Retail news : Record for Swedish sport market without giant increases

Usports Malmo Sweden
Sports industry grew by nearly two billion last year. Despite the increase of the larger chains very much.

Sports industry was last year's big winner at retail. While the majority of industries backed sports industry grew by nearly 10 percent and could when the year was over reporting sales of just over SEK 22 billion.

But for retail as a whole, it was worse then. At current prices, sales rose by 2.1 percent resulting in a total value of nearly 634.5 billion crowns. It enters 2012 as one of the weakest trading years since the mid-1990s in terms of percentage growth.
- There was a faint handelsår terms of both revenue growth but also in terms of actors' margins, says Jonas Arnberg at HUI Research. The small increase in revenue was has cost in terms of sales.
The current recession is one reason for the poor performance. Another reason is a change in consumer behavior.
- We can see that consumers are saving more than before, says Jonas Arnberg. We also put more money than ever on trips and restaurants. It has affected retailers negatively.

For players in retail, it's not just the recession and changing consumer behaviors that led to challenges. In several industries, including sports industry, competition has increased significantly in recent years.
- We have had several years of start-ups and growing e-commerce, says Jonas Arnberg. That, combined with a slowing market makes it an extremely tough situation for many low-margin and at worst bankrupt as a result.

But the sports industry then became a winner last year, according to HUI Research's figures. Sales increased by nearly two billion. Sportfacks review of the chains turnover is nevertheless no pleasure reading straight through. Several of our greatest actors, although increasing but excluding XXL is not a matter of a few giant increases.

Stadium remains the undisputed number one on the list of the largest chains. The figures we have available are from the latest financial statements that reports sales for the fiscal year ended 2011/2012 and extending until the end of August. According to the financial statements amounted Stadiums sales on the Swedish market to 4,679,000,000 crowns, which was a two percent increase over the full-year figure for 2011 (4.6 billion dollars).

Commenting on Sportfack says Stadiums CEO Gustaf Öhrn that fiscal year was certainly a difficult year weather-wise, but the chain is absolutely satisfied with their performance.
- We have a good development, where we continue to grow, says Gustaf Öhrn. We see that many of our competitors have profitability problems and back but we continue to grow and still earn good money. Financially we are very strong with an equity ratio of over 50 percent, no debt and a good cash. Therefore, we see a bright future. Competition is fierce and it gets tougher and tougher, but we are satisfied and are doing well.

Intersport is the second biggest sports chain in terms of number of stores and had over 2012 157 stores in operation, TeamSportia had 165 of them in operation. Sales increased a little bit and ended up at 4.232 billion crowns. Pleasing for a chain been struggling with great challenges in recent years.
-2012 Was a tough retail year with many new competitors, says Ulf Kinneson, CEO of Intersport. We expect to maintain the same sales growth this year.
TeamSportia retains a firm grip on his third place on circulation list. The chain's acting CEO Lars Stenberg says to the sports to a certain loss of winter sales created some of the warehouse where the consistency was lower gross profits.
- We increased our sales, says Lars Stenberg. It means that we maintained our market share in a competitive market and we're very proud of. Our goal in 2013 is to clarify our position and to maintain our market share. We have great potential to develop and consolidate our market position by bike, running, cross country skiing and ice hockey.

The major players that increased the most in both dollars and as a percentage was Norwegian XXL.

The chain opened four new stores during the year and passed the sales milestone of one billion.
- We are incredibly pleased, says Marcus Wibergh, President XXL. We had a rough start in the beginning of the year with a bad winter but in return we got a fantastic month of December at the end of the year. We continue to gain market share and it is important for us. Now we have an exciting year ahead of us. We are a real sports store with much hardware and took maximum advantage of the winter at the beginning of the year. But now we want ours so we can start selling bikes and shoes.
Sportringen, Naturkompaniet and just4sport reaches all sales of around SEK 400 million. The largest of these three chains are just like last year just4sport (465 million) but Sport No and Naturkompaniet had a higher percentage increase (8 percent).
- We are relatively satisfied with 2012, says Henrik Hoffman, CEO of Naturkompaniet. We had an ok growth with good profitability and it feels ok considering that it was a tough year for retailers. We are optimistic about 2013, but the tough trading environment seems to continue and there are signs that there is a part of the establishment in sports and leisure, which we see by the number of bankruptcies and closures accelerates and traders seem to continue to focus on selling products at low prices and lower margins.

The country's two golf chains approached each other during the year. The larger of them, Golf Store Group, fell slightly, while the smaller, Dormy, rose nearly 10 percent. Golf Store reached a turnover of 305 million kronor, Dormy increased to 256 million.

Löplabbet shut two unprofitable stores during the year and dropped in sales compared with 2011. Whole chain backed by 5 million.
- Sales were not quite up to the budget but we lost just over one percent of the budget so it may still be approved, said Tom Kellheim, CEO Löplabbet. For next year we have lowered their target a few percent because we put a few shops. For existing units, we believe in a slight increase.

by  Magnus Reithner Swedish Source sportfack.se

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