85 prospective sports retailers from all over Germany had come to the ISPO Munich 2018 for one day to get a deep insight behind the scenes of the sports industry and to experience the future of the sports retail trade from the inside.
The young colleagues at Messe München also had plenty of time for networking with each other - in the early hours of the morning, the first trainees started out on a bus from Hamburg to Munich and picked up more and more participants on the way.
In addition to the classic trade fair visit, the programme included background discussions and specialist lectures. An important topic: How does the customer still get into the sports store despite the great online competition?
This will work in the future, especially if it is offered in stationary retail stores, which no algorithm, no online shop and no app can achieve: A well-founded personal and individual consultation. If it is still possible to link local business with digital revenue models, then the retailer will not have to worry about the future.
"Well-trained and motivated consultants who can respond to the individual needs of each customer are becoming increasingly important", says Gerd Bittl-Fröhlich of Sportsella, who is accompanying the trainee program for ISPO Munich. Good advice is not only a requirement, but also to a certain extent the answer to the challenges of digitalisation.
"But if a salesman works like a robot in the future, he will sooner or later be replaced by a robot", Bittl-Fröhlich is certain. After all, many of the industry's new offerings required on-site service and advice. Individually and custom-made ski boots, for example, are based on exact measurements in the sports shop - and that only works with good specialist salespeople, Bittl-Fröhlich believes.
The conclusion after a long day: trade must see its chance in digitization and use it. ISPO Munich intends to continue to provide assistance in this area in the future. If it goes to Bittl-Fröhlich also much stronger than before.
I would like to see many more traders send their good apprentices to ISPO Munich and take advantage of the opportunity to bring new knowledge and new trends to the store,"says the coach. In this sense.