Munich Currently, there is a balance of power in sports trade. Manufacturers such as Adidas and Nike increasingly sell directly to end customers through their own stores and online stores. During a pandemic, when many parts were not available, they sometimes preferred their own channels – and some dealers lost.
That is why Intersport dealers in Germany are intensifying their cooperation with Adidas. The association and the second largest group of sports articles in the world have agreed on the so-called single account model.
In the future, the group will centrally order and store Adidas products in its own warehouses. Until now, hundreds of dealers have ordered individually. “This is how we ensure our importance at Adidas,” said Handelsblatt, Intersport COO Frank Geisler.
As manufacturers increasingly focus on large customers who guarantee certain quality standards. Smaller dealerships have worse conditions or are not supplied at all. At Intersport, Adidas now has a central contact – instead of the more than 500 dealers who were directly looked after.
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Intersport dealers could also expect better availability, as shirts and shoes will be stored in a central warehouse in the future. “We expect Adidas sales to increase significantly over the next few years,” says Geisler. Sales of related Adidas merchandise stores have already risen by double-digit percent during the pandemic.
Consolidation in the German sports trade is progressing
Thanks to the alliance, consolidation in the German sports trade is likely to continue. In recent years, many smaller, owner-managed stores have given up or have not found a successor.
On the other hand, the importance of purchasing chains and associations is growing, which increasingly focus on sports trends and professionalise their appearance. To this end, Intersport has developed the “Best in Sport” strategy, which also involves an even closer integration of the online offer with stationary stores.
In fiscal 2020/21, which ended September 30, Intersport dealers with more than 1,500 locations had to come to terms with a slight drop in sales to 2.65 billion euros due to the krona. However, the Christmas neighborhood has increased significantly.
The first quarter of 2022 was also very successful, said CEO Alexander von Preen. “Especially the inhabitants of medium-sized cities are very happy to come back to the shops.” If you give competent advice on complex products, brick-and-mortar trading has a future.
Intersport carries out one-third of online sales
In addition, it is great at combining online and offline business and related services such as “Click & Collect”. Intersport distributors now also make about one-third of their online sales. Digitizing the entire supply chain and a new central warehouse would also pay off – especially in a pandemic.
In Germany, competition is fierce among sports retailers. The French sports discount Decathlon has announced that it intends to double its gross sales to 2.5 billion euros by 2026. “We want to be the leading address for sports products in Germany,” said German boss André Weinert.
The supplier, which currently has 80 branches in Germany, is particularly successful with customer groups who play sports from time to time. On the other hand, Decathlon has a hard time reaching sports enthusiasts who often turn to professionals.
The Sport 2000 Association is one of the direct competitors of Intersport dealers. Initially, he focused on outdoor sports and running. Last year, external sales of 974 dealers in the Sport 2000 network with a good 1,500 points of sale increased by 29 percent to 2.8 billion euros. It was also due to the fact that new big dealers were added while smaller ones were eliminated. However, significant growth has also been achieved in existing areas.
More: Adidas sales decline due to problems in China.