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SPORTS-NOV09-P28 Arc-Retailer:SGBGolf_NEW_template 13/11/2009 11:46 Page 28
The back page
Trading Intelligence
Shop name: Greaves Sports
Location: Glasgow and Edinburgh
The Independent Voice
Owner: Greaves Family, Glasgow
Opened: Moved into Greaves family ownership in 1930s after trading
as Clydesdale Rubber Company since 1870
Affiliation: Intersport
espite years of forward ordering and various forms of meticulous Number of staff: 130
planning, in the hope of cracking the system to get my stock
levels right, particularly for those elusive really hot selling
products, I still have a sense of dread when catalogues arrive. One
season I was so confused by the choices I even cut up entire catalogues,
put all the pieces in a hat and made my decisions by pretending I was
drawing a raffle. That method was almost as successful as the time I
blindfolded myself and fumbled through the catalogues, randomly
making choices by stabbing a pin in pages every now and again.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed with how exciting I can make my life!
It’s just not cricket
With the clocks and weather changing I realised it was time to get
orders placed in anticipation of another British summer. So, having
signed up for plenty of wellies, umbrellas and rain capes, I pulled out
the cricket catalogues, as I have historically found decisions in cricket
Generation game: Greaves Sports’ Miller Greaves (left) and Hugh Leslie
products the least challenging of all the sports. Once the radical move Speciality Soccer, golf, running, rugby, racquet sports, cricket and
from fixed waistband to comfy fit trousers was made, there has been custom-fitting products. Greaves also hosts a popular polyclinic that
little else for even the most inventive designer to change so, thanks to features a podiatric biomechanic clinic, chiropractic clinic, sports
sticking with tradition, I was pottering along quite nicely with the order massage, physiotherapy and sports psychology.
until … wicket keeping gloves. What a dilemma I faced! Pink, green,
orange, the whole rainbow! Surely this line cannot make the transition Not a lot of people know this about my shop, but ...
to ‘must have’ status - even the most wacky and insane wouldn’t wear Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby bought golf clubs from Greaves in the
wicket-keeping gloves as a fashion accessory … or would they? Some 1960s. The Gordon Street store has welcomed household names such
people will do anything for some attention. as Eminem, Rod Stewart and Samuel L Jackson.
Raising suspicions How is business at the moment? Business is good. We don’t do
They say you should never change the name of a house because it can recessions here. We’ve invested heavily in the shops over the past couple
bring bad luck, and perhaps the same applies to football grounds. Bad of years and we have branched out into quality fashion wear in addition
luck is something Newcastle United certainly don’t need right now, so it to our sports equipment and apparel, with brands like Prada, Hugo Boss
is apparent that Mike Ashley, as well as being totally insensitive and and Stella McCartney Adidas. It’s paying off. Our involvement with top-
desperate for money, isn’t superstitious and is a person one can only level sports organisations and clubs like Scottish Rugby, Glasgow
view with suspicion. Warriors, Edinburgh Rugby and Partick Thistle FC has helped grow
By contrast, I have great respect for Sir Alan Sugar’s recent comments market share and has resulted in a new breed of loyal customers.
that a lot of businesses do not deserve bank credit, as many of them are
simply unviable. Harsh but true, and we should be grateful to him for What has been the greatest success for your shop over the
having the courage to say it. The sooner politicians and businesses past 12 months? Our official retail partnership with Scottish Rugby
adopt the same realism, rid themselves of debt and forget the obsession has been a huge success, and we are now recognised widely as a key
of growth, the sooner we will all enjoy stability. provider of rugby equipment and apparel.
What recent supplier initiative has been successful recently? We
collaborated on a Puma media day with four of their soccer players.
Having a strong PR function, we were able to set up a media competition
for kids to win a day training with the pros, we had over a dozen key
Pure poetry: Newcastle United’s sports writers turn up to interview the players, and the resulting exposure
famous home is now officially known for Greaves Sports and Puma was nationwide, including on Sky Sports.
as James’ Park
What will be the biggest challenge for your shop over the next
12 months? Growing our share of the online market. Another major
challenge is the same as faced by many other independent retailers: the
increasing number of out-of-town malls that continue to extract life
from Britain’s city centres and high streets. We work hard to add value
to Glasgow city centre by providing a high-end shopping environment
for visitors and locals. Does an Americanised outlet seven miles out add
much life to a local economy?
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