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Southern Africa’s business-to-business magazine for the sport, outdoor and leisure industries • Vol 33 No 4 • August/September 2012

salmon Sandals for the new season Is online the future of retailing? What consumers want from backpacks

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

Vol 33 Nr 4 August/September 2012

Clothing & footwear

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Replica launches

On the cover The Salmon, part of Rocky’s Range for the past six years, has been a solid performer for the brand. The adjustable leather upper for universal fit and a removable heel strap means that this outdoor sandal caters for all foot shapes and sizes. Coupled with a dense EVA and microfibre foot bed, this sandal has superior comfort and fit. The Salmon has become so popular that this summer Rocky has introduced the Salmon in a camel colour way. For trade enquiries, contact Crown Footwear on 031 700 1601, or visit

Publisher: Nic du Toit Editor:       Carin Hardisty Managing editor: Trudi du Toit Proofreader: Liz Milburn Features:      Brandon Gregory Carin Hardisty Nelle du Toit Nic du Toit Trudi du Toit Design: Carin Hardisty Photography: Nic du Toit Nelle du Toit Advertising: Nic du Toit Subscriptions: Brandon Gregory Printing: ABC Press Distribution: Tunleys Sports Trader is published bi-monthly by Rocklands Communications cc. Reg. No: 1997/057165/23. Members: N. J. & G. C. du Toit

Contact details: PO Box 12197 Mill Street 8010 22 Rocklands Avenue, Vredehoek, Cape Town 8001 Tel: 021 461 2544 Fax: 021 461 2549 Website: Advertising: Editorial: Subscribe: Publication information: The title and contents of Sports Trader are protected by copyright. It is a business to business publication compiled to inform, entertain and educate retailers, distributors and manufacturers of sports and outdoor equipment, footwear and clothing. It is available only to members of the sport, outdoor and activewear industries and is published bi-monthly. © Rocklands Communications.

Brands present the new kits



What new sandals will retailers see from brands for summer?


How to sell outdoor cooking utensils


What do retailers need to look for when fitting a tennis racket?

What’s new in brands’ sandal ranges? Are sales still on an upward curve? Lightweight running shoes are a big trend


What to stock to kit out a triathlete


What do brands have to offer?


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Outdoor news

News from outdoor brands

Outdoor trends

New trends launched at the OutDoor show


What do consumers look for when buying backpacks?

Outdoor cooking

What to know when selling outdoor cooking utensils

Trade shows

What do retailers need to know when kitting out a triathlete? p38


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Online retailing

Is online the future of retailing?

Braam van Huyssteen

SA entrepreneur shares his experiences of attending the World Entrepreneur of the Year finals


Sports Trader talks with the people in charge, both locally and international


Trade shows

News from local and international trade shows


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Olympic news

News from brands involved in the Olympics

People on the move

News about people in the industry

Brands on the move

News about brand activity in the industry

How to sell... outdoor gear

Top salesman Richard Turkington shares his selling tips


Sports Trader talks with Alistair Cameron, Asics Europe CEO

Industry statistics


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Sport news

News from sport brands

Product knowledge: Tennis How to fit a tennis racket


What are consumers buying?

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

Which qualities influence the sale of a backpack? p42

Apparel & Footwear :: p1

2012 2012August/September  August/September ::  :: Sports Sports Trader Trader

p2  ::  Industry

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

Industry  ::  p3

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p4  ::  Industry

Olympic news

Top row left to right: Kate Woods, adidas product manager, the SA hockey team with Caster Semenya and the SA women’s hockey team in their open ceremony outfits from Erke. Left row middle: The Olympic Games opening ceremony fireworks. Left row bottom: Olympic rings display.

Kate Woods reports from Olympics “Being involved in the Opening Ceremony was really fantastic,” says Kate Woods, adidas product manager. She participated in the London 2012 Olympics as a member of the SA hockey team. “We missed quite a bit of the (opening) show while we were waiting to walk into the stadium, but the moment we walked in, it made the wait worthwhile! The atmosphere was incredible and we took enormous pride in being able to represent our country.” The SA women’s hockey team spent ages analysing what went wrong in their first games against Argentina and New Zealand, she reported. “Obviously were very disappointed with the number of goals conceded.” London is her third participation in the Olympic Games and before their departure the women’s hockey team expected that they

would have a better chance to win points than at previous Games. Most of the team members had been gaining international experience as professionals, the team preparation had been very professional, the tough qualifying requirements honed their skills, and they’ve had excellent support, including from sponsors adidas and Investec, she said. The vivacious Woods has managed to achieve the seemingly impossible: to raise a 21-month old toddler, play top class international hockey, tour with the national hockey team, captain the WP hockey team, and pull her weight as adidas product manager — without showing stress. She is full of praise for the support from adidas SA MD Winand Krawinkel and SA hockey coach Giles Bonnet who both convinced her that they’ll make accommodations so

that she could do it all. As a top water polo player her husband, Duncan, understands the pressures she’s operating under and she often has the support of family members on tour — including at the Olympics. Woods joined adidas seven years ago as tech rep, and two years later joined the permanent staff. She went to the Athens Olympics in 2004 as a young, mostly substitute player, who was like “Bambi caught in the headlights” in awe of meeting stars like Rafael Nadal or Ian Thorpe in the dining room. She was vice-captain in Beijing in 2008 (the year she was also crowned SA Hockey Player of the Year) which was “a great experience” even though the team didn’t perform as well as they had hoped. After a two-year maternity break, she was asked to return to the team.

Adidas at Olympics

Puma, sponsors of the world’s 100m champ Jamaican Usain Bolt, launched a unique online experience called the Puma 100 Metre Shop in London. Inspired by Jamaican track and field achievements, the site fuses Jamaican and British cultures with stories, images, event updates and other content from contributors in London and Kingston. The online store also has an ecommerce component with hand-picked items from the Cedella Marley collection — reggae legend Bob Marley’s daughter who designed the Jamaican Olympic team’s clothes. The site is designed to be live for 12 months and feature content from other Puma brand initiatives.

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

Rassie Pieterse, distributor of the TK hockey brand in SA, is the second member of the sporting goods industry who were competing in the 2012 London Olympic Games. He is goalkeeper of the men’s hockey team, whose spectacular saves helped the team beat hosts Japan in the nail-biting final of the last qualifying tournament in May.

Some Olympic stats: more than 3 000 athletes from 11 Olympic Committees at the London 2012 Olympics sponsored by adidas will wear about 300 000 pieces of apparel. They will run almost 8 500km, jump 1 584m, swim 140km in almost 3 000 events at 33 venues. 70 000m of laces have been used in their 41 different types of adidas competition footwear — enough to wrap around Buckingham Palace five times. They will wear the lightest adidas footwear ever in 20 out of 26 sports. Adidas developed 165 new sustainable fabrics for the Olympics and recycled 1.5-m plastic bottles from landfills. About 85 000 volunteers and officials will receive about 1-m pieces of adidas clothing.

People on the move

Industry  ::  p5

From left to right: Gary Van Rooyen, New Balance SA GM, Keaton Oddy, New Balance SA marketing manager, Dale Steyn and Darren Tucker, regional director for New Balance Asia Pacific.

New Balance signs Dale Steyn Kennith Barlow held the Cape Union Mart flag up high when he reached the highest peak in Russia (at 5 642m), Mount Elbrus, in July this year. Many agree that Elbrus is the highest mountain range in Europe and it is the 5th highest mountain included in the Seven Summits. Barlow has summited Kilimanjaro (5 895m) — the 4th highest mountain after Everest (8 848m), Aconcagua (6 962m), MicKinley (6 194m) — several times as well.

New Balance SA signed fast bowler Dale Steyn to endorse their range of product on and off the cricket field. The brand is also sponsoring Steyn’s provincial team, the Cape Cobras, who will be playing in New Balance gear for the first time this season. “Our company will be launch-

ing hardware into the market this summer with the footwear (boots) being introduced at the beginning of next season,” says Grattan Rippon, national sales manager for New Balance SA. New Balance International will be donating 10 dollars for every wicket taken by Steyn to an organisation protecting White Rhinos.

Footballer-turned-actor, Vinnie Jones has signed on as Warrior’s latest football ambassador. Warrior, owned by New Balance, designed a new kit for an amateur football club owned by the actor in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. Despite being known as a rebel throughout his career, Jones captained Wales and played for Leeds United and Chelsea, etc. before becoming an actor, mainly playing bad guy roles. Jones has been actively involved with Warrior’s new online Premier League prediction game called Face Off. “The football world needs a shake up and I’m lucky to be affiliated with a brand that has the guts to do it,” says Jones.

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Swedish golf player, Pelle Edberg made his debut as a Cobra Puma Golf brand ambassador at the Nordea Masters. Pelle, known for his extreme driving distance and impressive style, will wear Puma golf apparel, footwear and use Cobra Golf’s innovative equipment and accessories. “He is an excellent fit with our brand DNA, bringing world class performance, personality and style to the golf course,” said Bob Philion, president of Cobra Puma Golf.

Puma joined forces5with Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar to support his social responsibility cause, the 0 Steven Pienaar Community Tournament, held in his old neighbourhood of Westbury. Young fans mobbed Pienaar when he attended the tournament on Youth Day (16 June.) Puma, Pienaar’s boot sponsor, came on board to support his inspirational initiative. Speedo has signed a kit sponsorship with Olympic open water swimmers Troy Prinsloo and Jessica Roux, who were both included in 100 the SA team to go to the 2012 London Olympics. Prinsloo and Roux qualified 95 by beating their rivals Chad Ho and Natalie du Toit at the 75 recent Olympic qualifiers in Portugal. Speedo SA has identified the two as rising stars in SA swimming and signed a kit sponsorship to provide 25 them with all the relevant swimming related goods and 5 require over the apparel they next year. 0

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

Brands on the move

p6  ::  Industry

Super-Brands awarded 10 years of support for St Giles in Durban earned Super Brands an award at the St Giles 60th Anniversary of Operation in May. St Giles employs the mentally and physically handicapped. As a charity, they have successfully packaged and assembled many products for companies who manufacture locally for years. Dunslaz began using St Giles for their their Ashaway racket string packaging programme 10 years ago and Super Brands have continued the relationship. “Thanks to all of our customers who purchase and promote Ashaway, as used by top international athletes like Nick Matthews — world champion squash player — and many more,” says divisional manager, Steve Gallienne.

