Michael Steinhauser, Head of Corporate Communications at Intersport, began the press conference at ISPO Munich 2020 with the topic that influences the business figures of the sports retailer network like no other: the weather.
The lack of snow in Munich currently made it clear that the company had to prepare for change. "This only shows that it remains a volatile business," says Steinhauser. In future, his company must therefore be able to answer the question: "How can we create offers to counter the capricious weather conditions?
However the company must show how 2019 went. Intersport has a positive answer to this question. In the calendar year Intersport achieved a three percent increase in turnover in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. This corresponds to a retail volume of 3.63 billion euros.
The group was represented on the podium by CEOs Alexander von Preen and Hannes Rumer as well as COOs Mathias Boenke and Frank Geisler. As usual, Germany accounted for the largest share of the five-country group in terms sales with of 2.94 billion euros (+3 percent). The Austrian Intersport dealers in second place achieved total sales of around 600 million euros (+4 percent).
"In a still difficult market environment, our dealers have performed outstandingly well. We are on the right track with our 'Best in Sports' strategy. The positive sales figures show this," says von Preen.
Based on these good figures, the transformation is now to be pushed ahead at full steam. "By 2025, we want to generate 25 percent of sales with our exclusive brands," says Boenke. The six Intersport brands Energetics, Firefly, Genesis, McKinley, Nakamura, Pro Touch and Tecnopro currently still account for 13 (Germany) and 18 percent (Austria) of sales respectively.
Most recently the company had committed itself to creating focus categories and to give them a special boost. This is precisely what is now paying off, because the strongest categories are all growing significantly:
- Bike (+13%)
- Running (+10%)
- Training (+7%)
- Outdoor (+6%)
- Winter sports (+4%)
In addition, the company is tackling the issue of sustainability with all its retailers and products, which could pay off especially in the outdoor sector: "Outdoor is increasingly becoming an all-year-round sport. More and more teenagers and adults are tackling this, even in groups," says Boenke. "Some people are already saying that outdoor is the new yoga."
In winter sports and running the association benefits from the advantages of the retail trade: Finding the right boot fitting, ski boot fitting or the right running shoe still works for most consumers at the retailer.
In contrast, things did not go so well for Intersport in the 2019 financial year in the following areas:
- Team sports (-11%)
- Sportstyle (-10%)
- Swim & Beach (-10%)
In the area of team sports, however, the year 2020 promises improvement with the European Football Championship and the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
One challenge in 2019 for the Intersport Group was the insolvency of the Voswinkel Group. So far 19 of the 72 branches have had to be closed. "It's not nice, but it was necessary," says Geisler. Two branches are still to be closed, but the reorientation of Sport Voswinkel is already underway.
The entire Verbund should focus more on the consumer. These include the first TV commercials since the 2000s in Germany as part of the "Best-in-Sports" campaign, or for example the Intersport Ski Day on January 12 2020. The group raffled off more than 20,000 free ski passes in Germany and Austria.
The stationary association has now also made progress on the Internet, with more than 500 shops using the Click and Collect system. Recently, customers can also become club members at Intersport.
So the year 2020 has got off with a somehow worse start due to the lack of winter, is also set to change for the better: "This has left its first traces on winter jackets," says von Preen. But in February it could get even colder.