The concept of the sports retailer association for the future
On the road to success with the 2025 strategy and ABSOLUTE
Despite Corona and the emerging energy crisis - SPORT 2000 remains on the road to success. The basis for this is the early focus on promising concepts such as ABSOLUTE. With Strategy 2025, SPORT 2000 goes one step further.
2.77 billion euros is the proud record number SPORT 2000 Germany was able to report in 2021 as external sales. That is 22.4 percent more than in the last pre-Corona financial year of 2019. In 2022, too, SPORT 2000, with around 1550 retailers (a net increase of more than 450 in the last eight years), is clearly on the plus side in terms of purchasing volume - despite the Ukraine war and the energy crisis.
The economic success of SPORT 2000 has to do with the early focus on the changing needs of the market. The conversion from a purchasing organization to a retail service partner with a specialized range of services is bearing fruit. In Germany, SPORT 2000 and its dealers are now number 1 among specialists, in e-commerce/digital retail and in the sneaker sector. The largest groups of specialists can be found in the team sports, running, outdoor and ski areas - here the concentration of the individual partners on a special target group works extremely well.
According to Margit Gosau, one of the two CEOs of SPORT 2000, this also has to do with a realignment of the company's philosophy. Instead of better purchasing conditions, the group primarily wants to be an "interface between trade and industry", which ensures that processes and information run smoothly multilaterally. “Another term that reflects our new self-image is that of the catalyst. We ensure that the input from industry and trade is conceptually processed and used by us to push new energy. About concepts and services that we are constantly reinventing,” said Gosau in an interview with TextilWirtschaft.
The next step on this path is SPORT 2000's Strategy 2025, which shows the way to a successful future for sports retail. The strategic goal is explicitly formulated: Champions League instead of relegation. The three keywords on this path are positioning, specialization and digitization. In concrete terms, this means that each individual partner should focus on their place in the market. Specialists are given tailor-made support, and generalists are to be developed into multi-category retailers. The concepts developed for this will be rolled out internationally. When it comes to digitalization, each partner should act at the highest level and according to their orientation. Always with the aim of increasing the yield.
Many specialists have already managed to do this in a difficult market environment in recent years - also thanks to the ABSOLUTE concept. “They make more sales, sometimes significantly more. That is what matters to us,” reports Dominik Solleder, the second CEO of SPORT 2000. The SPORT 2000 business under the ABSOLUTE Run or ABSOLUTE Teamsport label is a true success story. The secret: Instead of a conventional shop, the shop becomes a "stage for customer and brand experiences".
The criteria for participation in the concept are binding cooperation between the SPORT 2000 partner and suppliers, binding criteria for purchasing, the development of a vertical account and a uniform brand image including a uniform digital and omnichannel strategy. Conditions for participation in the ABSOLUTE program are a minimum sales area and a minimum turnover. Above all, however, additional service offers must be made - so that there is added value for the end customer in terms of advice and experience.
According to SPORT 2000's Strategy 2025, the ABSOLUTE program is to be further rolled out and internationalised. The aim is for every retailer to position themselves clearly in the market with passion and a human touch - as a specialist, multi-category retailer or focused generalist. SPORT 2000 is currently preparing two tailor-made programs for implementation for multi-category shops and generalists, based on the successful model of ABSOLUTE. Goal: Increase commitment and the ability to campaign in the industry. "Sustainable, exciting shops" should be created in which "those interested in sports like to go shopping".