Tablez, a leading organised retail group in the Middle East, launched the first outlet of GO Sport – a global sporting retailer – in India at Seawoods Grand Central Mall, Navi Mumbai. The store hosts a multitude of sports brands under one roof making it the first multi-brand, multi-sport and multi-specialty sports destination for all sports enthusiasts in the country.
The brand has positioned GO Sport as the place for all sports enthusiasts, and those who are keen on trying out new sports –they could be beginners, intermediate sports buffs and even experienced sportspersons. The brand is all set to inspire people to play sports and discover the pleasures and benefits of physical fitness.
GO Sport believes in the philosophy of going beyond personal boundaries and will be positioned as ‘The Sports Superstore’in India. The concept, in India, brings together the worlds biggest and most specialist sport and fitness brands under one roof, with 70+ brands and labels. GO Sport will be a specialist curator, working closely with sportspersons, experts and brands to create and showcase products that specifically enable enthusiasts to up their game and push their limits, whether they happen to be a beginner or a pro.
In an exclusive chat with IMAGES Business of Fashion, Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director, Tablez, LuLu Financial Group & Twenty Fourteen Holdings, shares details about the entry of GO Sport in India and the future plans of the brand.
Tell us about GO Sport and its entry into India with Tablez?
Tablez holds the master franchisee for GO Sport for India and Sri Lanka and it’s been a very exciting time for us since 2018, from the time we have signed with the brand GO Sport. In India, we are waking up to a large retail revolution. The way we see it, sports as a category cannot be avoided in the country anymore. It took us more than 12 months of hard work to get the right mix and portray the right image of the brand in India and how we could adapt GO Sport International to an Indian context. A lot of R&D was done to understand the products required for this market and how we should position the brand here.
GO Sport caters to a large demographic, so, it’s not just another sports shop. You can find everything in the store whether it is do with swimming, tennis, table tennis to badminton, cricket, and even football. The beauty of this store is the availability of multiple brands under one roof.
I don’t think there is another large scale player in the Indian market who has done such a store. GO Sport is unique as it offers the culmination of lot of brands put together. We have brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma, Reebok etc. and all have a very visible space in our store. The idea is to make sure the consumer is not overwhelmed by one single brand but can pick and choose from a large variety. Along with this, GO Sport is bringing in many new sportswear brands for the first time to the Indian market as well.
Why, in your opinion, does the sports category hold a big promise for India?
Currently the sports segment is valued close to around US $3.3 Billion here in India and is growing an approx to 9 percent year-on-year. This market is expected to touch around US $5.5 billion by 2020. Sports holds a huge market potential as each city will grow and each market will mature. Health and wellness will be the prime important focus with the consumers and it’s very important for a brand like GO Sport to provide what the young millennial of this country wants.
Tell us about your recent launch of GO Sport store in Mumbai and your future retail expansion plans?
We have opened our first store in India at Seawoods Grand Central Mall, Navi Mumbai. The next will be followed by the Prestige Shantiniketansite in June at Bengaluru. This year we will try to do another two stores in Mumbai and Bengaluru itself for GO Sport. We will stick to these two geographies for now. Over the next year we will look into other key markets like Hyderabad, Chennai and more of the South. Primarily, we are only looking at opening in malls which are well established.
How big are your stores?
The store in Mumbai is a 14,000 sq. ft. store; it’s a large box setup. Having done this store we get to understand that there are so many SKUs under the sports category. An idle size of a storeto look at is a minimum of 10,000 sq.ft. Anything lower than this size would not do justice to any brand that wants to be associated with us. Moreover, in the future, we will be present across three to four locations in a city for the store to be more accessible to consumers.
Do you have plans to go Omnichannel?
What we have understood is that a collaborative offline and online model works best. We are still looking into where an Omnichannel strategy works since in sports, sometimes a lot of heavy items need to be transported.
What are the key innovations in the store?
We have introduced a lot of new innovations in our store. Brand Asics is doing a gauge analysis which help check your foot lies – how it lies on the floor, what kind of position do you stand in and what is the best type of shoe which can be suggested for walking and running after this individual case study.
Then there is Yonex, which offers an option to string badminton, tennis or a squash rackets as per requirement. The third is t-shirt printing – people can get their t-shirts custom printed with their names/team names.
Which are the new brands that are entering India through your store? What’s the average ratio that you maintain between Indian and international brands in your store?
We have 16 brands in the GO Sport store which are unique to India which have never been showcased in a brick-and-mortar space in the country before including The North Face and some French brands. Indian brands occupy approximately 20 percent of the space in GO Sport, while the rest is dedicated to foreign brands.