Intersport's 'stunning' concept store
Intersport Australia opened its first concept store this month, with the team of long-time sports retailers thrilled with how it has turned out, Sportslink editor Maggie Coleman reports
Set in a renovated section of the major shopping centre in the Darwin suburb of Casuarina, the 700 sq metre store is stunning, with its white walls, generous lighting, clever modular fittings in Intersport blue and dedicated category zones for sports like football, basketball and cricket.
Plus there are shopping zones for women, men and children, a first for the store which Intersport Australia's chief executive Kevin O'Hanlon described as "world class, as good a store as you will find anywhere in the world."
Owned by two generations of the Tyrell family and Bronte Tentyre, all experienced sports retailers who have taken " a massive leap of faith" to establish this first of two substantial stores in suburban centres.
Originally members of Sportsco, Buff and Anne Tyrell and sons Mark, Adam and Luke plus friend Bronte Tentyre joined Intersport Australia about 18 months ago and moved their small Casuarina store to the fabulous new location and closed a compact CBD outlet.
The stunning concept store will be mirrored in the upgraded shopping centre in the growth corridor of Palmerston, planned to open early next year. The team already have a store there, with plans to upgrade the outlet to concept level.
Meanwhile the team are delighted with the consumer response to the new flagship store, and report that sales have been amazing", responding to the massive investment made, in dollars, time and hard work on the site which had been a post office and medical surgery before the 50 year-old building was renovated and extended.
However, says Tentyre, "Darwin's reaction has been great and the finished product was worth all the hard work and building problems."
Among those attending the opening was local member of parliament Lauren Moss who praised the team's support for local community and clubs "as an integral part of the local way of doing business."
Also present were members of the hugely popular Northern Territory Thunder AFL team as Intersport is official supplier of footwear for the 2017 season.
Sales of footwear and apparel have always been strong, says Mark Tyrell but the new store is ranging equipment across a range of categories now too.
Bronte Tentyre focusses on product selection and marketing for the business (as well as being a member of the Intersport buying committees), with Mark Tyrell describing himself as "operations and execution" and Adam Tyrell as "back office."
"Product is king," Tentyre says, "We have to buy for the consumer and there is no room for emotion in product selection. We have a young and astute customer base who know what they want - and that is a place to browse in a store where numbers talk."
Owner operators are the secret to Intersport's success globally, says O'Hanlon, as well as in Australia where there are now 62 stores with more than half looking to updating and refurbishing, capitalising on the stunning new designs from Intersport and its design team Retail Detail.
Intersport globally has 6500 stores in 46 countries, he says, and this does not yet include the USA or most of Asia.
With the global theme of Sport to the people, Intersport prides itself on being a "sports speciality retailer", one of the very few in a world where lifestyle has been triumphing over performance.
However, says O'Hanlon, "Performance is consistent - in demand and sales and in service to the community through support of clubs and schools.
"And we lead from the front with world class stores like this!"
• Pictured: Signing a football at the launch (from left) Kevin O'Hanlon, Bronte Tentyre, Lauren Moss and Mark Tyrell