“A company does not live from what it produces but from what it sells.” It is very possible that the unknown author of these words once had a job in retail. Because nowhere else does one know so precisely “what’s up” and what successful selling means.
In Germany, sports retail has a turnover of more than seven million per year. This corresponds to more than 100 Euro per adult. This is no small amount. As a comparison: For books, it is not even half as much.
However, the sports industry wishes for more: more sales, more profit, which is to say, selling more Splitboards, SUP paddles and other items. There is no lack of new trends in the innovative sporting goods market and the fitness industry is booming. However, sales have remained at a similar level for years.
Everyone must focus on this: the creatives in development, design and marketing, the engineers and managers. At the end of the chain is retail, with the direct customer contact. Here is where the actual battle is fought -- here it is all about the sale. And this rises and falls not only with the product, but also due to its presentation by the salesperson.
Whether store manager or salesperson, the requirements for a job in sports retail are high. However, this really does not necessarily mean you have to have graduated college – practice-oriented commercial training is sufficient. It is the innovative capacity of the sports industry itself that continually challenges the sales team.
Due to trends, products and materials that are always new, customers’ need for advice is enormous. But which one of the many surfboards is the right one? Why does one cost ten times more than the other? Specialized questions can also be expected from semi-professional customers – and it is good to have the correct answers.
Store managers and salespeople must specialize (if the business concept permits this) and constantly undertake further training. Otherwise, it is not possible to provide expert advice nor to compile the correct range. Employers also have a duty here, in their own interests, to ensure the correct training takes place.
Salespeople also require a very high level of social competence and must be able to communicate well. Language skills are an advantage, especially in cities and in holiday regions with many international customers. Anyone who is too impatient or makes the wrong impression will not last in the long term. A friendly, knowledgeable salesperson, however, is able to significantly increase sales figures.
Competition in the sportswear market is high. Alongside the big players such as SportScheck or Karstadt Sports, manufacturers such as Adidas or The North Face have also opened their own shop branches. Specialist providers such as Globetrotter for the outdoor segment sell in the centers of large cities as well as in outlets and through online trading.
Anyone who is looking for a job in retail can profit from the large network of branches and the large number of shops and sports outlets. Sports retailers are in demand, especially those with job experience. The top “must haves” for applicants are again and again these three attributes: Excellent communication, reliability and capacity for teamwork. A specialist area such as fashion, shoes or cycling can be very helpful in targeted applications. Could this be you?