Brands you can trust
In 1989, Amer Sports developed their first brand, Wilson. Since then, they have evolved to one of the leading sports equipment companies around the world, dominating the fitness industry. “The sports that are covered by the brand portfolio range from tennis, golf, basketball, skiing, snowboarding, running, cycling, dieting, fitness, just to name a few so it’s a very diverse brand portfolio covering lots of categories,” says Adam Joyce, the general manager at Amer Sports. Adam has been with the company since 1995 and has worked with almost all the brands. Each of the brands is recognised within a different sporting goods segment. All of Amer Sports brands are well established within the market and therefore are trusted by consumers.
With increased attention on health and fitness over the last decade, it is expected for the sports industry to grow, says Adam. “Part of the demographic trends, people in industrialized countries are enjoying good standards of living, getting paid more, and they are trying to work out their work-life balance. More time is being spent on leisure and they are spending more money on leisure.” The general fitness trend has become global and more individuals are realising the importance of fitness for their overall health. Consumers rely on the products produced by Amer Sports, not only to engage in different sports and activities, but also for fitness apparel.
Despite the health and fitness trend, it is safe to say that nearly all retail companies experience their fair share of challenges within the market. “There are lots of challenges as there always is with business,” says Adam. “There are issues like the thousand dollar GST threshold on imported goods which is compounding the local retail industry.” Additionally, from a local standpoint, Australians are tending to save more. Consumers are watching both how much they spend and where they spend it. “There are so many things that people can’t spend money on these days,” Adam explains. However, there are some ways to overcome such challenges. Despite economic trends, Amer Sports understands and recognises the need for an efficient retail staff team. “Our staff is linked into our success overall from a sales and profitability standpoint,” says Adam. In the sports and fitness department, it is especially important for retail staff to be both knowledgeable and helpful. Amer Sports practices coaching for success models, in addition to providing reviews and feedback for employees. They spend a lot of time on staff training, as well as both personal and professional development. While Amer Sports understands the needs of their customers from a retail staff perspective, they do not forget the needs of their employees. All sales employees enjoy bonuses in addition to their salaries. Lastly, Amer Sports financially supports a social club for their employees. “I think generally it’s a fairly good environment for our staff to be working in and hopefully they all feel like they’re part of a winning team here,” says Adam.
Why Amer? – Because they do it all
As stated earlier, Amer Sports clearly does it all. From sports equipment to apparel, within a full range of sports, they’ve covered almost every aspect of the fitness industry. But why else are they one of the leading sports equipment companies in the world? “There’s a streamlining of the business model which allows us to go to market much more efficiently,” says Adam. He also explains the ownership factor of their brands, which differentiates them from other companies. “Our third party delivery to our customers is an industry benchmark; that is one of our key drivers to ensure that our delivery service is best practiced.”
Green initiatives – every little bit counts
Due to the nature of the company within the sports equipment industry, people often assume that they are unable to take action in protecting the environment. This assumption is false, which Amer Sports proves. He explains how Amer Sports encourages recycling practices both in their offices and warehouses. “We recycle paper, cardboard, and plastic as a focused program.” “Generally, where we can we will always encourage people to be consistent about how they are in their business life at work. Also, from time to time there will be a global awareness through our brands that will raise awareness about recycling or environmental issues,” says Adam.
The future of Amer Sports
Adam explains that the future of Amer Sports continues to look positive. It would not come as a surprise for business to double or possibly even triple over the next few years. “Suunto is a brand being not only in the heart rate category but also in the outdoor athletic category, with altitude barometer compass products. That business will again probably triple,” says Adam. With the increasing use of technology in consumers’ every lives, in addition to technological advancements, Suunto is a brand to keep your eye out for. With a focus on accuracy, measurement, and reliability, Suunto creates sports instruments which assist individuals with both their training and safety.
Aside from technological developments and improvements within the products, Adam explains the importance of customer relations for the growth of the company. “Our key focus in our growth will come from building those relationships from the ground up; our sales guys and their relationships with their customers. Ensuring that we push our growth from the bottom up.” Many consumers practice both brand and retail loyalty. Amer Sports encourages their employees to develop relationships with customers to ensure satisfaction in addition to repeat business.
“Certainly over that five year period we would be looking to drive our business considerably. And that will come from the newer brands as opposed to the more established, mature brands that we have,” explains Adam. Although brands such as Wilson and Salomon are regarded as trusted brands, Amer sports will continuously develop new brands. In doing so, they remain fresh and appeal to the younger demographic.