03 Sep The Athlete’s Foot to Add 50 Stores in the Netherlands
Intersport International Corporation (IIC) announced the completion of a master franchise agreement with Euretco B.V. of The Netherlands for the conversion of their ‘Coach’ sneaker retail chain to IIC’s retail banner The Athlete’s Foot. With this conversion The Athlete’s Foot will add 50 stores to its European store network in 2015.
Coach is a great fit for The Athlete’s Foot and vice versa, according to a statement. This year celebrating its 25th anniversary, Coach is a leading player in the athletic specialty market in The Netherlands. In terms of philosophy, assortment, and market positioning in lifestyle, this is a natural evolution for the chain. As part of the decision making process, the 31 franchise retailers that operate Coach stores have chosen unanimously for The Athlete’s Foot.
In the mid to long term, it is expected that the athletic specialty market will polarise into two camps. On one hand the internationally significant players such as Footlocker, JD Sports, and The Athlete’s Foot, and on the other hand the unique single sneaker boutiques. The middle, particularly on a local level, will find it harder to compete and differentiate themselves. Though very successful, and currently posting all time high sales results, it is with this long term view in mind that Coach has chosen to be part of The Athlete’s Foot.
The store conversion will happen spring 2015. Furthermore, a pilot store in the new Athlete’s Foot store concept Sport with Style, will open later this year already. The other 50 stores will also migrate towards this concept when they are due for refit.
Euretco B.V. is already the master franchise partner for Intersport in The Netherlands, as well as a shareholder of IIC, and as such a familiar and trusted partner for IIC.
According to Ingmar Kraak, Global CEO of The Athlete’s Foot: “The Athlete’s Foot has a strong position in the athletic specialty retail segment in many parts of the world, including Latin America, the Middle East and in Asia Pacific. This move clearly demonstrates the perspectives and the credibility of the brand The Athlete’s Foot, with its new brand concept Sport with Style, as well as the synergy potential which prevails for existing and new TAF master franchisees as part of the Intersport Group. This is a great step in The Athlete’s Foot’s European expansion, and we hope to announce more expansion agreements in this important region in the future.’’
Steve Evers, Managing Director at Euretco, sees big opportunities coming out of this agreement. ‘’The sporting good industry is getting increasingly international, and at a rapid pace. Coach is a strong retail concept, which has proven its success in the Dutch market. Nevertheless, it can additionally benefit from linking up with a strong, international brand and the associated synergies. Eurecto will act as Master Franchisee of The Athlete’s Foot in The Netherlands, and this role is something that we have been doing for years in various retail concepts, including the Intersport and Runnersworld. We therefore have full confidence that this deal will provide us a platform to further expand in the Dutch sneaker market.’’
With retail sales of EUR 10.3 billion in 2013 and more than 5,400 affiliated stores in 44 countries, Intersport is the world’s leading sporting goods retailer. In December 2012 IIC acquired the U.S. athletic footwear chain The Athlete’s Foot, with 400 stores in 27 countries and retail sales of EUR 270 million in 2013. Thus, the Intersport Group is represented in 66 countries and on all five continents.