A month after the start of the Australian winter, sportswear retailers are struggling to compete with the summer season and are struggling even to meet demand from the Olympics.
Sports management jobs are falling and the number of sporting stores is declining.
“A lot of the retailers that are still in business, I think they’re going to be very, very sad,” said Mike Hatton, senior vice-president of sports management at Sports Direct, a department store chain in Sydney’s inner west.
“They’re going be seeing people coming into their stores that they can’t keep up with, so they’re losing a lot of money on that.”
Sports Direct has been trying to cut its losses through restructuring and has laid off almost all of its workforce.
But the retailer is still losing money.
Sports Direct’s chief financial officer, Mark Smith, said that the retailing industry was in a “very tough spot”.
“The market is very challenging right now, particularly for sporting stores,” Mr Smith said.
“It’s a very difficult environment for retailers to operate in, and I think that’s where we’re going.”
We’re doing very well, but there are some retailers that may be struggling to get through the winter, and that’s a concern to us, and we’ve got to make sure that we can keep them going, to keep their staff engaged and to keep people engaged.
“The downturn is expected to continue for at least another year, with the end of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2022.
The sporting industry is also struggling with the collapse in overseas tourists, the introduction of GST, and an ageing population.
Sports Direct’s sales have been falling for months, and are now expected to fall by another 20 per cent this financial year. “
We’ve had an influx of international tourists, but we’re also seeing that there’s a bit of a slowdown in the Australian economy as well,” Mr Hatton said.
Sports Direct’s sales have been falling for months, and are now expected to fall by another 20 per cent this financial year.
Sports Retailers Association president Chris Hill said that while he was happy for retailers, he was not optimistic.
“This is really a very tough environment,” Mr Hill said.