Outdoor sports retail company Super Retail Group has announced it will ditch its Amart Sports stores by the year’s end, outlining plans to convert all Amart stores to its Rebel Sports brand as it fights to remain market leader in sporting goods.
In an update to shareholders this morning, group chief executive Peter Birtles said best strategy going forward to “further accelerate” its sporting retail business was for all the stores to come together under one brand.
Super Retail Group also owns the Rays, Super Cheap Auto and Boating Camping Fishing retail brands, and the company said in a statement the move to consolidate its two sporting goods brands sits with the broader group strategy to create “inspiring solutions and services” for Australians buying equipment for leisure time.
The company pointed to the evolving sporting goods market in Australia, including the need for it to maintain a strong brand in the face of the arrival of Amazon and other competitors, including UK sports shoe retailer JD Sports, and French brand Decathlon.
The branding change will mean by the end of 2017 there will be 160 Rebel Sport stores nationwide, with a view to build to a network of 200 stores that offer a range of products under the Rebel brand.
The goal is to become “the leading sports retailer in the country”, and the move is expected to add $15 million to Super Retail Group’s bottom line, after a write down of $34 million in this financial year. Total store refits are expected to cost $9 million over the coming years.
In May Super Retail Group reported Rebel and Amart Sports were driving growth as the company looked to expand its e-commerce strategy.
Retail experts have previously told SmartCompany that when looking for winners in the sporting and athletic good space, the victor will be the one with the best range of global brands available.
“I think there’s huge potential in the activewear market to play to exclusive brands,” RetailOasis analyst Pippa Kulmar said in March this year.