Our Global Sales function drives the commercial performance of the company by converting brand desire into profitable and sustained business growth. We aim to deliver the best shopping experience within the sporting goods industry across all consumer touchpoints. To transform the marketplace, we are actively shaping and accelerating the growth of our integrated trade network. Our goal is to establish scalable business solutions that deliver premium experiences, thereby meeting and surpassing consumer expectations with an integrated brand offering.
While 2022 saw a reduction in distribution points due to a challenging market environment and heightened macroeconomic uncertainty, we continued to leverage a consistent global framework with close to 2,000 own retail stores and our own e-commerce channel, the latter being our single biggest retail presence and available in 65 countries.
Challenging market environment
The challenging macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions in 2022 continued to impact our business, with some markets more affected than others. In October 2022, we decided to initiate the process of the winding down of our business operations in Russia. Continued and widespread covid-19 restrictions, as well as significant inventory takebacks in Greater China, also had a negative impact on our sales development.
To meet these challenges, we moved closer to our Alliance Accounts to continue to drive growth in all areas where this is feasible, and digitalization remained central to our future-proofing efforts. Retail regained momentum in the course of the year as consumers returned to physical stores. We evolved the brand experience by upgrading existing stores to the latest concepts and opening new brand centers in several markets. We continued to grow e-commerce, providing premium, connected, and personalized shopping experiences through exclusive products and engaging member offerings.
2022 channel mix
Wholesale remained our largest channel accounting for 61% of total net sales in 2022 (2021: 62%). The share of DTC business, consisting of own retail and e-commerce sales, was 39% in 2022 (2021: 38%). Our adiClub membership program has reached 303 million members across around 50 countries, enabling us to build direct relationships with our consumers.
Our main objective in Wholesale is to win market share in critical consumer touchpoints on- and offline, especially in key trade zones and high streets. We continued to proactively manage our orderbook to make stock accessible to all channels and customers, both on- and offline. In 2022, we continued to invest in digital tools to future-proof our Wholesale business. Our industry-leading digital sell-in tool ‘Digital Showroom,’ for example, enables customers to see our complete product rollout, including individual product stories, in a single environment. In 2022, the channel delivered double-digit top-line growth in EMEA, North America, and Latin America. The Alliance Accounts, our key partners, are growing faster than the overall channel. Leveraging our strong cross-functional partnerships with Alliance Accounts in sales and activation, we achieved considerable success in landing our products, services, and stories. This is critical to ensure a holistic consumer journey.
We continued to focus on and invest in our digital capability to team up with our accounts and win online together. This allowed us to deliver an enhanced and consistent shopping experience in digital wholesale by integrating our product images and descriptions into customer systems to power their website and app experiences. Our ‘Partner Program’ brings us one step closer to sharing our product and inventory data with strategic partners and their consumer-facing digital platforms. Despite severe headwinds in the online marketplace in 2022, our Partner Program grew at a mid-single-digit rate compared to 2021. We also rolled out our Partner Program in Emerging Markets, South Korea, and Greece.
In e-commerce, we showcased our brand differentiators such as exclusive products and engaging member experiences. Our own e-commerce grew by 10% in 2022 to € 4,617 million (2021: € 4,193 million)1 reflecting 4% currency-neutral growth, as we leveraged the launch of new products across our key categories as well as from major sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and ‘Run for the Oceans,’ which extended our reach to Gen Z. We were also the first brand in our industry to enable membership integration on Instagram.
We continued the work toward premium, connected, and personalized shopping experiences that enable direct relationships with our consumers. In addition to our adidas e-commerce platform, which is available in 65 countries, our adidas app strategy continued to fuel our mobile and member focus and has reached close to 50 countries across all major markets, achieving a significant share of business in the adidas digital ecosystem. The adidas app provides a premium experience with immersive storytelling, personalized content, frictionless checkout, seamless order tracking, and access to our membership program, which was relaunched as ‘adiClub’ in 2022 with an updated visual identity. Members collect points from interactions across all our touchpoints (.com, apps, retail stores), enabling them to climb levels and unlock rewards, including personalized experiences. In 2022, we also launched a new redemption feature in seven countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, the UK and the US) and introduced six ways for members to spend their collected points (‘Money-can’t-buy’ products, raffles, vouchers, partner offers, Golden Tickets, and donations).
In addition, our sports apps amplify our purpose that, ‘Through sport, we have the power to change lives,’ and sports engagement is driving increased sales and membership. For example, in 2022, we set new participation records in engagement activities such as ‘Run for the Oceans,’ which reached 6.7 million participants through our sports apps and connected partners, with 1.3 million being newly acquired members. The success of our membership program is visible in key metrics, such as a consumer lifetime value that is significantly higher compared to non-members.
As our latest and most premium touchpoint for sneakerheads and style, the ‘Confirmed’ app continues to unlock commercial opportunities in digital and generate more buzz, energy, and consumer engagement through new collaborations with high fashion brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Balenciaga. In 2022, we expanded the app to include Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, and South Korea, bringing our most coveted and premium products to adidas consumers.
Our close to 2,000 own retail stores allow our consumers to directly interact with our brand, product, and teams, and to touch and try our products, feel inspired by our stories, and experience what we stand for as a brand. Through premium experiences and the human connection with our teams and communities, we aim to build brand loyalty and increase consumer lifetime value. With our fleet of halo stores (including flagship stores and brand centers) focusing on premium experiences, core stores with a more commercial focus, and factory outlet stores for the value-seeking consumer, we provide an environment to satisfy a wide variety of our consumers’ needs when shopping for our product and connecting with the essence of our brand.
In 2022, the total number of stores decreased from almost 2,200 in 2021 to close to 2,000 in 2022, mainly driven by our decision to initiate the winding down of our operations in Russia.
Halo stores are at the top of our concept store fleet and remained a priority in ‘Key Cities.’ In 2022, we continued to elevate our Key Cities through additional flagship stores that drive our focus on digitalization, personalization, and a seamless premium consumer experience across all touchpoints. We upgraded selected stores to the latest store design concepts and opened new brand centers across several markets to improve brand image and commerciality. In Mexico City, we opened two new stores: one is the largest in Latin America, and the other includes an adidas Running Center. We also opened a new brand center in Warsaw, now the largest in Eastern Europe, with spaces for the adidas Runners Warsaw community as well as artists and sustainability education for children. The new brand center in Rome has 28 digital touchpoints and immersive dressing rooms with changeable backgrounds for a truly digital consumer experience. Continuing the success of the ‘Home of Sport’ store design concept launched in 2021, we opened a new store in Battersea, London, focusing on local consumer groups and promoting an active lifestyle through hosted fitness sessions.
1 E-commerce net sales reported in the previous year’s annual report amounted to € 3,942 million. Due to a change in the reporting logic, certain transactions, e.g., Click & Collect or ship-from-store transactions, are now reported in the e-commerce channel and no longer in own retail. ‘Endless aisle’ transactions, on the other hand, are now reported in own retail and no longer in the e-commerce channel.