An extension of the Diesel Store, 55DSL has now opened its doors in Sandton City. 55DSL’s provocative and lively image, coupled with a fresh attitude, appeals to a younger target market of ages 16 to 25. 55DSL creates collections for both males and females who feel equally at home in an urban dwelling as a rural scenario. Under Armour now will offer the cutting-edge ColdBlack technology in their ranges that will be reaching SA shores later this year. Under Armour athletes Hunter Malan and Gary Woodland wore the latest ColdBlack garments at the US Open Golf Tournament (held 14-17 June). ColdBlack technology is said to reflect UV rays so that you feel cooler, sweat less and stay focused. The protection factor is rated at UPF +30 and does not wash out unless bleached, it has a 60% infrared ray reflectance and garments made of dark colours do not get as hot.

The exposure Reebok athletes received at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games is expected to boost the demand for the Reebok Crossfit Nano 2.0 performance shoe, made popular at the 2011 Reebok Crossfit Games. This year was Reebok’s second as title sponsor and apparel supplier of the CrossFit Games. Reebok, CrossFit and their athletes have worked to together to create a clothing collection that caters for the functional movements in Crossfit workouts. New additions to the collection are compression apparel and accessories for men and women, as well as updated styles and models of some of the more popular items like the Reebok CrossFit Nano shoe, which now has a unique toe cap that provides added durability, a supportive frame and additional breathable mesh to keep feet cool.

Buff, the original multi-functional headwear, have changed their logo. While the original colours of orange background and black text remain the same, the font design has been changed to one that is more modern and easier to read. Buff is now also the official headwear partner of the Totalsports XTERRA Series presented by Rehidrat Sport.

Adidas and Spain break football records

Nike divests brands

Adidas this year expects record global football category sales of well over € 1.6-bn (R16.5-bn) — surpassing sales from the 2010 FIFA World Cup year (€ 1.5-bn – R15.5-bn). In the last UEFA Euro year (2008), their football sales totalled € 1.3-bn (R13.4-bn). More than 7-m Tango 12 balls sold during UEFA Euro 2012 is also an official ball sales record. “Adidas can already be sure of defending its title as the most successful football brand in Europe and the world. Adidas is leading the way at the UEFA EURO 2012 in every respect — in terms of product sales, brand visibility and innovative strength,” Herbert Hainer, adidas Group CEO, said at a press conference before adidas-sponsored Spain made history by repeating their wins in the 2008 EUFA and 2010 FIFA World Cup finals. The adidas football sales had already shown 23% growth in the first quarter of 2012 — sales had grown 50% in the EUFA host country, Poland, where they are now market leaders.

Nike Inc. announced its intention to divest two of its brands — Umbro and Cole Haan — to concentrate on the Nike, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands. The process is expected to be completed by the end of the new fiscal year, in May 2013. Cole Haan, which specializes in casual and dress leather shoes and bags, was acquired by Nike in 1988. Umbro joined the group in 2008. Meanwhile, Converse is taking over the distribution in Spain from Proged and changing its relations with established licensees in other European countries. More information and analysis in SGI Europe and its sister publication, Shoe Intelligence.

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

Industry  ::  p7

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p8  ::  Apparel & Footwear

Warrior Liverpool kit: We come not to play New Balance SA recently introduced the new Liverpool kit from Warrior with a red filled evening that saw surprises such as an electrifying light display projected against the Cape Town Stadium and a surpise visit by Bruce Grobbelaar, who entertained the crowd with stories from his days as Liverpool goalie, as well as his experience with the Warrior brand. “If you want to be the best brand, you have to be part of the best sport,” announced Gary van Rooyen, GM of New Balance SA. New Balance international owns the Warrior brand. Warrior has a longstanding association with lacrosse and in June the brand expanded their sports association by entering the soccer arena. Their first club signing is Liverpool FC and although the team only played in the new kit for the first time in July, they have already experienced record sales with fans embracing the new design. Warrior’s pay-off line (we come not to play) could not be more appropriate — both on and off the playing area. The brand has a hard image: work hard and party hard. It’s therefore fitting that their brand ambassador is none other than actor and former Welsh captain and bad boy Vincent Vinnie Jones, a man known for his tough man image on the pitch and on the big screen — he holds the record for the quickest ever booking in a soccer match, after only three seconds. But, the brand is also represented by current Liverpool and Wales national team player, Craig Bellamy, who started the Craig Bellamy Foundation for disadvantaged children in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he is helping to build a non-profit soccer academy in the Kono region. Additionally, with the help of UNICEF,

Kit launches

Gary van Rooyen (GM New Balance SA), Darren Tucker (MD New Balance Asia Pacific), Bruce Grobbelaar, Grattan Rippon (National Sales Manager New Balance SA). Photo by Brenton Geach.

he is starting a soccer league with his Warrior earnings. Mally Leigh, Warrior’s regional sales manager for Asia Pacific, says that you can draw many parallels between Warrior and Liverpool in the way that both dominate on the pitch. “We took traditional features and added a potent modern twist.” The new (all red) kit draws inspiration from Liverpool’s 1964/65 strip that was worn under

Everlast back in SA with a bang The Who’s Who of SA boxing and MMA, fashion editors and other media members were at the Tanz Café in Fourways when Everlast announced their return to SA with a fashion show showcasing their latest range. The new range, distributed by James Gilbert SA (JGSA), includes a traditional Authentics range, lifestyle and performance ranges for both men and ladies, along with a fashion footwear and boxing shoe component. “Our offices are being inundated by calls from members of the public wanting to know where they can get their hands on the range,” says Everlast brand manager Jannie Smal. The positive response to the clothing has proven that this is the right time to bring this range to market, says Damien Rudham, JGSA sales and marketing director. “Boxing is in a renaissance and with the growing popularity of MMA and the boom in fight fitness classes we believe that we are fulfilling a very clear need in the market for a new exciting brand

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

in this country.” Founded in 1910, Everlast has been the market leader in nearly all of its product categories, responsible for leading eight of the top ten boxing equipment products in sales. It The new Everlast range consists of performance boxing and MMA gear, as well as lifestyle and fashion apparel.

legendary manager Bill Shankly, who believed the red gave players a physical and psychological edge over their opponents. Warrior has reintroduced the iconic amber yellow Liver Bird emblem, which is reminiscent of the strip worn during Liverpool’s golden era (1976-1985). The crest has been fully embroidered on the shirt for only the second time in the club’s history. The kit also gives a nod to tragic incidents in Liverpool’s history with the number “96” embroidered on the back of the shirt’s neck, bordered by the Hillsborough flames, commemorating the 96 people who died in a stampede during the FA CUP semi-final tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The War-Tech fabric utilises Scafé — an antimicrobial fabric that is made with coffee beans, is fast drying and provides UV protection. Additionally, the main body of the shirt is designed with durable water resistant tech-

Apparel & Footwear  ::  p9

When Manchester United comes to town The launch of the new Manchester United away kit in the Castle in Cape Town provided a glimpse into the superstar life of the richest soccer club with arguably one of the highest followings of any club in SA. Drummed in by the Cape Town Highlanders, Rio Ferdinand (captain for their world tour), Spanishonly speaking Antonio Valencia and young Frederico Machedo were so swamped by media cameras that their new kit could only be seen during individual interviews, carefully orchestrated by beefy bouncers. Outside, soldiers stood guard to protect the Man U and Nike flags announcing the visit of the iconic team members to the iconic SA landmark from keen autograph and souvenir hunters. Cape Town loves Man United — as was obvious from the streams of red on the fanwalk to the stadium the following day when they played against local team Ajax. “The shirt feels good, and it looks good,” Ferdinand said amidst the camera flashes. “When you feel good, you play good.” The shirts are made from fully recycled plastic bottles, which is more environmentally friendly and 23% lighter than previous Nike fabric, explained Niall Bruton. Nike’s Manchester United business club manager.

The knit structure is 20% stronger than before and feature Nike Dri-FIT technology to wick moisture away from athletes to help keep them cool and dry on-pitch. The Henley Crew collar with a red detail and a button closure bridges the gap between the heritage of the club and the current youth style in Manchester. The shirt’s outer back neck and the shorts feature the club’s Above: The new Man U away kit is modelled by Antonio Valencia, captain Rio Ferdinand and youngster Frederico Machedo. Right: Nike SA’s Seruscka Naidoo organising the press interviews with Ferdinand and (below) Machedo

More soccer jerseys launched Nike have unveiled the new Kaizer Chiefs away kit, Puma the new Moroko Swallows kit, Under Armour the Tottenham Hotspur home and away kit and adidas the Ajax Cape Town kit for 2012/13. The new Kaizer Chiefs kit is made from recycled polyester, which makes them Nike’s most environmentally friendly kit ever produced.

Tottenham Hotspurs will play in shirts made of razor thin Under Armour HeatGear stretch woven

The Birds' kit is in the same style as all the Puma partnered African teams played in since AFCON 2012. The technical kits, featuring Puma’s U.S.P. Moisture Management technology, have been designed to maximize the player’s on-pitch per-

Changes have been made to the new Ajax Cape Town kits. The Ajax logo is now imprinted into the red section of the shirt. It also features a red trim on the sleeves and v-neck collar. Ajax Cape Town wore their new kit in a match against Manchester United at the Cape Town

Protea cricket shirts launched Adidas launched the new test, ODI and T20 cricket kits the Proteas will be wearing during the 2012/2013 season. The designs of the shirts have some special features that give the product a fresh appeal, which is unique South African, says Jacques Faul, CEO of Cricket SA. Adidas have incorporated technologies that ensure that players keep cool under pressure at the wicket. The cut of the kit gives Jacques Kallis in the T20 shirt players freedom of movement in the field and when bowl-

Colin Ingram in the ODI shirt

Mark Boucher models the test shirt

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p10  ::  Industry

Outdoor News

Hi-Tec Forest Family Hike a success

New Swarovski generation

The first Hi-Tec Forest Family Hike, held in Harkerville Forest during the Knysna Oyster Festival, attracted more than 130 keen hikers of all ages. Participating family members received Hi-Tec fleece tops, beanies, socks and water bottles. Organiser Paul Ingpen gave a historical overview of the forest and made the hikers aware of the importance of conserving the indigenous fauna and flora. Lucky draw prizes from Hi-Tec ensured many of the participants would be well kitted for next year’s event.

