GRENOBLE, France – Last week newspapers in Austria and France reported on the creation of a joint venture by sporting goods chain store giant Hervis Sport from Austria with Go Sport from France. Their joint venture named Sports Trade & Marketing International (STMI) will be based in Geneva, Switzerland. The 50:50 joint venture will take over company’s purchase activities as well as brand politics and strategy.
According to Hervis the synergy in sourcing will lead to more attractive consumer prices. For Go Sport the new sourcing company will replace the Swiss based International Sports Retail Development (ISRD). Go Sport created this company together with French sporting goods buyers group Sport 2000 France. ISRD will be shut down at the end of 2012 when the contract between Go Sport and Sport 2000 France expires.
No direct competition
The new partnership will serve eight European countries in which both partners are not in direct competition. “It’s a logical step to create a partnership with Go Sport and to expand our market power. All contracts are signed”, as a happy Hervis GM Alfred Eichblatt is quoted in several Austrian newspapers. Joining forces also means that both Hervis and Go Sport can easily become a member of the Top-Five European sporting goods retailer list.
Both sporting goods retailers are doing well in the sale of bicycles and bicycle products. Austrian Hervis Sports – a 100 percent subsidiary of Spar Österreichische Warenhandels-AG - overlooks all in all close to 170 outlets (79 in Austria, 27 in Hungary, 24 in the Czech Republic, 17 in Slovenia, 10 in Romania and 9 in Croatia) and employs about 2,800 people. Total sales in 2011 reached 447 million euro.
European and overseas business
Stock-listed Go Sport Groupe, part of the French supermarket giant Casino, reached total sales of 680 million euro in 2011. The group overlooks 347 outlets (175 Go-Sport- and 172 Courir-stores of which some of them run by franchisees). Go Sport is not only in business in some European countries (France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Poland) but also in some French dépendances (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mauritius) as well as in Dubai, Jordania, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia and Syria.