Our wholesale business in Europe again saw double-digit growth this year, based on strong sell-through results for key styles. This improvement has been driven not only by better product lineup and brand heat, but also by an improved level of servicing across all accounts. On the eCommerce side, our key partners have continued their transition from locally driven accounts to strategic, Pan-European ones. We have adapted our service model for them accordingly, which has in turn fueled our growth on their platforms as well as PUMA brand heat among eCommerce-oriented consumers.
In North America, the focus has been on balancing and expanding distribution across multiple channels following robust growth with mall partners. Despite a challenging overall brick and mortar environment in the United States in 2017, PUMA experienced substantial growth in critical channels such as general sporting goods, department stores, shoe chains, and alternative specialty.
PUMA’s wholesale business in China continued to grow strongly. The vast majority of our business there comes through our franchise partners, such as Belle and the YY Group, which operate PUMA-branded stores across the country. Driven by increased productivity, our partners again opened over 200 new PUMA stores in 2017, at the same time as increasing average store size. This growth has led to the opening of genuine landmark facilities. The overall eCommerce business in China continues to deliver impressive growth rates, and PUMA has again been able to play a part in this growth during 2017. The nationwide Singles Day retail event was a particular highlight in this regard.
We are experiencing strong momentum across geographical boundaries, driven not only by an improved product lineup and increased brand heat, but also as a direct result of the reliable partnerships we are building with key retailers. We will continue to foster these relationships with our most important accounts in 2018, and to build on our recent success.