Swarovski introduced its new generation of telescopes, the ATX/STX. Two eyepiece modules and three objective modules provide six different telescopes to suit every viewing opportunity. The zoom and focusing rings are next to each other, ensuring that the telescope can be used intuitively and quickly, with just one hand. With the ATX/STX family you can for the first time change a telescope’s performance by changing the objective lens, adapting it according to the situation in which you want to use it. Another innovative new feature is the combination of a telescope and digiscope — using a digital camera to record a distant object by coupling it with a telescope.

Hi-Tec ran a competition in Duesouth stores nationwide during June, offering the winner and three friends a chance to spend ten days in any Western Cape National Parks and take part in up to 20 adventures, including paragliding, abseiling, shark cage diving, boat trips and much more. The winner, Corlia Taylor, was presented with her prize by Ian Little from Hi-Tec SA.

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

GoBandit, the active camera brand, handed participants in the ProNutro Magalies Monster MTB Classic action cameras to record their performance in the ride. This race varies in distance from 20km to 70km and the Northern slope of the Magalies Mountain range. With the next generation of full HD Race and Live models, athletes can view altitude, current speed, max speed, G-Force, angle of descent or incline and heart rate on smartphones, tabs and laptops.

Lowrance has launched new deep-sea charts with much greater detail of the SA, SE Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, the Commores etc. coastlines. The new charts show high density contours and a high level of detail from shallow waters to offshore canyons in clear 3D images. The Platinum + Fishing Data deep-sea charts are compatible with the Lowrance HDS range of stand-alone or combo GPS units.

Industry Advertorial  ::  p11 ::  p11

Fun, functional, fashionable DMQ Trading’s range of innovative, trendy and eye-catching accessories, with the majority of the range retailing for under R200, is a breath of fresh air that sport, outdoor and lifestyle retailers should not pass by.


he passionate team at DMQ Trading thrive on the challenge, and satisfaction of developing products that offer more than what the market is used to … but sell at surprisingly affordable prices. This is why they’ve formed close working relationships with some of the biggest South African sport and outdoor retail chains - not only collaborating with them to develop interesting in-house ranges, but also supplying them with products from their own brands. They now want to extend these relationships to independent sport, outdoor and lifestyle retailers across the country. “Our business operates in three spheres,” explains owner Damian Feuilherade. They generate ideas and develop "in-house" products for other companies, supply their own growing brands Narisha Singh, Jade Clayton, Damian Feuilherade, Monique McCusker and Brigid (Civvio and Relife) and distribute brands owned by others (Pool Kemp. Mate and Toeot). The team has recently expanded, and all the people they’ve recruited share their ethos, keenness and moTHEY ALSO distribute international brands that are, tivation to be recognised as an A-Grade supplier into like their own products, innovative, eye-catching and the trade. They are proud that they have achieved and affordable. maintained this status with the retail chains they curPool Mate, a swim watch, which can be worn as a normal rently work with, delivering goods as ordered and on watch (needs no re-charging) that records strokes, time, remaining close at hand for efficient and profeslengths, distance etc. during swim training. sional post-sales support. Toeot are a unique transformative Their products have appealing, unique and quirky twists and come in fun, sandal range and the next big thing trendy colours. Although they are top quality, they are available at surprisingly affordable in casual footwear. The shoes prices, making them ideal gifts and add-ons for any store. They also pay special attention can be worn in any which way the wearto innovative packaging and supply eye-catching display stands with minimum orders. er chooses forming umpteen different styles and colCIVVIO IS DMQ Trading’s own brand of sporty, outdoor and lifestyle fashion accessories, mostly retailing for under R200. Civvio watches come in sporty and casual styles. The sporty watches have the same features you would expect to find in serious sport watches — but they are more fashionable with eye-catching displays in bright, funky colours. The more casual watches draw their inspiration from nature like their beautiful wooden watches, made from sustainably produced materials. Civvio pedometers come in a few styles, all with interesting features in small, colourful cases. One that stands out is the LED Safety Pedometer, which has a twin LED strobe light and so doubles as a safety light and pedometer for people walking or cycling at night. Civvio survival bands are marketed in collaboration

with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and their Wild Dog Project. Internationally, these multi-use wrist bands, woven from parachute cord, are a big trend at sport and outdoor shows. The paracord, with 160kg breaking strength that can be unravelled to 2.5-3 meters, has hundreds of uses. The Civvio armholster fits most cell phones, smart phones, iPods, MP3 players, etc. as the holder has multiple access points for headphones. With a clear panel to operate your device, you will battle to find a better priced unit in the market. Civvio headphones in three fun and funky colours have a contemporary design with great sound. They are light and can fold away to fit in a pocket. An exciting Civvio development in the pipeline is what promises to be some of the world’s most environmentally friendly lifestyle/ leisure wear. Along

our combinations. After sport or travelling, the family will be vying for the best designed Toeot in the household! with the range, will be useful information for the consumer on exactly what eco-friendly clothing is and how choosing it helps reduce the impact on our planet. They hope to bring the range to market in late October this year. THEY RECENTLY launched a second brand, Relife — incorporating features like re-use, reduce (waste), and re-cycle to give new life to products and to replace products which previously could not recycled. The Relife battery charger makes ordinary, alkaline batteries reusable, thereby addressing the global problem of alkaline battery disposal, and reducing waste. The battery charger can take all sizes of batteries, from AAA to D-size. The Relife Bio Stick is due to hit SA shores with a bang, or should we rather say SNAP! This ingenious product is used to neutralize any unpleasant odours and decontaminate areas (and products like wetsuits and sleeping bags) of most viral and bacterial pathogens. It's non-toxic and harmless to humans and animals.

With a quick snap and shake of the nifty Bio Stick, smells like smoke, damp, fish, pet’s wee and even ecoli, etc. are cleanly and efficiently dealt with. The Relife dynamo head torch, on the other hand, is a headlamp that uses no batteries, but charges with a nifty discreet, fold out crank. A few winds ad hey presto, power! Without batteries that can run down, it is ideal as a spare headlamp, working instantly in an emergency enabling the user to have both hands freed up for the task at hand.

Contact DMQ Trading on Tel: 021 200 0747, Fax: 086 601 3240 Email: Facebook: Twitter: @CiVViO

2012 August/September  ::  Sports 2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader Trader

p12  ::  Industry

Nike give young soccer players a chance

Pictured outside XCO Sports’ headquarters near Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria is Hugo Mare (director), Martin Ferreira (director) and Mandla “Shoes” Mazibuko (director). Mazibuko is also the current vice-president of the SA Football Association (SAFA).


Nicholas Mynhart, Melusi Zulu and Teboho Tsotsetsi won a chance to join an international squad.

XCO sponsors SA rugby for R15m XCO Sport has sponsored South African rugby R15m for the next three years, which is one of the largest sponsorships in the last decade. The sponsorship involves the supply of Brutal rugby apparel for on field and off field team wear as well as leisure wear. Replica will be made available. The sponsorship is focused on provincial rugby teams such as the Leopards, Griquas, Falcons and Pumas at professional, amateur clubs and school team levels and activities such as provincial weeks as well as mini rugby. This will include six primary and seven high school Craven Week teams, and teams at the U19 PUK, U16 Falcons, U18 Academy and the LSEN weeks. The team at Brutal have been developing and testing equipment, balls and apparel for the past five years. XCO supplies products for 20 major different sports.

INTRODUCING the incredible new NSD Powerball The Earth’s most powerful and fastest spinning Gyroscope! NSD Powerball is addictive! So exercise has never been such fun! The non-impact action of NSD Powerball means it’s a safe, effective way to strengthen hands, wrists, arms & fingers. Perfect for relieving RSI FINGERS & HAND and arthritic conditions. WRIST FOREARM BICEPS

Feel the difference in just a few days. It’s unique on-board computer constantly monitors your fitness levels, allowing you to see just how much power this amazing gyro is generating in your body.

NSD Powerball SA (Pty) Ltd Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September


Young SA footballers Nicholas Mynhart, Melusi Zulu and Teboho Tsotsetsi (left) will soon be attending Nike’s The Chance football trials in Barcelona, Spain. They were selected from 5 500 young soccer-playing hopefuls who took part in trials in five SA cities. Nike's head scout and legendary football coach Johan Neeskens was part of the panel who assessed the boys by their speed, agility, endurance, tactical play, discipline and endurance. In Spain, the three young SA winners will compete against 97 boys from 55 different countries to try and secure their place in the exclusive 16-man Nike youth squad. This squad gets the chance to train with professional teams and compete against some of the most prestigious youth academies.

Industry  ::  p13


Zac merchandise for cricket fans

Fun hand exerciser

The NSD Powerball is a fun, but effective tool for athletes like tennis and squash players, golfers and gymnasts, who are keen to strengthen their arm, hand, wrist, and finger muscles in order to improve performance. It is also a safe, non-impact tool to treat injuries. This unique tennis-ball sized gyro, weighing only about 250gm, can spin at 15 000rpm and generate over 40lbs of force — all applied to the fingers, hands, wrists and arms of the user. By using the ball for just 5-10 minutes each day, an athlete will substantially increase the strength in the muscle groups of the lower arm and wrist, explains local distributor Dave Jackson of NSD Powerball SA. But, apart from helping athletes who rely on strong forearm and wrist muscles to improve performance, the gyro ball is also medically recommended as an ideal instrument to rehabilitate an injury to the hand, wrist, forearm or elbow. It not only helps to prevent tennis elbow, but can also treat it. “It works isometrically to gently stress the damaged area in a perfectly smooth, even, manner, which cannot be replicated by normal exercise,” explains Jackson. The gyro ball is also ideal for the gentle rehabilitation of repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel symptoms and arthritic conditions. All the while making it all seem like a game. The on-board computer, or revolution counter, records hand and arm fitness, making it fun to try and beat your own power score, or that of a group of friends.

