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Posted by: Sportslink on 08/17/2016

SRG Sports: 'good year, bright future'

SRG Sports: 'good year, bright future'

Celebrating 'a good year and a bright future' was just one of the themes at SRG Sports conference, another was 'customercentricity', reports Editor Maggie Coleman

The  spacious surrounds of the Novotel  Resort on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hosted SRG’s  sports division conference again this year.

More than 400 team members from Rebel Group, along with new loyalty managers, IS managers, a team from Group Services and many representatives from brands and trade partners enjoyed the five-day event.

General Manager Retail for Rebel, Ed Fredson (pictured right with Wayne Tozer) reported  that “we have had a good year across the group, ” with Executive General Manager of Retail Wayne Tozer taking a  broad view across the Sports Division of  Super Retail Group including Rebel, Amart,  the newly-launched RebelFit, online and Infinite Retail and reporting the conference was “going very well.”

The group conference has been held in Queensland  in July for many years, and  it was obvious that  many  from the southern states appreciated the opportunity to thaw out  and enjoy the get-together in relative warm and sunny surrounds. 

This year managing director of  SRG’s sport division Erica Berchtold was unable to be present,  but the  conference  took over the  entire resort and Business Manager, Apparel Libby Vernon reported she was  delighted with the success of the event.

Theme was “customercentricity, ” a word used to describe the dominating focus on customers and measuring their engagement, their feedback.

Core topics include team engagement – boosting it, measuring it  and comparing  the figures with other businesses of  similar size.

Safety for team members and customers was another core message at the conference, says Tozer.

Former Brisbane Bronco and Queensland’s safety ambassador Shane Webke spoke, promoting the overall safety message, in an emotional speech which garnered an enthusiastic response, he says.

“Moving stock about in boxes is a major part of the day-to-day running of stores and we are promoting professional ways to move stock, preventing injuries, reporting, getting team members back to work.

“Education is largely online and we feel we are making great progress here, among the around 5000 team members in the sports division, Tozer says.

Current store count is 89 Rebel stores, 61 Amart Sports and the first two of nine RebelFit stores opening in Newcastle and Nunawading.

With the acquisition and subsequent closure of many Workout World stores, the new look RebelFit is developing well.

The fitness brand is about to be trialled in stores-within-stores in the new top level Rebel stores, known as Accelerate  stores – in Bondi Junction, Chatswood and soon-to-open in Miranda in Sydney  and in Chadstone in Melbourne, a location long sought by the group.

The Accelerate stores feature zones for basketball (ranging all apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories and experiences together and thus boosting sales), football, fitness, swim and junior zones, podiatry services with gait machines, personal trainers – all to provide top-to-toe solutions and  experiences to our customers.

Tozer and Fredson report that “this will be the most intense property year across the group, with new stores, along with heavy investment in refurbishments and re-locations.”

There are 12 new Amart Sports destination stores planned and two new Rebel shopping centre locations including the North Lakes centre, just north of Brisbane.

Relocation of the Wollongong Rebel store, expansion of the Whitfords store and upgrading of about 35 of the Rebel Benchmark-level stores to offer full service in footwear are on the cards.

Again, “customer feedback is vital – we are constantly focussing on how well we are doing, are we ranging the right brands and products at the right prices and how simple is it to replace or refund,  how good is our service, the store experience and  our technology?

“Technology is vital in our 32 communications points  with customers  – personal, digital,  social media, POS and display,  campaigns on television, radio, print, events,   online with how-to videos which are very popular, Tozer says.

“Content is enormously important for our customers – we create it ourselves, take supplier content, and mix the two – our customers are very knowledgeable today and  all information is  power to the people.

“And with the massive trend to globalisation and readily available online matches, we cater for this demand, stocking European football jerseys and licensed event product.

“Everyone loves a winner but we find that participation team and hero sports sell much better than Aussie scarves for the Rio Olympics.

“We see a very bright future,” say Tozer and Fredson.

Managing Director of the Sports Division Erica Berchtold has summed up what we do in a catchy phrase as 'selling product you can sweat in.'