The well-known regional Australian sporting retailer Sportsmans Warehouse, started in Canberra 1983, has signed on with and will join as the newest franchisees of Australia’s fastest growing regional sporting brand – INTERSPORT Australia (INTERSPORT).
This agreement covers the 10 privately owned stores located across Australia’s eastern states including 4 company owned locations – Fyshwick and Gungahlin (ACT), Dubbo and Tamworth (NSW) – and 6 franchised owned locations – Albury, Bathurst, Orange, Wagga Wagga (NSW), Wangaratta (VIC) and Yeppoon (QLD).
As part of this new agreement all stores will commence a full INTERSPORT brand transformation roll out as INTERSPORT stores from 1 July 2019. From an operational perspective, all stores will continue under the same ownership and management with no planned changes in workforce.
Sportsmans Warehouse Co-owner, and Director of Marketing, Alannah Magee, said “This transformation comes in response to an evolving Australian sports retail market, where low cost online competitors, big brand international retailers and even some of our own suppliers are now competing with us in some of our markets.
“We’ve watched the tightening of Australians’ spending habits across many retail categories especially sports and fitness, and have experienced the effects of greater competition across the board. We’ve also seen many great Australian retailers not act quickly enough and have watched brands much older than ours literally disappear overnight.
“Our 36 years trading under Sportsmans Warehouse brand has taught us a lot about changing to meet the needs of our customers, our community and how to survive in the Australian retail market. The decision to become part of INTERSPORT was a tough but well considered strategic choice for our store owners and leadership group.
“INTERSPORT was a logical choice, as it allows us to continue to trade independently whilst being part of one of the largest sporting groups in the world. Regional Australia is INTERSPORT’S prime market focus – which has been part of our DNA since day one, so this change allows us to remain fully regional, community focused and locally owned.
“In simple terms, this brand change for the group will lead to increased access to global brands and product lines, better trading terms with suppliers and linkages to a store network that spans regional Australia. All of these aspects we aim to turn into benefits for our customers and communities that have shopped with us over the past three and a half decades.” Alannah said.
INTERSPORT Australia CEO Kevin O’Hanlon added his comments “Welcoming onboard the 10 stores from Sportsmans Warehouse Group will bring the total number of INTERSPORT Australia member stores across Australia to 77. All of these stores are outside of major metro capital cities with Canberra bringing on our first capital city as the hub for the Canberra region”.
“The immediate benefits that will flow through to these 10 stores are exciting new products and brands, access to global product releases and the ability for our group to remain at the forefront of sporting retail in Australia. For the group as a whole, the benefits that flow back from Sportsmans Warehouse is their well-developed experience in the e–commerce space, strong community partnerships and brand loyalty and their immense depth in staff experience across all areas of the sports and fitness retail supply chain.” Mr O’Hanlon said.
So what happens to the well-loved Sporties brand?
“As we retire the Sportsmans Warehouse brand there will no doubt be some breaking hearts and some adjustment required. And although it’s just the name on the door and our uniforms, we will need to ensure that we keep all of our team, our beloved customers and community partners on our journey.” Alannah said.
“A reflection from one of our long time customers when we told them was ‘we need to think of this as a change of soles, not a change of souls. A small but important change’. We thought this captured the essence and our attitude that we will use as we put the old Sporties brand to bed, and wake up on the 1st of July 2019 with our new INTERSPORT Australia runners on ready to bring “Sport to the People” Alannah closed.