ZAC is the new official mascot for cricket in SA and a range of licensed merchandise has been developed that should appeal to cricket fans of all ages and genders across the country. Zac’s name was derived from South Africa’s official initials or ISO 3166 code: za and the letter ‘c’ in cricket. Zac’s features are based on two of South Africa’s most iconic images, namely the lion and the King Protea. Zac will be marketed and promoted by becoming a prominent figure on television screens and in stadiums during the lead up to the ICC T20 World Championships in Sri Lanka in September, and thereafter. Zac will be there to support the Proteas team and Proteas’ fans to will be encouraged to support the team by being kitted out in Zac gear and buy the ZAC merchandise, like bottles, which is likely to translate into positive sales.

ORBIT SPORTS MANUFACTURER EXPANDS ITS OPERATIONS ORBIT SPORTS APPOINTS OPERATIONS & MARKETING MANAGER Orbit Sports Manufacturer are proud to announce the launch of their new Gauteng operations which is based in Sandton. With its new premises in Linbro Business Park, Orbit Sports will use this location to service its evergrowing customer base in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Orange Free State. The Gauteng operations opened in August 2012. Established in Port Elizabeth in 1994 by ex-Eastern and Western Province Rugby Player, Jaco Kirsten, Orbit Sports has grown to be the largest sports protective equipment manufacturer in Africa, covering sports ranging from Rugby, Cricket, Hockey, Athletics, Netball, Swimming, and most recently, Martial Arts and the ever-popular MMA ranges of protection. 100 95

In addition to the locally manufactured protective equipment, Orbit Sports also supplies imported sporting 75 equipment, which makes this company one of the most versatile sporting goods suppliers in the country. The popular “Stormforce” brand of protection and sports 25products also hails from this dynamic stable. 5 0

Incremental growth in all aspects of this business is the primary reason behind the required expansion into Gauteng. Orbit Sports will increase its footprint into this region and will be better equipped to satisfy the increasing customer requirements in less time.

Orbit Sports and Orbit Signs has appointed Neil Westraadt as their new Operations & Marketing Manager to drive forward business in both its Sports and Signage Divisions. Neil possesses both Engineering and Marketing qualifications, which, coupled with his passion for sport, can benefit the company on numerous levels of operations from production to sales. Neil, age 39, is actively involved in Golf and Karate, and has also represented his province in both Athletics and Basketball. Neil can be reached on (cell) 072 229 6643 (e-mail) / ORBIT SPORTS APPOINTS REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Orbit Sports has appointed Phillip Badenhorst as the new Sales Manager for their Gauteng-based Operations to drive sales growth in the Region. Phillip has a degree in Sport Sciences, and has spent the last 7 months working at Orbit in manufacturing to further his knowledge of the products. Phillip is actively involved in Hockey, outdoor and indoor cricket, golf, and running, and has been awarded Springbok colours for both squash and indoor cricket. Furthermore, he has achieved provincial colours for cricket and hockey. Phillip can be reached on2012 (cell)August/September  082 898 2592 or (office) 082Trader 205 9898 ::  Sports

p14  ::  Industry

Etail vs Retail

Are lines becoming blurred?


Between 2010-2011 internet sales increased by almost one third, and it is expected to grow even more this year. Ecommerce has sprouted roots, although relatively small, in SA. What would you need to consider before joining this emerging market? NELLE DU TOIT found out

lobally, the boom in online retailing is undeniable. Countries like the UK, US and Canada report double digit growth in a time when other industries are suffering an economic downturn. Africa has 6.2% of the total number of internet users in the world, according to, and 13.5% of the entire African population has internet access. This is, of course, the lowest population penetration of all the emerging markets, followed by Asia (26%), Middle East (35.6%) and Latin America (39.5%). SA is still a newborn when compared to global ecommerce giants. Even when comparing internet usage (not even mentioning electronic trading) within Africa, SA is still in its pre-teen phases. SA was ranked 5th (6.8m) in terms of the number of internet users in Africa, after Nigeria (45m), Egypt (21.7m), Morocco (15.7m) and Kenya (10.5m), according to’s B2C ecommerce report for 2012. Regardless of the challenges in store for SA etailers, some online retailers seem to be enjoying great success. Zando, a footwear and apparel etailer who launched their ecommerce site in January 2012, started with 20 brands — they now have over 300 brands on offer and 200 000 unique visitors a month to their site. “We launched a sport specific category in April this year and is now showing monthby-month increases in this category,” reports Karla Levick of “Footwear produces the highest sales in our sports category, but apparel, such as personalised replica jerseys are also selling extremely well,” says Levick. “Retail growth in SA is currently around 6%, whilst online retail growth is more in the region of 30%,” says Peter Allerstorfer, co-founder and MD of Zando. Although ecommerce seems to be experiencing a growth spurt in SA, more than two-thirds of the total of online sales in SA for 2011 was due to the purchase of online air tickets, reports It might, therefore, take a little longer before sport equipment catches on to the online growth spurt. “We specialise in cricket and hockey equipment and the majority of our sales are made in-store due to correct sizing methods of the

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

Online shopping is also a new concept for SA and there are many people who still don’t understand how to shop online equipment and the touch and feel factor during the sales process,” says Dale Hermanson of Sports Horizons that also has an online store. All sports and outdoor brands that responded to a Sports Trader survey say that online sales constituted less than 10% of their total sales. Brands are wary of supplying online retailers as 77.8% of the respondents said that there is a big risk that etailers can cause potential damage to their brand. Half of them said that they are sceptical about supplying etailers. The other half said they would do the same checks for both brick and mortar and etailer. No one said they would rather supply online than to a brick and mortar store.

Brands’ problems with etailers The biggest problem brands experience with etail is that online retailers do not keep stock and order products at short notice (44%), according to the responses Sports Trader received. Thereafter, 33% of brands said that sites selling grey imports (counterfeit products) was a big problem for them and 22% of brands said that etailers used the brands’ warehouse as a depot. Suppliers mentioned that some etailers undercut prices. When they were asked when they would not supply an etailer issues like poor credit or service, if it clashes with the brand’s company philosophy or positioning and if they are a discounter and don’t respect pricing policies came up. It seems that suppliers are hesitant to supply online retailers that are not established yet. Since retailers cannot sell products they do not have, any hesitation in the supply chain can prevent an etailer from operating. It does also seem that suppliers would be less resistant to supply a brick and mortar store where the physical store, location, amount of foot traffic, customer demographics, etc. can be seen with the eye, which is often not the case with a start-up online store. Some brands (who were kept unanimous) did

mention that they will only supply an online retailer if they have a brick and mortar store as well.

Criteria for brands to supply Brands told Sports Trader that the biggest deciding factors when supplying online retailers are whether they have a delivery infrastructure in place (70%) and whether they have a good credit history (70%). Thereafter retailers will need to order in bulk (50%), need to have their own warehouse (40%), would need to have a high traffic website (30%) and would need to have a brick and mortar store (30%). Some retailers such as Chris Willemse Cycles (CWC) say they had problems with SA brands supplying them when they combined their online and retail stores. “But the world is round and anything is available in Europe or the East. You just need to have the contacts,” says Chris Willemse Snr, MD of Chris Willemse Cycles. Retailers like Zando report that brands are happy to supply them as they make their products easily accessible, deliver anywhere within SA and offer free returns. “Brands are starting to see the value in online shopping and how important it is to not only have brand awareness in the traditional stores, but online too,” says Levick. The fact that online products have a wider reach allows brands the potential to get more exposure. “The sports retail market is currently a difficult market to be successful in. All the brands work with us to get as much exposure for their products as they can get,” says Hermanson. “The online store is now becoming a more sought after avenue to market the products as we can update customers in real time, unlike print media.” Retailers can use the internet either as an expansion of their business (with ecommerce) or as an online catalogue of products available at their brick and mortar store. Retailers, such as CWC, who make full use of this electronic trading tool say that their online stores make up a significant portion of their sales and it keeps on growing, expanding their business.

Benefits of ecommerce The fact that online retailing makes shopping so convenient for consumers means it will attract more and more customers as the market and product availability expands. The easier

Industry  ::  p15 purchase means that customers cannot touch, feel, smell or fit a product before paying for it. A customer would therefore only buy sports goods or clothing and shoes after they had tried them in a brick and mortar store. Nowadays, anyone can set up an online storefront. Just because there is a website showing pictures and prices of products does not mean the etailer has the necessary logistics in place to provide etailing services. Disreputable online companies can operate in many ways. When purchasing online a customer often needs to provide their credit card information. In many cases, ecommerce websites are able to harvest other information about online behaviour and preferences. This could lead to credit card fraud or identity theft, says

Online and traditional stores

you make it for people to purchase from you the more sales you will make. With etailing customers don’t even have to leave the comfort and safety of their own home, explains a Zando representative. “Consumer benefits include no parking nightmares, no annoying store assistants, competitive pricing, no need to leave the comfort of the home and no need for the consumer to go from store to store to find what they are looking for,” says Levick. All possible products and sales deals are accessible in one point with etail whereas with traditional retailing the customer would need to walk into different stores to find the products they need. It’s not unusual for customers to travel long distances to reach their preferred physical store, but ecommerce allows them to visit the same store virtually, with just a click, and so helps them cut down on travel time and cost. One of the biggest advantages for retailers in ecommerce is that they overcome geographical limitations. If infrastructure is in place, an etailer can sell to anyone in SA or, ultimately, the world. Brick and mortars are dependent on foot traffic and therefore limited to the area that they service. “Internet penetration is key for ecommerce,” says Levick. The advent of mobi commerce (ecommerce on mobile devices) has dissolved issues surrounding internet access. “With our new mobile site launched, this should alleviate accessibility issues,” she explains. Other benefits of ecommerce is the lowered cost to run an ecommerce site (lower number of employees, no monthly rental lease) and the ability to sell products 24hours, 7 days a week all year round. The internet opens up unlimited possibilities for providing and collecting information. Ecommerce websites can make additional information easily available to customers, which does not cost anything to create or maintain.

