Did you hear?...Germany’s largest sports retailer plans expansion, returns focus to technical product

With revenues up – although increases are on par with the increase in Germany’s VAT – sources tell us that Sport Scheck is looking to expand not only in Germany but also in other European countries as well as to grow its thriving mail-order business.
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With revenues up – although increases are on par with the increase in Germany’s VAT – sources tell us that Sport Scheck is looking to expand not only in Germany but also in other European countries as well as to grow its thriving mail-order business.

A long-term strategy to grow the business revealed this week in Germany included serious expansion in the Russian market that will include a catalogue in Russian in 2009. In addition, the company, based in Munich and founded in 1946, will expand its mail-order business outside of Germany in neighbouring German-speaking countries.

The company’s spokesman Stefan Herzog said Sport Scheck will invest in its flagship stores and will return to more technical apparel and gear, pulling away from lifestyle apparel. All of the strategies are intended to offer its customers and experience that will keep bringing them back.

“With the technical possibilities available through the Internet and our multi-channel strategy, we are in the position to make a diverse world of experiences available to our customers,” Herzog said.

Sales for the chain (www.sportscheck.de) for 2007 hit euro 296.2 million (USD $467.4 million) or about 2.2 percent more than the prior year. VAT as of January 2007 in Germany had increased 3 percent. Its etail division however showed sales gains of 40.7 percent, some reports noted. The chain, now owned by the Otto Group has 14 stores.

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