sports franchise Sep, 10 2016

From Distribution to E Retail

The Industry which is mainly dominated by international exports is now also witnessing an increase in demand in the retail segment, lets unveil the opportunity lying in the sports retail sector.

By Deepankar Hemnani
From Distribution to E Retail

According to a report published by Persistence Market Research, the global Sports Equipment market was valued at USD 66,528.8 million in 2013 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.0% from 2014 to 2020, to reach USD 81,821.0 million by 2020.

The sports equipment market which is largely driven by the demands surged from the European markets has proven to be one of the largest sports goods manufacturers in Asia after China. The Industry which is mainly dominated by international exports is now also witnessing an increase in demand in the retail segment and new players are reaching the end consumer through its various verticals.

Total export for sports equipments stood at US$ 183.25 million in FY 2014-15, growing by 17.2 per cent Y-o-Y

A Global Manufacturing Hub

India, which found a vacuum of opportunities in the manufacturing hub close to a hundred years ago has since then uplifted itself to be one of the most prominent players in the sport equipment manufacturing fraternity. Cities like Jalandhar in Punjab and Meerut in UP have evolved to be one of the biggest manufacturing cities for sports goods in the country. India exports almost 60 per cent of its total manufacturing output.

The sports goods market in India was valued at US$ 2 billion in 2012-13. The market is growing at 35-40 per cent a year and is expected to reach US$ 3.6 billion by 2015. The growth is expected on account of increasing awareness about health and fitness in the country.

India exported sports goods worth around US$ 256 million in 2013-14 as compared to US$ 214.95 million in 2012-13 and registering a growth of about 19 per cent.

The major items to be exported during 2013-14 includes inflatable balls, cricket bats general exercise equipments, sports nets and protective equipment for cricket.

What’s Happening

Apart from the overall contribution made to the global export market, there is still a major population which have evolved from small time retailers catering towards multi brands and even keeping a hold of a few local players. Undoubtedly, the number of stores catering towards this industry was relatively low as the country was still at a developing stage. However, the trends have changed and apart from a leading sport as cricket, various initiatives are being taken to uplift various sport forms of the country.

Changing Trends

Despite, India keeping a credible image as a global manufacturer of sports goods and equipments there is still a huge gap that has been growing way further as the country is moving towards development and urbanization, increasing the demand for sport good equipments in the country. Factors such as budding awareness of the urban and middle and high income population about fitness have boosted the sports equipment market in India. It has been observed that with global integration, the culture of workplace is changing. Further, India has been keenly active in hosting international sports events as commonwealth, cricket tournaments, etc and also making its way into promoting new talent through initiatives as ISL, Pro Kabaddi League, IPL, et al. Amit Narang, MD, Playmart, “There is a lot of potential in retailing Sports and Fitness products in metros as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India. As the income levels are rising, people are getting health conscious.”

The Evolving Channel- Retail

It cannot be denied, that various categories of the sports equipment industry have seen uplift in terms of demand and there are various channels which are emerging to be a part of this industry and reach out to the end consumer.

Various global brands have opened their concept stores such as Adidas, Reebok to create a name for themselves and cater to the upper class that is looking for exclusivity in the products.

There are also a few players which are also doing it the old school way but with the changing consumer trends such as Sports Station, an initiative started by the SSIPL group which has multi brands under its umbrella in a single showroom. Pooja K. Sood, AVP- Multi Brand Business, Sports Station“We believe that Sports segment has a huge untapped potential (especially in the multi-brand space), and that is what has driven us from zero to sixty stores in the 8 months since Dec ‘15. We still haven’t pulled back on expansion, and will continue to open new stores in newer markets; we shall simultaneously consolidate our existing stores and make our positioning stronger.” The demand is constantly uplifting and more and more retail touch points are required to reach out to the end consumer.

Re-Tail the E-Tail

Various initiatives are being taken into account to give the ease to the end consumer and buy the equipment from just a single click. However, the segment is relatively small but it is growing on a very high ratio. E retailing not only gives an option to the customer placed in remote areas to buy with ease and also provides a channel to connect with global brands on a single platform. Amit Narang, MD, Playmart “Playmart has about 200 plus international brands, Indian brands and private labels. We have approximately 35,000 plus products live on our portal with 100 plus sellers on board.”

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