Using the information that a customer provides in the registration form, and by getting permission to place cookies on the customer's computer, an ecommerce merchant can access a lot of information about its customers, according to This, in turn, can be used to communicate targeted messages. More than half of the brands that responded to Sports Trader’s questionnaire said that the biggest benefit for brands supplying etail is the greater reach of customers. Forty four percent of them said that greater exposure is a benefit of etailing and 33% said that selling end of line stock is a benefit.

Challenges of ecommerce Although ecommerce is steadily expanding, there are still restrictions that prevent it from reaching its full potential. These are mainly rooted in technological issues such as insufficient bandwidth, but also the fact that basic internet access across much of SA remains inadequate. According to, only 13.9% (6 800 000 people) of the entire SA population are internet users. Online shopping is also a new concept for SA and there are many people who still don’t understand how to shop online, says a Zando representative. Logistics is also a big challenge. “Brick and mortar stores don’t need to worry about delivering any of their goods as they are taken out of the store by the customer,” says Levick. “Delivery to your door is key and therefore we need to make sure that the items are not only delivered safely, but also on time.” Ecommerce website deliveries take much longer than traditional pay-at-the-till-and take-your-product-home stores. Even with express shipping, often the earliest the customer receives his goods is often tomorrow. The fact that etailing does not allow the customer to experience the product before

Hermanson says that he received no resistance from suppliers when he started his online store. Brands were keen to get the products that he already stocked in the store online. Having an online and brick and mortar store can help attract more people to the store. “We have always used the online store to draw the customers to our retail store, as this is where we show our expertise, customer service and large display of quality products available,” Hermanson adds. An online store is a very good tool for generating product awareness, as nowadays customers search the web for interests or interesting items on a daily basis. When asked what the drawbacks were of having both online and brick and mortar stores, Hermanson explained “stock holding is difficult for the ranges we do not specialise in. So we sometimes have to communicate with the customer if an item is purchased from us and we have no physical stock left in the shop.” “Stock also becomes an issue to process when we go through our busy periods in the cricket and hockey seasons, when we are not able to process online orders over the weekend due to the busier weekend trade.” Any orders placed over the weekend during that time does have a 1-2 day delay until the business week starts again. By that time an item that may have been available on Friday could have been sold over the weekend, so stock might have run out. “It also becomes an issue to update the online store everyday on product availability during the busy periods in the retail store. This has been our biggest hurdle so far, as these issues can lead to the cancellation of the order if the online customer is desperate for the product,” explains Hermanson. In some cases online and traditional retail methods have become merged. “We have merged our online and regular stores into one, which became Chris Willemse Cycles online,” says Willemse. “We sell directly to our clients in-store at online prices. The advantage is that our online store now has a big workshop. Another advantage is that if a client comes into our shop he can see and feel the product before s/he buys it.”

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

Tekkie Town founder:

p16  ::  Industry

Why he’s a top entrepreneur Tekkie Town CEO Braam van Huyssteen recently represented SA in the World Entrepreneur of the Year finals in Monaco. He shares this experience and some of Tekkie Town’s future plans with Trudi du Toit. Photos: Ken Lennox


t was like being at the Oscars: vintage cars delivering the contestants to the red carpet, from where fairies escorted them past the photographers to the beautiful building overlooking Monaco bay, firework displays lighting up the sky … the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards ceremony in Monaco was a fantastic experience, says Tekkie Town founder and CEO Braam van Huyssteen. After being crowned the Southern African Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, he joined more than fifty entrepreneurs from across the world for the final in Monaco in June this year. The whole visit was an unforgettable experience, he enthuses. A highlight was the evening when their hosts from sponsors Ernst & Young took them to a restaurant where, by pure chance, Princess Charlene was dining at a neighbouring table. Van Huyssteen’s wife, Charmaine, sent a South African flag across to the princess, who was delighted to talk to fellow South Africans, whom she had heard speaking Afrikaans. Each regional winner had to spend an hour with the judges to explain why he or she has the entrepreneurial spirit that created the most unique success story. On the gala evening each regional winner was called to the stage to be conducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, accompanied by their chosen song. Van Huyssteen’s choice was Shakira’s 2010 FIFA World Cup song, It’s time for Africa. Ironically, the winner, James Mwangi of Kenya, chose the same song. There are clearly many South Africans living in Monaco. Prior to the final award ceremony they were entertained on yachts moored in the harbour, where they met a yacht captain from Sedgefield and a crew member from Beaufort West. Van Huyssteen agrees with the entrepreneur from Columbia who said: “this is the life… to which his daughter responded: “… we’re never going to have.” It was no surprise for industry members that Van Huyssteen was elected SA’s Entrepreneur of the Year. An entrepreneur is “an enterprising individual who builds capital through risk

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

We realise that Tekkie Town offers a fantastic opportunity for investors and are engaged in a process, which could be finalised middle next year. and/or initiative”, writes Arthur Sullivan in Economics: Principles in Action.*

Growth Tekkie Town That’s Van Huyssteen in a nutshell. His unique Tekkie Town business model showed initiative and the risks he took certainly built capital. He had a huge warehouse and retail outlets. The footwear brands had over-runs and returns. He made them an offer they couldn’t refuse, sweetened the deal with future orders of new ranges, attracted customers who were happy to buy old styles of top brands at lower prices, and became a retail legend. Once established, they could increase their new range offering and upgrade stores, attracting bargain hunters as well as the middleclass consumer looking for the latest athletic and lifestyle shoes. Much later they also introduced clothing, which now constitutes about 15% of the business. Once they perfected the business model — e.g. dropping the franchising model — Tekkie Town became an unstoppable snowball that’s just becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. As their number of stores grew, the easier it became to negotiate favourable leases, especially since they paid cash. Tekkie Town grew out of the Sport City sporting goods chain Van Huyssteen started in George in 1999. Two years later he opened a Tekkie Town store in Somerset West, based on the above model. It soon became so successful that they converted all the Sport City stores into Tekkie Towns. Two years later, they had 22 stores. After ten years, they had 125. Now, 13 years on, they have 192 stores — and are still growing. Recently they opened six new stores.

Southern African winner, Braam van Huyssteen, pictured with his wife Charmaine, have been inducted into the World Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Sales growth Despite adverse economic conditions — or, with their business model, perhaps because of the economy — sales are growing at a breathless pace. “Sales in existing businesses have grown 25%, with our new stores included, sales are up 40% on last year,” says Van Huyssteen. “We are growing at a tempo that suits us, maintaining our growth tempo without incurring any debt. Every year we invest about 60% of our profit into new stores or business opportunities.” That doesn’t mean that they sit back and enjoy the success. They are always ready to face competition in our very competitive retail environment, says Van Huyssteen. “We always make provision for the lean years, should they come. We are ready to meet a new challenge every day, but we have been blessed up to now and have never experienced bad times.” Although he makes their success sound like good fortune, there can be no doubt that Tekkie Town’s recipe for success has a shrewd business brain, a solid working model and a keen eye for opportunities as ingredients. He

Industry  ::  p17





1.  Escorts dressed as fairies shepherded the contestants into the venue where the gala evening was held.  2.  A chance encounter in a restaurant with Princess Charlene of Monaco led to a memorable evening for Braam and Charmaine Van Huyssteen.  3.  Each regional Entrepreneur of the Year was inducted into the

quotes Gary Player with good reason: “The more you practice, the luckier you get.” Van Huyssteen is also quick to point out that it is Tekkie Town — and therefore the whole team — that won the award. The core management team have been part of Tekkie Town’s history almost from the start. Gert Claassen, responsible for projects and marketing, joined the Van Huyssteen brothers as early as 1996 to manage the Tropika store in Mossel Bay, which predates even Sport City. Michael Brown, GM responsible for the day-to-day running, joined in 2001 when the Sport City stores became Tekkie Town. Dawie van Niekerk, operations manager, joined the following year. Junita Baleson, responsible for marketing and PR and financial manager Ben Vermeulen are more recent recruits. Nowadays, Van Huyssteen is mainly responsible for the negotiation of new leases for their ever-growing number of stores.

Trends Although their business model has proven its worth, they don’t close their eyes to changing retail trends. Tekkie Town was a late comer to the credit market but they have now entered into an agreement with RCS bank to issue a Tekkie Town card. “They do the credit vetting and carry all the risk. They pay us at the end of the month for all the goods bought with the card.” They are also following the international

Hall of Fame by Ernst & Young CEO Jim Turley.  4.  A fellow African, Dr. James Mwangi, who turned the almost bankrupt Kenya Equity Bank into a flourishing enterprise, was crowned the World Entrepreneur of the Year. He is pictured here with Braam Van Huyssteen and his wife Charmaine.

trend for smaller, more intimate stores. “We realised that smaller stores are more effective because you pay less rent, employ fewer staff, yet achieve the same turnover,” says Van Huyssteen. “I believe you just confuse the client if the store is too big. Rather improve merchandising efficiency.” They now have five stores in Namibia and expansion into the rest of Africa is a natural progression — especially with encouragement from other entrepreneurs like World Entrepreneur Mwangi, CEO and MD of Kenya's Equity Bank, who is keen to welcome Tekkie Town into Kenya. They will proceed with caution, says Van Huyssteen. “The African market is still in its baby shoes, but we’ll be keeping an eye on developments. African retail is developing and as dictators are toppled, countries are becoming more entrepreneur-friendly.” On the often-asked question about when Tekkie Town will be listing on the stock exchange, he remains noncommittal. “We are seriously looking at different options to share risks. We realise that Tekkie Town offers a fantastic opportunity for investors and are engaged in a process, which could be finalised middle next year.”

Horse racing As befits an entrepreneur who’s not shy of risks, Van Huyssteen’s dayglo yellow colours has become well-known in local horse-racing

circles. Tekkie Town has even sponsored some races. His stable of 90 race horses — most of them youngsters that haven’t developed their full potential yet — has become a passion to which he devotes most of his free time. “I’m so keen on the horses that they’ve replaced golf as my hobby,” he laughs. “I spend all my free time reading about breeding, jockeys, horses’ performance over different distances, etc. Last year his horse Grey Cossack, an outsider at 50/1, upset the punters and made Van Huyssteen extremely happy by winning one of the races on Durban July day. The interest in horses was generated about four years ago by his 16-year old daughter, Bianca, the SWD Schools League Rider of the Year in 2011, who has Western Province and Eastern Cape colours for show jumping, dressage and showing. Van Huyssteen, who played rugby for Maties U19 and U20 is also very proud of his twelve year old namesake’s achievements on the rugby field. “He’s as strong as a lion and has his mother’s speed,” he says with fatherly pride.

