Faster, higher, stronger Faster, higher, stronger

PUMA’s collaboration with Costco Australia is going from strength to strength.

Usain Bolt; Lewis Hamilton; Luis Suárez: all undisputed champions in their fields. But there’s something else these elite athletes have in common: they’ve all worn the PUMA label with pride during their illustrious careers.

For elite-level sportspeople to associate themselves with the brand is testament to PUMA’s commitment to crafting the highest quality footwear, apparel and accessories in the sporting world – but it’s also an ethos that translates to the brand’s everyday offerings. PUMA casual wear is every bit as covetable as the dedicated sports gear, with celebrity ambassadors including Selena Gomez, Adriana Lima and Cara Delevingne eager to put their faces to the fashion-forward label.


A legend is born

Woman taking a break from working out

In the 70 years since the label launched, PUMA has established a reputation as the creator of products for the fastest athletes on the planet; and it all started in 1919, when brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler founded the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory in their parents’ home in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

For 28 years, the pair worked together to create what would become world-renowned sports shoes. In 1936, track and field star Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics – all while wearing Dassler spikes. Two world records and five Olympic records were smashed by athletes wearing the brothers’ shoes. It quickly became apparent that the Dasslers understood craftsmanship, quality and speed.

Though the brothers eventually went their separate ways, the dream was far from over. Rudolf opened a new factory, and in October 1948, the PUMA brand as we know it today was officially born.

A conscious company

Woman resting on roadside after run

While synonymous with top-level sportsmanship and high-street style alike, PUMA is also a major player in the social enterprise stakes. The brand recently signed a 10-year deal with Carlton AFL club, and is the official player apparel partner of the Melbourne Vixens netball team.

PUMA also partnered with The NAB League last year to support education, wellbeing and coaching programs for aspiring AFL players of all genders.

The company is also dedicated to building a better planet. From working to reduce carbon emissions, electricity usage and waste, to ensuring workers’ health, safety and human rights are top priority, along with an ongoing push to use more sustainable materials and eliminate hazardous chemicals from its supply chain, PUMA is constantly working towards an improved future.

“Sustainability is a key value of PUMA, deeply integrated in our business operations,” CEO Bjørn Gulden shares on the company’s website. “It guides our company to work faster toward a more just and sustainable future.”

Connecting with Costco

Man exercising with ropes

One of PUMA’s earliest mottos, dating back to the ’30s and ’40s, was ‘Made with quality’ – so a partnership with quality-conscious Costco only made sense. But while the businesses have been working together for many years in the United States, it’s only been in the last five years that an Aussie partnership has been forged.

“Our relationship formed back in 2015, as we felt the brand was very sought after by our members,” explains Costco women’s apparel buyer Tahlia Micallef. After achieving huge success with a range of PUMA socks and underwear, Tahlia and men’s apparel buyer Jennifer Cataldo explain, they decided to widen the range to include apparel and accessories – a gamble that definitely paid off.

Today, the PUMA x Costco range spans everything from tees to sneakers, tracksuits to casual shoes – and underwear and socks are still staples of the business.

Big trends for less

Woman posing in black activewear

The PUMA range for Costco Australia is specially designed with Aussie members in mind, explain the buyers. “We scope the market to see what is trending,” explains Jennifer of the product development process. “We then meet with PUMA to discuss our vision as well as reviewing their strategy and trends to ensure they both align.”

“The PUMA assortment offered at Costco is in line with what you will find in the general retail space, from both a quality and trend perspective,” adds Tahlia. “Due to our buying power and our low margins, we are able to offer these to our members at a great value.”


Originally published in The Costco Connection, Mar/Apr 2020. Pick up the latest copy at your local warehouse or read it online.