Trends & Features

Working collectively

What’s been your biggest achievement since you became INTERSPORT UK and Ireland general manager two years ago?
With so much that remains ongoing in this business, it is never too wise to talk about achievements. We have a lot of projects currently underway and one of the pleasing aspects is the fact our member stores are supportive and involved in developing our strategy.

Our members work in a more common direction now. Our shows are more focused and deliberate and the INTERSPORT brand is more visible in the marketplace.

There is still much to improve on, but there is a momentum now and our stores have seen the benefit of working collectively, including strong product and marketing stories throughout the year, good support from our key suppliers and better achieved margins.

INTERSPORT International recently reported that some of its strongest sales increases in 2012 came from the UK. Do you see that continuing in 2013?
INTERSPORT UK has grown substantially. While we are seeing growth in member numbers, store count and turnover, we are also seeing marginal growth in our like for like figures, which is very encouraging.

We expect low double digit growth for 2013, as we continue to make INTERSPORT a more visible player in the market.

Are there particular areas of the business experiencing good growth?
Sports that involve individual participation continue to grow. Running and swimming are performing well, as is the category of fitness, sports nutrition and women.

Football and rugby are solid with the help of key product and campaign support. Online is also growing, as are a number of our own label brands.

How did your retail members fare during 2012? Has location affected performance?
Without a doubt location is playing a part. The south of England is performing better than other areas, but we have also seen growth in Ireland and pockets of growth elsewhere.

A more general concern is the ability of our high streets to remain relevant and attractive to consumers to shop and spend time in. Key shopping locations are generally out of reach as a feasible option for many independent retailers and non vertical retailing operations.

Secondary towns, where many independent retailers trade and survive by offering a community the convenience of shopping locally, are under attack from online retailers offering the convenience of shopping from home.

So while geographical location plays an important part, so too does the need to be located in a vibrant town with a healthy mix of retail, including shopping, dining and entertainment, in a pleasant streetscape with convenient accessibility.

Has INTERSPORT’s consumer advertising campaign been effective in promoting the ‘expert advice’ available in stores?
It is one of the many tools we have been using in recent times to position ourselves in the eyes of the consumers.

We have mirrored the campaign in store with PoS and back it up with the knowledge that our retailers have a passion for sports and are well placed to offer expert advice.

We will continue to invest in consumer campaigns highlighting our points of difference and work to drive more traffic in our doors.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button