In a strategic move speculated to counter the impending Amazon arrival in Australia, Brisbane based Super Retail Group has announced it will be ditching the discount-sporting brand Amart Sports.
Super Retail Group has operated both the Rebel and Amart brands since 2011, when it acquired them from private equity group Archer Capital for $610 million. According to Peter Birtles, Chief Executive of Super Retail Group, the overall investment returns would improve by running one single sports brand.
Mr Birtles said Amart had performed strongly since being acquired by Super Retail in 2011, but customer demands were changing.
“Customers are increasingly knowledgeable about products and involved in interacting with websites and social media,” Mr Birtles said. “With these market changes, there will be a need for more competitive price promotions, narrowing the need for two brands… These changes will bring together the best of both Amart and Rebel under the one brand.”
The announcement to consolidate the two sporting brands has seen Super Retail shares 2.26 per cent higher on Tuesday to $8.61.
Mr Birtles believes that Amart Sports had been a strong performer, but converting to just one brand was the right strategic move for Super Retail Group, allowing the company to “anticipate and respond to changing and market dynamics that continuously evolve”. Birtles is also confident the company’s 25 per cent of the $1.3 billion national sports goods market was not under threat by the arrival of global competitors, like Decathlon and JD Sports.
Super Retail Group holds a 30.4 per cent share of Australia’s $2 billion fitness and athletic clothing stores industry, according to market research firm IBISWorld, with Athlete’s Foot parent company RCG Corporation holding 16.7 per cent.
No stores will be closed as part of the revamp, with Amart Sports employees being retained and redeployed to the newly branded Rebel stores. The Amart Sports brand will be officially discontinued on November 1, with 157 Rebel stores to be operating by then.