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selling shop fl oor Shop Spotlight

Shop Name: Apex Sports Location ...................................................................Barnstaple, North Devon

Owners ......................................................................Kevin Ellicott Website Date Opened ....................................................... 1981 Buying Group Affi liation ....................Intersport


Unique Selling Point? In North Devon we have a

good tourism base and lots of visitors in the summer months. Often people walk into the shop and look in amazement and say, “wow a proper sports shop like we used to have!” We endeavour to off er everything a customer needs for their particular sport. We keep our shop very well presented and my staff are always polite and off er a good knowledge and service.


How has the retail industry changed?

We are in a period of signifi cant change, largely due to technology. Customers can now view all products and prices at

the push of a button. 10 years ago customers would have to view a trade catalogue! This makes it very diffi cult to stock exactly what the customer wants. It is important we try to stock as many products as possible or otherwise they will most likely go and buy elsewhere on the Internet.


How were trading conditions over

the Christmas period? Like most shops, Christmas trading was tough. I attribute this to the deterioration of the high street. People see Christmas shopping as a day out and are more likely to visit cities or out of town shopping centres. In

Specialist Sport Sport: Padel Tennis


What is Padel Tennis?

Padel is played in 20 countries worldwide and played by around 10 million people. The game is most popular in Spain where 4 million play and there are courts in every city, town and village. The game is a mix between Tennis and Squash. The game is played with a court with a net similar to tennis but like squash you can use the walls to ‘boast’ the ball. Padel is a doubles game with high levels of technique and strategy yet less technical than tennis and easy to learn.


What essential information do retailers

need to know about your sport and its equipment? Padel racquets are available from numerous specialist padel brand manufacturers based in Spain and South America and tennis brands such as Babalot, Head and Wilson. Padel balls (diff erent to tennis balls) are manufactured by Dunlop and Wilson as well as specialist padel brands. Examples of the variety available from padel brands such as Bull Padel, Varlion and Vision are available at

ment is starting to realise the demise of the high street but I fear the damage has been done

The govern-

our town centre there are a lot of empty units and so we have seen less passing trade. The government is starting to realise the demise of the high street but I fear the damage has been done.


Will the Olympics increase trade?

I am too far away to expect any real impact on my business. I have stocked the off erings from Adidas and I hope to see these products sell well. My concern is that people’s disposable income is low and so products in particularly clothing will be seen as a luxury. The weather will also be important to our summer trade.

4 5 3

Why is your sport worth considering for

retailers? Padel is an exciting new sport in the UK attracting growing media interest following features on BBC, ITV and Sky.

What demographic does it appeal to?

A very broad demographic profi le in terms of age, sex, level of physical and sporting ability and it’s an aff ordable sport to participate in.

How is the game trying to appeal to

larger audiences? Padel tennis is growing in popularity around the world and that is refl ected in growing interest in the UK, very often from people having had an opportunity to play padel whilst on holiday abroad. Padel clubs are being developed in places such as David Lloyd’s new padel facility in Chigwell and other padel club projects in London, Manchester, Gloucester and other parts of the UK.

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