The sports retail organization generated a total revenue of EUR 3.9 bn in 2018 | New shopping experience planned using innovative retail formats for specialists and generalists | Transnational cooperation to be stepped up to achieve the 2021 future strategy | Supervisory Board reelected at General Meeting
2018 was another successful financial year for SPORT 2000 International, Europe’s second largest sports retail buying group. The specialist retail association, which currently has 3,555 stores in 23 countries, generated a total revenue of EUR 3.9 billion. This represents sales growth of 2.1 percent compared to the previous year. “Our growth as a buying group once again confirms that we are on the right track. Achieving success in such a dynamic market as sports retail requires us to adapt continuously and flexibly to changes by customers, retailers and brand partners. In 2018, we achieved further important milestones on our way to becoming a strong and successful retail service organization in the sports retail sector. We are delighted with this satisfying increase in revenue,” said Margit Gosau, CEO of SPORT 2000 International, summing up the previous financial year at the General Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, in mid-May. Gosau’s aim is to further develop the sports retail group into an integrated, vertically oriented retail service organization with effective decision-making abilities and a strong consumer brand throughout Europe. To achieve this, she is focusing consistently on expanding visibility, a strategically important move that will strengthen the SPORT 2000 brand across Europe. In the future, collaboration with international sports brand partners will increasingly involve joint development of retail concepts. These will take the in-store experience to the next level for customers in brick-and mortar sports retail stores. In this context, Gosau is stepping up transnational cooperation to a higher level than previously.
Success with new retail formats for specialists and generalists
Gosau firmly believes that retail needs new concepts to ensure it remains attractive to consumers in the future. For that reason, at the top of her list of priorities is the development and establishment of new retail formats aimed at strengthening the SPORT 2000 specialists and generalists. In a highly topical presentation at this year’s SPORT 2000 International conference, Gosau gave the representatives of all 23 SPORT 2000 countries some initial insights into the new generalists’ concept. “The successful results and the great reception from retailers, customers and brand partners for our specialists’ format, the Absolute Stores, confirm that a new experience is needed in retail. Now more than ever, people and experiences are key factors in the seamless integration of the offline and online worlds. It’s no longer just about products. A store is no longer merely retail space, but an all-round omnichannel concept. There is an emphasis on the idea of community and a sports experience in which customers can immerse themselves for the duration of their visit. This understanding connects industry, retailers and customers. A new experience is needed to capture the imagination of the customers of the future and bring them into stores. The starting point for all retail formats is clearly SPORT 2000’s brand essence and the distinct, relevant and future-oriented positioning of the brand. “We consistently bring the human touch to all of our concepts and strategic projects,” said Gosau, outlining the vision of SPORT 2000’s new generation retail format.
Last year, the SPORT 2000 sports retail organization launched the "Absolute" premium retail format for specialists in all member countries. The launch got off to a successful start in fall 2018 with the opening of the Absolute Teamsport store in Ruppach-Goldhausen, followed by two further openings in April 2019 in Münster and Homberg-Efze. Also in April 2019, the first Absolute Run store was opened in Bonn. The concept reinforces SPORT 2000’s quality strategy and focuses on closer collaboration between retailers, the group, and suppliers. Through Absolute, SPORT 2000 provides a high level of support for the activities of SPORT 2000 retailers across Europe, thus enabling them to concentrate on their core areas of expertise: individually tailored advice and sales. By gradually expanding the Absolute format, SPORT 2000 is driving forward its 2021 future strategy.
Transnational working groups as a success factor
To achieve the aim of making SPORT 2000 an integrated, vertically oriented retail service organization in the long term, the strengths of the individual countries will be pooled even more intensively than in the past, and interaction between them will be increased. “Our clear aim is to strengthen SPORT 2000 International at all levels and take optimum advantage of the synergies that exist between countries. Our countries have regional, strongly defined skills and a sound understanding of markets and customers. The ability to transfer knowledge and expertise via joint international projects is our strong point as an international organization. This helps us further optimize existing business processes and understand markets even better. It also enables us to develop new formats for the benefit of all members of the buying group and, ultimately, customers throughout Europe,” said Gosau, underlining that cross-border networking of skills is an important success factor. In this context, SPORT 2000 International also intensified its analysis of transnational data in 2018. This will bring SPORT 2000 a step closer to analyzing internal processes and market developments more closely and optimizing these transnationally. By evaluating this data, customer behavior can be recorded in greater detail and decisions on the product range can be responded to more quickly. “Considerable progress has been made internally towards consolidating POS data at an international level. We will launch an international database at the end of this year. The information from the transnational POS data enables us to offer our retailers an even higher level of service in terms of range design. We will also be able to win over our customers in store,” said Gosau. Over the next few years, extensive work will also be carried out on implementing a standardized omnichannel solution for SPORT 2000 retailers in the core markets.
Supervisory board confirmed
At the Annual General Meeting, Dr. Holger Schwarting, Chairman of SPORT 2000 Austria, was reconfirmed as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SPORT 2000 International. Following the General Meeting, the Supervisory Board now comprises the following members: Chairman Dr. Holger Schwarting, Austria; Deputy Chairman Matthias Grevener, Germany; Marius Rovers, the Netherlands; Jean-Louis Parent, France; and Hans-Hermann Deters, Germany.
SPORT 2000 International
With 3,555 businesses in 23 countries, SPORT 2000 International is the second largest buying group of independent sports retailers in Europe, employing over 35,000 employees. In 2018, the sports retail company generated a total revenue of EUR 3.9 billion.
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