of Adidas trainers and camouflage trousers, UK 1990s. (Photo by: PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images)
A Adidas shoe is seen in a department store in Franfurt, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2002. German sports goods maker Adidas-Salomon AG said Thursday that it has met its 2001 targets of achieving 15 percent growth in net profit and five percent growth to 6.1 billion euro (dlrs 5.29 million) in sales - the highest level in the group's history. (AP Photo/Frank Rumpenhorst)
Umberto Pieraccioni, left, president of Adidas Italy, and Adriano Gallini, right, CEO of AC Milan, pull down a curtain at Macy's departmant store in New York, Friday July 30, 2004, to unveil the new jersey design for AC Milan. Manchester United and AC Milan are scheduled to play at Giants Stadium, in East Rutherford, N.J., Saturday July 31, 2004. (AP PHoto/Richard Drew)
Ein adidas-Sportschuh "Supernova Trail 2005" steht am Dienstag, 8. Maerz 2005, in einem Sportgeschaeft in Stuttgart. Der Sportartikel-Hersteller adidas-Salomon AG wird auf seiner Bilanzpressekonferenz am Mittwoch, 9. Maerz 2005, in Herzogenaurach seine aktuellen Geschaeftszahlen bekannt geben. (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle)
Adidas-Salomon Chairman and CEO Herbert Hainer stands beside two dummies wearing Reebok coats in Herzogenaurach, soutern Germany, Aug. 3, 2005. Adidas-Salomon AG said Wednesday it will buy shoemaker Reebok International Ltd. for 3.1 billion (US$3.8 billion). (AP Photo/Thomas Langer)
A collection of Adidas NBA Superstar shoes are shown on display at the Adidas Store in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007. Adidas released 30 NBA Superstar shoes, one for each team in the NBA, in December. Shoes flew off the shelves. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Sports shoes by German sporting goods producer Adidas are presented in the company's headquarters in Herzogenaurach, southern Germany, on Wednesday, May 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Christof Stache)
Adidas shoes pictured in a Outlet Store in Herzogenaurach, southern Germany, on Thursday, May 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Jabulani, the official ball of the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa, is pictured at a sports wear store in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010. The ball is made by adidas and was presented at the draw for the World Cup on Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Novak Djokovic's Adidas shoes pictured at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
The Michigan basketball team sports new athletic wear by Adidas during the team's basketball media day in Ann Arbor, Mich., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
NBA Houston Rockets' star Dwight Howard admires a new Adidas shoe bearing his name during a media event in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 19, 2013. Howard is in Taiwan on the second leg of his Asian promotional tour which includes South Korea, Hong Kong and China. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Adidas basketball shoes and socks are seen worn by UCLA's Kyle Anderson against Weber State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. UCLA won 83-60. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
The adidas stripes are printed on a sports shoe during the annual shareholders meeting in Fuerth, Germany, Thursday, May 8, 2014. In the first quarter of 2014, Group revenues remained stable on a currency-neutral basis. Currency translation effects had a significant negative impact on sales in euro terms. Group revenues decreased 6% to euro 3.533 billion in the first quarter of 2014 from euro 3.751 billion in 2013. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
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It has taken several steps to improve its offerings to women, which have traditionally been limited.

Here's what the German athletic wear company has done recently:

1. Hiring an executive who knows about the industry.

Who better to help a women's sector in need than a woman who has worked with one of the most recognizable athleisure brands of all time?

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Adidas tapped Christine Day, former CEO of none other than Lululemon, to advise the brand.

2. Launching a subscription box specifically for women.

A photo posted by adidas (@adidas) on

The subscription box, called Avenue A, contains a selection of seasonal training gear for women, curated by what Adidas is calling "fashion-forward trendsetters and trainers." For the first box, Adidas enlisted "fitness artist" Nicole Winhoffer.

"Our brand is listening to what women truly want, and that is product designed specifically for her combined with unique, customized experiences. Avenue A helps us deliver that in one convenient and inspiring package. The best part is, this is only the beginning," Kelly Olmstead, Senior Director of Brand Activation said in a release.

This is potentially risky; many subscription companies have come under fire for their billing practices.

3. Incorporating marketing that appeals to women.

A photo posted by adidas (@adidas) on

The retailer has been specifically targeting women with its marketing schemes. It has been featuring top models like Karlie Kloss in campaigns.

Additionally, Adidas's latest campaign,#HereToCreate and its corresponding mini film series, brings to mind Nike's #BetterForIt slogan.

4. Designing new products for women

A photo posted by adidas (@adidas) on

Of course, none of that marketing matters if the products do not resonate with women. To aid in that cause, Adidas has launched PureBoost X, a sneaker specifically for women for spring 2016.

"PureBoost X is a great example of the huge focus we have on the versatile female athlete," Olmstead said in a release.

A photo posted by adidas (@adidas) on

It's been a lightbulb-over-the-head moment in the athletic wear industry, as retailers realize that women are veritable sources of sales. After all, many companies have been scrambling to win the hearts and wallets of ladies.

Earlier this year, Nike made a massive push to lure female customers with the aforementioned #BetterForIt campaign, and the push has led to a spike in sales. Recently, Nike launched a series called "Margo vs. Lily" as a part of that effort.

Under Armour's CEO Kevin Plank has openly stated that he plans for its women's business to usurp that of its men's business. Should that happen, Under Armour's women's business would be bigger than Lululemon entirely.

Although Under Armour does not disclose revenue by gender, consulting firm Conlumino estimated that Under Armour's business approximately splits at about $1.14 billion for women, and $2.69 billion for men, and that Lululemon's business, though smaller, has a larger women's sector (a estimated $1.72 billion for women and $0.33 billion for men).

Under Armour has been aggressively zeroing in on its female-targeted marketing campaigns by enlisting stars like Gisele Bundchen and Misty Copeland to empower women. The catchphrase "I will what I want" sends a powerful message to consumers.

This means that Adidas has some steep competition, and that it has to move swiftly, particularly since the brand has made several missteps over the years — such as failing to listen to American consumers' tastes and missing out on endorsements to Nike. Right now, its saving grace is arguably Kanye West and his Yeezy line; his Yeezy 750 Boost in Triple Black were the most valuable sneakers in 2015.

Fortunately, Adidas appears to be on the up; it announced in a recent release that sales increased by 10% in 2015.

RELATED: View more of the most popular retail brands for millennials:

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Adidas is working to fix a huge mistake it's been making for decades

24. Levi's 

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23. Calvin Klein

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22. Ralph Lauren

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21. Michael Kors

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20. Walmart

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19. Macy's

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18. Vans

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17. Old Navy

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16. Converse

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15. Adidas

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14. Gap

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13. Under Armour

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12. Bath & Body Works

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11. Nordstrom

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10. Target

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9. Urban Outfitters

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8. J.Crew

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7. H&M

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6. Sephora

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5. Lululemon

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4. Zara

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3. Forever 21

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2. Victoria's Secret

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1. Nike

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