*Sullivan, Arthur; Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp. 6. ISBN 0-13-063085-3.

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p18  ::  Industry

Design, accessibility and performance

give Hi-Tec the winning edge


ith a founder and chairman who is so fond of SA that he owns a beautiful house against the slopes of Table Mountain and shoe ranges found in just about every outdoor footwear SA store, Hi-Tec is often mistaken for a South African brand. So much so that customers sometimes send emails in Afrikaans in response to the invitation in every Hi-Tec product box from chairman Frank van Wezel to tell him about their experience with the brand. Van Wezel's Dutch origins and frequent visits to SA enables him to understand and respond to many of these messages in Afrikaans. Another testimony to the close relationship between the international brand and SA, is the pair of Hi-Tec Classic court shoes worn by Madiba on Robben Island, proudly displayed in the foyer of their modern new head office in Amsterdam. The shoes, with a letter from former Pres. Nelson Mandela explaining how he enjoyed wearing them, was a gift from their South African subsidiary, who bought it at an auction. The close relationship between SA and HiTec comes a long way. Before he founded the footwear brand, Frank van Wezel had worked in Kenya for a decade and often visited SA as a representative of a chemical company. He therefore had no qualms about entering SA with his new footwear brand. Lemkus Sport was their first SA distributor and Brad Lemkus later became a general manager of Hi-Tec global. “Hi-Tec had first mover advantage in SA, as the first major brand in the country, we were always at an advantage in terms of market penetration,” explains CEO Ed van Wezel.

New beginnings Hi-Tec relocated their head office from Southend in the UK to Amsterdam a year ago when Van Wezel, 34, was appointed CEO. During a lifetime of training by his father to take over the company, he gained experience in all spheres of brand manufacturing, sales, distribution and marketing — from working in the warehouse during vacations as a student, working on assembly lines in Chinese factories, selling to the toughest retailers in the Bronx, to observing his father taking management decisions. Coupled with a stint at Morgan Stanley Investment Bank, his preparation to run Hi-Tec was as comprehensive as could be. He was recently recognised as one of the 40 under 40 most prestigious global leaders in

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

The new head office in Amsterdam

the sports industry by the US trade publication SGB. “Dad used to test me by showing me shoes and getting me to guess the price. The test was to get within 10% of the correct price by looking at the components and materials that were used in manufacturing,” he reminisces. When his father appointed him CEO a year ago, Ed van Wezel suggested they relocate to Amsterdam. This was in line with Hi-Tec’s three focus areas: Design-Accessible-Performance.

SA comprises about 10% of their global sales — much higher than for other international brands where SA usually constitutes about 2%. Design The Dutch capitol has become the business hub for European brands: it is central, major European cities are no more than an hour and a half away per plane, the Netherlands government offers incentives and because so many major brands have located their head offices in the city, the top creative agencies are working out of Amsterdam. In Amsterdam they therefore have access to some of the most innovative creative advertising minds in Europe, and have also appointed top designers in the shoe industry, he explains. Sports Trader visited the Amsterdam head office while they were busy planning the dis-

Hi-Tec SA general manager Mickey Mallett

tribution of their Spring 2013 collection — the first by their new top end designer of outdoor footwear. The main messages for 2013 will be lots of colour and greater focus on the harpoon logo. "We are proud of our logo and brand and the logo is pleasing to the eye," says Mickey Mallett, general manager of Hi-Tec SA. “The trick is to give people a product that they didn’t realise they needed, but once they’ve got it, can’t live without,” says Van Wezel, who believes the Zuuk, introduced at Friedrichshafen, fits the bill. “We are expecting volume sales in all markets.” The extremely lightweight (166gm) Zuuk has a dense, high-abrasion PU sole with a minimum drop, but breathable mesh upper is suitable for “anything you want it to be,” he explains. It can be used around the campsite, for after sport, for water sport. It is a new category in-between a sandal and a moulded shoe, adds Mallett. It is so light that it can be folded and popped in a backpack. It is available in different colours and is sold with a J-hook and display stand and self-dispensing display. The Figaro is another contender as such a break-out product. Outdoor is becoming more sporty with the growth of trail running. In the past outdoor shoes used to be brown, and not built for speed; sport shoes were white and fast. Now there has been some convergence and blurring of boundaries. Multisport, hybrid footwear that can be worn anywhere you step outside a building, is big for spring 2013, says Van Wezel. Figaro is a cross-over between an outdoor

Industry  ::  p19

Hi-Tec is successfully evolving into a fully-fledged outdoor brand. Ed van Wezel, Hi-Tec International CEO, explains how new designs, accessibility and performance products have contributed to their global success. Mickey Mallett, Hi-Tec SA general manager, reveals what the local market can expect of the brand so many consumers believe to be South African Words: Trudi du Toit. Photos: Nic du Toit and Carin Hardisty

Ed and Frank van Wezel, CEO and Chairman of Hi-Tec International.

shoe (the Vibram sole) urban shoe, street shoe (with the padded casual shoe upper) in several high fashion colourways, adds Mallett. Retailing at about R699, they have had a great response from key customers. The women's version is the Apollo. The Original — a current version of the first Sierra Lite from 1976 in modern colours like mocha, olive, pink, peach, purple — promises to be another winner in the SA market.

Accessible Just 20 minutes from Schipol airport, Hi-Tec is now much more accessible than in England, where visitors often had to travel half a day to reach them. As a true family business — Frank's two sonsin-law are also Hi-Tec managers — that doesn’t believe in strict hierarchies, the chairman and CEO are accessible to all employees, who can

The trick is to give people a product that they didn’t realise they needed, but once they’ve got it, can’t live without. talk to them over lunch in the staff canteen. The CEO, for example, has no personal assistant and personally goes down to the foyer to welcome guests. The chairman is accessible to consumers as he responds to every email sent in response to his invitation (and personal email) enclosed with every product sold. Some of the most interesting stories about customers’ experiences with their Hi-Tec shoes — many from SA — have been published in a book. Once, during one of his many visits to Cape

Town, Van Wezel received an email from a Cape Town customer needing new laces. To her astonishment, the chairman of Hi-Tec personally delivered the laces at her door. It is a family business, yet it is accessible to customers in almost 80 countries. It is accessible across many platforms — sport retail, outdoor retail, internet — all channels. The brand is not segmented so that only certain styles go to certain consumers, it is available for all, emphasises Van Wezel. “Nobody is excluded from receiving product, everybody can sell on volume and price.”

Performance The outdoor industry in Europe, which had been fairly insulated from the economic downturn following the 2008 banking crisis is feeling the pinch now that consumers are curbing back on spending. On To p19

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p20  ::  Industry

Hi-Tec’s winning edge cont from p20 top of that, after the relatively warm winter, retailers with excess stock are cautious about ordering spring-summer ranges. Despite that, Hi-Tec’s distribution in Europe and the US, has doubled from 2011. In SA, sales have grown 20%, especially due to the good response to the Hi-Tec clothing range. In some other Southern Hemisphere countries sales have doubled. Van Wezel believes Hi-Tec’s strong performance can be attributed to designs that are more advanced than other volume brands, and offering better value than some other top brands. “Hi-Tec fits in a nice gap,” adds Mallett. The volume product is priced just above stores’ own label, but the top end products sell below the top end brands. “We are positioned to give good value at mid-price point and all retailers are looking for more value for price-sensitive customers who cannot afford the R999 shoes.” But, the key to Hi-Tec's success is the performance of their footwear, says Van Wezel. Features like Vibram outsoles, Ortholite footbeds, V-Lite construction, ensures performance. “We use good leather and quality manufacturing techniques and materials, we don't undercut.” Since customers nowadays go and read online reviews before they buy, it is more essential than ever that products have to perform.

Growth in SA SA comprises about 10% of their global sales — much higher than for other international brands where SA usually constitutes about 2%. The penetration of the African market also falls under Hi-Tec SA, who appointed a dedicated export manager to manage all sales. The feedback from the key customers looking at their new 2013 range has been exceptional, says Mallett. One key customer increased their men's footwear order by 38%; another increased their clothing order by 100%. The clothing range, introduced two years ago, now contributes about 10% of their sales. “Due to the good sell-through, we’re expecting good growth in our clothing sales for the coming season,” says Mallett. “The tough part was to get it into retail, because once it’s in the store, it sells.” Every retailer who has bought clothing, has upped orders due to the good sales. Mallett ascribes this to the fact that it’s not

necessary to sell the brand to consumers, who know it well. “Most people have owned a pair of Hi-Tec shoes at some stage and they therefore know and trust the brand.” The clothing range is very comprehensive — cargo pants, shirts, fleeces, softshell jackets, etc. All categories, whether lifestyle, technical — in fashionable colours and styles —– as well as baselayers have sold exceptionally well in SA. To ensure that their footwear perform well enough for the rugged SA outdoor conditions, Hi-Tec SA sent Chris de Bruyn, who does customer and staff training, to the factories in China and Jakarta to learn about the shoe manufacturing process and exchange information about the needs of the SA market. He now shares this valuable knowledge and insights with retail customers as well as staff members. Despite SA’s notoriously bad internet connectivity, Hi-Tec SA leads the way in social media and general marketing, says Van Wezel. Their 23 000 Facebook followers is the highest for Hi-Tec in any country and SA has the strongest brand recognition in the group.

Diversified brand As an addition to the Inspired by Life marketing campaign launched at the global sales conference in Cape Town in 2010, Hi-Tec is introducing the Be message: Be confident. Be extraordinary — which connects with the outdoor active consumer — Be visionary (as in the Zuuk), etc. “The idea is to get people thinking about their lives and inspire them into doing things differently,” explains Mallett. They have now diversified the products. "In the old days Hi-Tec was just about shoes. Now we have accessories like backpacks, trekking poles, tents, pop-up tents, clothing, accessories, etc. Over the last five years Hi-Tec has changed from being just a footwear brand into a fully rounded outdoor brand,” says Mallett. The tent range they just introduced has already had several orders from independent retailers to a major chain. Magnum, the safety footwear so popular with SA metro policemen, miners and Australian firefighters, to name a few industries, now constitutes about 30% of Hi-Tec’s global business — and is growing. As many other international brands, Hi-Tec in-

This image: Hi-Tec are introducing more colours into their ranges. Right: Mandela’s shoes are proudly displayed in the Amsterdam office foyer.

