German sports goods giant Adidas is planning a major retail expansion drive across India, according to local media reports.

The company is set to open about 160 new stores in 140 cities across the sub-continent, substantially more than last year, according to the reports.

Adidas Group did not return just-style requests for comment on the reports today (10 June).

Adidas India MD Andreas Glenner has been quoted as saying that the company would have 450 franchise stores in India by the end of 2008, with a presence in 140 cities, up from the previous figure of 119.

The company's expansion is set to enter a new phase, targeting second tier towns as well as first tier cities, the local reports added.

It will also include the opening of more premium-focused Adidas Original stores, expanding their numbers from two to eight.

And Glenner was quoted as saying that, while retail rental costs in India were "unrealistically high" and had slightly limited expansion, they would not be allowed to curtail growth.