As soon as we could go outside, we put on our masks, our sneakers and our shorts and we jumped to the streets ready to run, sweat and enjoy.
We looked forward to doing some exercise.
And the sports retail sector was right there for us with energy and dedication.
But have the major sports clothing and equipment brands been able to satisfy this athletic enthusiasm?
Sales figures for sportswear in Europe
The sports boom during and after the lockdown presaged that sports fashion would skyrocket, but it really did not at all.
For example, between March and June, sportswear sales in Spain fell by 50%. According to data provided by Kantar, sport retail sector has managed Covid-19 crisis better than the fashion sector, whose spending fell by 56% between the third and fifth months of 2020.
The main specialized companies, led by Decathlon, Sprinter and Nike, accounted for 49% of total expenditure. The remaining 51% was divided between non-specialist brands and other establishments, such as supermarkets.
Pending data for the first months of 2020, the outdoor sportswear industry in Europe is stuck in 2019 numbers. Manufacturers specialized in the sale of products for outdoor sports closed 2019 with a turnover of 5.82 billion euros, according to the European Outdoor Group (EOG), with a rise of only 0.5%. One year earlier, in 2018, the European outdoor industry had shrunk by 1%, after reaching an all-time high in turnover in 2017, when it rose by 7.2% to 5.86 billion Euros. The driving force behind the sport retail business is sportswear, which accounts for more than half of the sales on the European market, with 2.94 billion euros. It is followed by sports footwear, whose turnover remained at 1.7 billion despite selling 5% more units, for a total of 42.5 million pairs of shoes.
Even more, statistics of all sportswear purchased between March and June indicate that 44% was online and 56% offline. The gap between physical and online sales is narrowing more and more.
How to attract the customer to the sports retail store?
In this scenario, all big sports firms are developing footfall optimization strategies to seduce the client.
This is not just a matter of installing RFID in your physical store.
You need to quantify data, make accurate forecasts and schedule as precisely and effectively as possible.
Nor is it a question of lowering prices, as Diego Llorente, Forum Sport’s general manager, said a few days ago: “…the only question that makes the price take a back seat is the service”. In his case, as an omnichannel operator, Forum Sport “does not think only about the digital world but also about the physical one”. 65% of the deliveries of the company’s online purchases are made in offline stores, where lockers have been installed to speed up the collection of orders.
Diego Llorente also explained that the number of visitors to Forum Sport’s physical stores depends on the location. That’s why the shops in tourist or prime areas are suffering the most.
A very important detail in this new normality for the sports retail sector is that the sales mix has changed and that, for example, sales of individual sports materials such as running and cycling are increasing, while sales of collective sports such as football or basketball have collapsed. Even so, what is clear from the analysis of the main sports brands is that the average ticket in physical stores has risen. Perhaps the most relevant data to be able to face with guarantee the requirements of the new post-pandemic client.
In order to ensure this high average ticket, establishments will have to offer the best customer service by combining a previous process of measuring footfall with an advanced analysis to optimize the resources and skills of each employee at the any time. ORQUEST software offers the possibility of maximizing sales and profits thanks to artificial intelligence, machine learning and mathematical optimization.
With the workforce management solution developed by ORQUEST you will be able to organize in the most precise way possible (with a maximum deviation of 3%) the schedules and tasks of your employees and reduce your labor costs up to 5%.
Get more details about the advantages of implementing the ORQUEST technology solution in your sports retail store by clicking this button ?
C007/20-ED. 2020 call for proposals on technological development based on artificial intelligence and other digital enabling technologies within the framework of the strategic action of digital economy and society of the state R&D&I program