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

As a true family business that doesn’t believe in strict hierarchies, the chairman and CEO are accessible to all employees, who can talk to them over lunch in the staff canteen. ternational sees SA as the gateway into Africa. They have appointed an African zone manager in Johannesburg and their expansion into Africa is gaining traction.

Into the future But, it takes a very different approach to doing business in Africa, cautions Mallett. Things are slow to be processed and it sometimes takes months for orders to go through. The numerous government regulations regarding investment and getting your money out cause major problems. Shopping centres are starting to appear, but in general, the infrastructure has a long way to go, he says. “It is very expensive to do business in Africa — flights are expensive, hotels are expensive.” The consumers don’t have a lot of money to buy product and counterfeit is a big problem — but the consumers want brands. The basement has been dug for their new head-office in the Northgate Business Park. The double-storey building with basement parking should be completed by the end of November this year giving them time to start the new year in comfort in the new surroundings. It will have green lighting — e.g. with basement lights with motion sensors — and air conditioning with inverters to save on power usage, explains Mallett. There will also be two big showrooms, a board room for meetings and a canteen where all staff members will be able to mingle during lunch hour.

Industry  ::  p21

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

Feet do the talking What’s new for sandals?

p22  ::  Apparel Industry & Footwear

No matter if you are in the outdoor, sport or athleisure market, sandals are consistently one of the must-have footwear items that consumers buy during the summer months. CARIN HARDISTY asked brands what retailers can expect to see from their sandal ranges for summer 2013.


andals have been on our feet ever since the Egyptians realised how convenient and useful this form of footwear is. After all, sandals protect the feet, yet at the same time are not restricting and allow the feet to be cool in hot weather. Ever since people realised how useful sandals are, we have spent countless hours designing sandals in various styles, ways to decorate them, and have used a variety of different materials to construct them. Today there are countless looks for sandals — from the more rugged adventure sandal that is used for physical activities such as hiking, to after sport sandals that are worn to relax in after a hard day on the field, to delicate jewel-covered sandals that are not meant to see much in the way of dirt or meant to be used for physical activities beyond walking for hours in a mall. So what can retailers expect to see from brands’ sandal ranges for summer 2013? Merrell Henna

Sports Sports Trader  Trader  ::  ::  2012 2012 August/September August/September

Is it outdoor or fashion? While some sandals are a definite fashion sandal or a definite outdoor sandal, for example, some brands that have their roots firmly in the outdoors are now also making more delicate looking sandals, creating a convergence between fashion and outdoor. Outdoor retailers, you can now safely offer your more fashion-conscious ladies outdoor sandals that are just as comfortable on the campsite as they are in the mall. And vice versa to the athleisure retailer who wishes to offer a more comfortable sandal option to his customer. Merrell’s Henna ladies sandal, locally distributed by Medicus Shoes, is one such cross-over between the outdoor and fashion worlds. The sandal draws inspiration from the gladiator trend, using soft rope and leather weave detailing. The gladiator style continues to be a favourite on the fashion scene, with the style developing, or rather minimalising, and losing some of the straps.

“The shoe is elegant on the foot, comfort driven through Merrell’s Q-form midsole design with sequenced air cushioning and designed specifically for women,” says Gustav Nefdt of Medicus Shoes. It has full grain leather uppers with EVA cushioning and sticky rubber on the outsole. Merrel makes use of the natural colours of the leather and rope, with the browns and blacks dominating, but there are also rich port and yellows coming through. Hi-Tec’s leather Maui strap sandal is another such cross over sandal. It features woven leather straps and colourful stitch detail work, making this outdoor sandal worthy of fashion status. Sandals are a significant contributor to Hi-Tec’s footwear sales, says Jan van Rooyen, Hi-Tec SA product manager. And they are not just a summer item. Customers were still buying during April. Both Nefdt and adiPure 360 Slide

Apparel & Footwear  Industry  ::  p23


Ever since people realised how useful sandals are, we have spent countless hours designing sandals in various styles, ways to decorate them, and have used a variety of different materials to construct them.

Van Rooyen, feel that the qualities that consumers look for in sandals are style, durability, quality and comfort.

Comfort Comfort is definitely a key element when it comes to what people want from sandals. Rider sandals, locally distributed by Intershu, make use of soft materials, cosy footbeds and ergonomically curved straps to keep the wearer’s feet comfortable. However, the brand’s sandals are not just purely about elements that enhance comfort. Their designs include pixelated designs, street art, dual-colour straps, 3D outsoles and colour blocking — connecting the brand stylistically with youth culture and their uninhibited lifestyles. Rider has sandals in various styles, from beach thongs to slip-ons, to adventure sandals — bringing footwear enjoyment to a wide section of consumers. Comfort is also an important feature for Hi-Tec where they make their sandals to be both comfortable and functional, while adding aesthetic design elements, such as stitching details, or decorations to make them fashionable. Their Waimea Falls and Slide sandals are available in eight different colours. They have two adjustable straps that allow for comfort, EVA footbeds and are superlight. The Waimea Falls did very well for Hi-Tec last summer and therefore they expect that the Slide will be just as successful. Hi-Tec’s sandals are made from leather and

synthetic uppers, sometimes combined. Adidas’ Tayuna features a slim outsole with Fitfoam technology and debossed designs for an athletic look. The upper is made of stretch material, which gives the sandal a custom-like fit. The Tayuna is available as a slide (Tayuna FF Vario) and a thong (Tayuna FF) style. The thong has a slightly wider strap that moulds to the foot. Like the slide style, it also features the deboss line on the Fitfoam footbed and a sporty 3-stripe design on the upper. Several of adidas’ sandals feature their comfortable Supercloud footbed: the athletic Kistulla ladies thong features the 3-stripes that connect the two pieces of thong straps; the adiZero slide 3 SC has a flexible bandage with elastic in the middle.

Benefit the feet It’s not only comfort that benefit the wearer. Adidas’ Slides sandals offer the wearer flexible and comfortable footwear, while massaging and cooling the feet. The flexibility is a response to the consumer demand for a more natural, low to the ground slip-in sandal. “It is better than barefoot!” says Zobuzwe Ngobese of adidas SA. “The flexibility of the product brings a natural feeling to the footwear.” The adipure 360 sandal is inspired by the adipure 360 trainer. The flexible outsole, elastic in the upper and the soft Supercloud footbed enables to the sandal to give the wearer 360 degrees of natural movement. The adipure 360 sandal is available as a slide and thong in both men’s and ladies styles.

R&R Sandals are generally associated with a more relaxed and laidback lifestyle — whether it’s going for a stroll, Above: Vivobarefoot Achilles or wearing sanLeft: Hi-Tec Maui Strap

dals after practice. Some sandals even help the wearer recover from their activities. The adidas CC Revo slide is inspired by Climacool running. The lightweight breathable sandal has a Supercloud footbed with built-in ventilation holes for a comfortable and quickto-dry feel. When the sandal gets wet, the cooling technology kicks in – providing a cooling effect that allows the wearer to relax and recover. The adissage range is new for spring/summer 2013 and offers the feet a massage effect. Adissage Recovery, available in both ladies and men’s, features a dual density footbed, which consists of hard and soft materials that gives the feet a great massage effect. The coloured nubs target pressure points for a fast recovery post workout. The Calissage 2 Ztf, available in both ladies and men’s, has a Comfort Massage footbed for a soft step-in and a dual density EVA cushioning. Adidas’ most popular massage slide is the Adissage Fade. It has been given an updated fade print on the footbed, giving the athletic classic slide a refreshed, cool look. Their latest entry price addition, the Adissage 2-Have, features a new one-piece EVA massage footbed and a stretchy one-piece material upper. It is available in both ladies and men’s styles. The Easyssage, available in both ladies and men’s, is great for just hanging out in. The two-coloured EVA thong has comfortable synthetic straps and a soft footbed with a subtle massage effect. The thongs are available in fun, bright colours.

New types of sandals SA shores has recently seen the arrival of new types of sandals — both in the performance and leisure markets. Vivobarefoot’s Achilles is “specifically suited for the skilled barefoot runner and therefore it has a very niche market as a performance sandal,” says Stuart Hutcheson of local distributors, Native Sport. “However, it works very well as an aquatic everyday sandal that will appeal to a larger range of people looking for something funky and different.” It has a removable and fully adjustable nylon strap and is ideal for trail, beachside runs, or urban exploration. The 100% vegan sandal has a split toe guard that offers comfort, control and protection — specifically for downhill motion. With the dual density construction, combining a high performance TPU cage and a softer eco PU foot bed, this modern-day Huarache running sandal allows for swift, skilful movement. There seems to be a move in the footwear market towards giving consumers more style options with one pair of shoes — and the latest sandal brand to hit SA shores doesn’t have a limit to the style options it presents. Toeot, locally distributed by DMQ Trading, is not your ordinary sandal. For starters, when a consumer buys a pair, they receive a box with the outsole, insole and several sets

To p23

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p24  ::  Apparel Industry & Footwear

What’s new for sandals? cont from p24 of straps – i.e. the new owner has to assemble their shoe before they can wear it. This is where the fun starts and the shoe becomes more than just a protective item to wear on your feet. Inside the outsole are several nuggets and the straps have holes in their ends, which allow them to hook over these nuggets. The consumer now has the chance to take the colourful straps (available in four different lengths) and attach them where they want — thereby designing their own sandal style. And Toeot the straps can be changed as often as the owner wants, for example if they want to wear a different style half way through the day, no problem. Just slip off the shoe, slip out the insole and hook the straps over other nuggets, put the insole back again and there you go: a new sandal style.

