Selling: The Shop Floor Trading Intelligence
Shop Name: Thames Valley Sports Location: Maidenhead, Berkshire Owners: Ila & Ramesh Gangotra Website: www.thamesvalleysports.co.uk
Date opened: 2003 Buying group affiliation: STAG Number of Staff: 2 Specialties sold: Hockey, cricket, rugby, netball, badminton, running
Company: T S Hattersley & Son Limited Founded: 1890 Sport: Lacrosse and Shinty Equipment: Lacrosse and Shinty Website: www.hattersleys.com
1. What essential information do retailers need to know about your sport and its equipment?
1. Not a lot of people know that…
Ramesh has hit the height of his hockey career (which began back in the 1960s) during 2011, after being selected to play for Wales Over 60s. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the game, which he can use when advising customers. Ila has been a hockey mum for 20-odd years so she can also pass on her expertise to customers as well. The two have also been local to the area for the past 25 years, so they epitomize the profile of a local, independent, friendly retailer.
2. How is the business finding current trading conditions?
As with any business during an economic downturn, things can slow down at times. We have found ourselves becoming more customer- driven – supplying products and services which customers ask for, such as racket re-stringing or a particular type of sports shoe, which the major retailers cannot offer because they have their stock catalogue and find it hard to ‘go outside the box’. We have also found the personal service we can offer is appreciated by customers as they are getting added value without having to pay a premium for it.
3. What recent supplier initiative has been successful for your business?
STAG bringing more suppliers on board has expanded the range of products we can offer, which has been important in keeping customers interested in the face of competition from the major retailers. In addition, profit margins have been given a real boost from promotions offered by suppliers at trade shows.
4. What will be your biggest challenge in the next 12 months?
Increasing business in the face of competition from the internet, coupled with the impact of the recession.
5. How could suppliers improve to make it easier for the retailer?
• Packing the order so that it is easy to check e.g. bagging together garments of the same size. • Indicating which box contains the delivery note so that a multiple-box order does not have to be completely opened just to find it.
• Offering hard-copy versions of catalogues and price lists, rather than just having them online. This makes ordering more “mobile.” • Asking retailers what their view is on packaging, before going ahead with such makeovers.
There is a men’s and women’s version of the sport as well as a mixed version. There is also a junior version, which is called pop lacrosse. Due to the nature of the game, men wear more protective gear than the women. Men’s lacrosse consist of mainly clubs and university teams, where as women’s lacrosse is played mainly in schools, clubs and universities. Mixed lacrosse is played at universities and Pop lacrosse is played in Primary Schools.
The equipment is mainly imported from the USA, from a handful of major lacrosse manufacturers.
2. What products does your company offer? We are the sole UK Agents for STX Lacrosse equipment and products and a UK Distributor for deBeer.
We offer a full range of products from pop lacrosse through to senior lacrosse.
3. Why is your sport worth considering for retailers?
There is a lack of lacrosse equipment in high street sports shops. We offer trade prices to retail shops and can advise on suitable products to stock.
4. What demographic does it appeal to? Lacrosse appeals to all ages and both sexes throughout the UK.
5. What other services does your company offer?
We offer a stick repair service and are happy to advise on any lacrosse related enquiries.
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