p3 Contents SEPT SPORT 9/19/08 12:22 PM Page 3
Sports and Outdoor
now trying to take specialist sports seriously, and are adjusting
their stock and their approach accordingly. But the one thing
nteresting times lie ahead. Many 'big box' stores, multiples, are
these stores usually lack is knowledgable staff, and that's
where the independent will usually win hands-down.
Just over a year ago, I was trying to track down a pair of Saucony
running shoes, and ended up in Kidderminster. I went into a
multiple, a big-name store, and asked if they had a section for running shoes; I could see
Publishing Ltd a selection of Asics runners, but no other brands nearby. The staff member didn't know.
I walked around, and I found some more running shoes, mixed in with a million other
London Road, Maidstone,
kinds of trainer. The emphasis seemed to be more on brand than type, so I spent a
Kent ME16 8LY.
Tel: 01622 687031
fruitless time in there asking staff if they knew what the equivalent shoe was to the type I
Fax: 01622 757646
usually ran in.
Eventually, one member of staff called over the man that oversaw the training shoe
department. "You don't stock Saucony, do you?"
"Never heard of them," came the reply. Seriously, how can you oversee a trainer
department in a high street store and not even know a prominent brand like Saucony?
Mention the phrase 'over-pronation' and you're met with blank expressions, and that's if
you're lucky enough to find a member of staff in the first place.
Eventually, I ended up at Birmingham Runner, and they had both what I wanted, and a
friendly bunch of staff who, despite me asking for the shoe I wanted by name and model
Jack Lynes - Sports Trade
number, still took the time to make sure I was selecting the right shoe.
I'm not sure the multiples are such a huge threat – I've not set foot in one since that
ridiculous afternoon, my lesson was well and truly learned.
Long live the independent, and the specialist stores that make this industry sing.
PS: Wasn't both of the “Team GB” AWESOME in Beijing? Roll on 2012!
Jon Bruford, Editor
Administration: 4 SPORTS NEWS 18 BRAND PROFILE – WILSON
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