Colours Rocky kids

For Sissy Boy Sport Footwear orders contact Footwear Trading on 011 630 4000

Summer is traditionally the light, bright and breezy season, with people wearing

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

colours that are more happy compared to those that they wear in the dreary wet and cold winter months. In keeping with this, summer will again see a variety of colours on sandals, Marga IndraHeide, fashion trend consultant for Modeurop, told visitors to the GDS show. The colours range from light colours (white, grey, sandy tones and gold), to powdered pastels and neons, to natural colour tones (spicy colours, such as mustard yellow). Indra-Heide grouped the colours into three groups: •  Luminous Brights is all about light colours: white, grey, sandy tones and gold. Designs incorporate shiny and fresh looks as well as graphic shapes. •  Powered Pastels is about bold colours: strong neon and soft sorbet colours. The 50’s are celebrating a comeback and this is illustrated in humorous applications and styles. •  Vivid Naturals is about natural tones: spicy colours such as mustard yellow. Africa’s

appeal just keeps drawing in designers. Summer is all about fun and a new life — in physical and mental form. Talking about a new life, Rocky’s popular Salmon sandal has been introduced in a new camel colour. Rocky is distributed locally by Crown Footwear. While Hi-Tec’s traditional colours dominate their mens range, they have introduced a lot more colour into the range. For the ladies range, they are using a lot more colour in the stitching to lift the product, for example in their Fiji Strap. The adidas Carozoon men’s slide sandal features adidas graphics printed across the top of the uppers. The three stripes on the footbed, adidas graphic on the bandage and the toe grip all ensure a secure step. Their Calo 5 mens and ladies thongs feature contrast colours on the upper as well as contrast stitching.

The next generation Rocky have already established themselves as an outdoor footwear brand in both the ladies and men’s markets. Now they are branching out into the kids’ market. “We have stuck true to our values and have designed a top quality kids product that has adjustable uppers and maximum foot bed comfort,” says Jeremy Nel of local distributor Crown Footwear.

Industry  ::  p25

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

Water shoe sales Are they sinking?

p26  ::  Apparel Industry & Footwear

Last year in our August/September issue Sports Trader reported on the exceptional growth of water shoes over the past few years. CARIN HARDISTY surveyed retailers to find out if this sales growth continued over the past year


ater shoes are worn by a wide variety of active consumers, be they canoeists, fishermen, walkers worried about getting wet shoes, yachtsmen, summer backpackers wanting to keep their feet cool, etc. Therefore, one would think that water shoes would be a favourite among active consumers. Indeed, between January 2009 and January 2011 water shoe sales had grown from 19% to 28% of all outdoor footwear sales. By December 2010 water shoes comprised 32% of all outdoor footwear sales, while sandals comprised 34% of the outdoor footwear market* (Sports Trader August/September 2011 Water shoes sales: Growing, growing, growth). But, unfortunately, that good sales growth of 2010-2011 was not repeated in 2011-2012. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of the retailer respondents in a recent Sports Trader online survey said that they had sold fewer water shoes this year than last year. This drop in sales is, however, not a reflection of consumers turning their backs on water shoes. In the first five months of the year (January-May), the Rand value of water shoe sales was actually 15.6% higher than performance outdoor sandal sales — last year in the corresponding period water shoe sales were 15.4% higher. It can rather be attributed to lower sales for the whole outdoor footwear category — which includes mountaineering, outdoor multisport, sandals, light hiking and water shoes — according to retail sales figures reported to GfK Retail and Technology. Water shoe sales during the first five months of 2012 (January-May) dropped 13% when compared to January-May 2011 — but sandal sales dropped 14%. “This could partially be due to cannibalisation by trail running shoes, especially the minimalist type of shoes — or just a case of retailers selling less mountaineering/outdoor shoes in general,” says Armand Esterhuizen of GfK Retail and Technology. While most respondents in the Sports Trader survey reported that they sold fewer water shoe units, 40% of the retailers that sell sport as well as outdoor goods indicated an increase in water shoe sales (but 40% said sales decreased and 20% said they stayed the same).

Sports Sports Trader  Trader  ::  ::  2012 2012 August/September August/September

Similarly, a third of outdoor retailers indicated an increase in water shoe sales.

Mainly outdoor The responses from retailers to the Sports Trader survey show that water shoes are predominantly viewed as outdoor shoes — and that they are especially popular amongst anglers. The majority of respondents in our survey who sell water shoes stock either mainly outdoor (31%) or a mixture of sport-and-outdoor (38%) products. Almost 60% of the outdoor retailers and all of the sport-and-outdoor retailers stock water shoes. All of the fishing retailers that responded stock water shoes. Water shoes are clearly not seen as sport performance shoes, as none of the respondents who mainly stock sports products sell water shoes. Yet, interestingly, two-thirds of the responding leisure footwear stores sell water shoes.

Respondent profile Retailers that sell a diverse spectrum of goods responded to the survey: 32% of the respondents sell mainly outdoor products; 23% sell sport-and-outdoor products; 23% sell mainly sport products; 14% sell leisure footwear products and 9% sell mainly fishing products. Just over half (59%) of the respondents sell water shoes. Water shoes do not make up a big section of retailers’ performance footwear sales. All respondents who stock water shoes indicated that water shoes constitute less than 25% of

their total performance footwear sales. The majority (85%) of these indicated that water shoes constitute less than 10% of their performance footwear sales. Only outdoor and sport-and-outdoor retailers indicated that water shoes make up 10-25% of their performance footwear sales – other retailers that stock water shoes indicated that than 10% of their performance footwear sales consist of water shoes.

What are they replacing? In the tough economic climate that we have been surviving over the past few years, consumers have become more and more aware of areas where they can use one item to accomplish various tasks – therefore buying one product to do the job of two or more products. In the survey we asked retailers if they think consumers are buying water shoes as alternatives to other types of footwear, or if consumers are buying water shoes in addition to other footwear types. The good news for retailers is that most respondents reported that water shoes are bought in addition to other types of footwear (three-quarters of outdoor stores and 40% of sport-and-outdoor stores). Respondents who sell fishing products, however, had no doubt that consumers buy water shoes instead of fishing boots. All the responding fishing retailers and 40% of sport-and-outdoor stores said that water shoes are bought as an alternative to fishing booties or fishing shoes. *Statistics obtained from GfK Retail & Technology SA.

Industry  ::  p27

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p28  ::  Industry

New goals for specialist running brand Asics Asics is growing into a multi-sport international brand, says Alistair Cameron, Asics Europe CEO. But, they are also strengthening their dominant position in the running market, he told Sports Trader during a recent visit to their head office in Amsterdam


sics has been dominating shoe counts at marathons across the world for years now. About half the runners in top marathons in New York, London, Stockholm, Cape Town, Durban, etc. wear the tiger stripes. “We own the higher end performance running market,” says Alistair Cameron, CEO of Asics Europe. As sponsor of the New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, Mumbai, Singapore, Gold Coast, Seoul, Stockholm, Barcelona, Tokyo and Kobe marathons, there are not many serious runners across the world that would not recognise the stripes of the performance brand. Jordan & Co, the Asics distributor in SA, earlier this year won the Distributor of the Year 2011 award at the EMEA Asics sales conference for being a “clear running leader in their market” and growing sales 51% over different categories and price points. Cameron’s goal for Asics is to own the full European running market. He was first introduced to Sports Trader readers more than five years ago when he visited SA several times as head of New Balance’s EMEA business unit, before SA was transferred to the Hong Kong office. “Everybody is always fighting to get SA in their division, because it is such a good place to visit,” he joked during Sports Trader’s recent visit to Asics’ European head office in Amsterdam. After New Balance, he spent two years as director for the women’s business unit of Clarks, one of the UK’s biggest shoe retailers, with 700 stores in Europe. He joined Asics in October 2009 and became CEO of EMEA in April 2010 — the company’s first non-Japanese president of a division. With the head office in Hoofdorp 10 minutes from Schipol airport, commuting from Amsterdam to his family in England every weekend is easier than travelling between home and the office in the UK when he worked there, he laughs. Asics’ new head office — a stunning modern building, complete with a fully equipped gym

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

The head offcie in Amsterdam

Jordan & Co, the Asics distributor in SA, earlier this year won the Distributor of the Year 2011 award at the EMEA Asics sales conference for being a “clear running leader in their market” and growing sales 51% over different categories and price points. and restaurant-style cafeteria — was completed in November last year. “It is the most sustainable business park in Europe,” says Cameron. For example, even the air-conditioning is run on solar power, and sustainability and energy conservation was taken into account with the design of every aspect of the building.

Asics globalised Over the past few years Asics has been transformed from a Japanese company to a truly international brand, with most divisions run by natives of the country or region: an American

now heads the US division, a New Zealander runs Australasia, a Chinese runs Hong Kong, an Englishman (Cameron) UK and Europe, etc. Board and group meetings are nowadays only conducted in English, says Cameron. It is a modern, global company, with 135 foreign investors and about 65% of global revenue generated in Asia, US and Europe. An influx of young graduates, trained internationally, further contribute to the company’s global identity. "It is a lovely company to work for,” he enthuses. “Asics has a different working environment — there is more consideration for the interests of the whole group. With decision making, one has to learn to balance patience and gratification.” He believes the Japanese attention to detail, top designs, and the R&D conducted at the Asics Sports Science Institute in Kobe, resulted in Asics “making the best shoes for years”. Merging these Japanese strengths with the market knowledge and marketing skills of the new group of executives, explains why Asics posted such good results despite the depressed European retail market. He ascribes part of Asics’ success to the Japanese principle of Kaizen: continuously striv-

Industry  ::  p29

Cameron joined Asics in October 2009 and became CEO of EMEA in April 2010 — the company’s first non-Japanese president of a division. ing to improve. Instead of inventing new styles every season, Asics strives to improve on their models that have proven their success. “For example, we are now working on the 19th version of the Gel-Kayano.”

Latest results Even though Europe’s economy is in a downturn, Asics Europe has grown market share across Europe and increased sales by 15% from 2011-2012, even though Asics’ strength is in the high-end of the market. “The sell-through has been phenomenal, even in the higher price categories,” says Cameron. Trail running is their fastest growing category and in many European countries Asics is almost the top selling trail running brand — in France, