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Intersport general manager Tom Foley dissects the opportunities for independent retailers from back-to-school business
Independent sports retailers have a natural affinity with local schools and their sporting needs, and with many Intersport members this includes the additional service of a school uniform shop either within the store or attached.
Being close to local customers through schools, clubs and sports associations brings opportunities throughout the calendar but none more so than during the ‘back-to-school’ period. Of course with children’s growth and development there is always the need for new kit and each new school year brings new sports and activity.
With the Government’s focus on children’s health and activity levels, schools have an ever greater level of sports curriculum and independent retailers should see this as a perfect opportunity to get closer to their customers and potential consumers at this critical time of the year. With more retailers jumping on the bandwagon of offering cheap alternatives to uniforms and sports goods, the independent sports retailer can offer a fantastic range of products from the basics right through to technical equipment.
Working closely with brands, Intersport offers members access to ‘exclusive’ products from Nike backpacks to adidas football boots, Grays hockey sticks to Puma shin guards and from Canterbury rugby boots to Asics netball shoes. The exclusive products and sports categories will feature in consumer brochures aimed specifically at the back-to-school customer but will also communicate an authority across many differing sports categories,
spreading a far wider message to the whole family.
Catching a consumer at a young age can lead to a lifetime of repeat buying patterns from a retailer, and as always a good experience spreads by word of mouth and in this day and age by text faster than any advertising – although this always helps.
Intersport stores are multi-sport specialist retailers and the back-to-school window offers exposure to a multitude of sports categories, which differ across the country. As independent stores we are perfectly placed to maximise this opportunity to differentiate from the multiples whilst benefitting from being part of a buying group.
Intersport UK general manager