Karstadt sports centers in Germany put the pedal to the metal

In a Q-and-A story in a German trade magazine, Karstadt Sport director Gert Huegler said about the company's ambitious expansion plans: "If we don't put the pedal to the medal, someone else will."

In a Q-and-A story in a German trade magazine, Karstadt Sport director Gert Huegler said about the company's ambitious expansion plans: "If we don't put the pedal to the medal, someone else will." In an offensive move by Karstadt against the likes of France-based big-box Decathlon Sports or Austria-based discounter Sports Experts and goals of large revenue increases in the next four years to go along with expansion, Karstad's Huegler said part of the chain's continued success, despite downturns in the country's sporting goods market, is its presence in downtown areas as well as the availability of entry-level goods that are lower priced than in other stores. He said that entry-level goods make up some 60 percent of the store's sales, but they believe in offering the entire breadth of quality and prices. He also stressed that despite influx of chains from other countries, that Karstadt has the insights into Germany's customers beter than they do. "It's not just about competition, but about what the customer does," he said. "We follow these changes so we can remain attractively competitive. Who ever lets the customer get out of sight, may someday have no more customers."


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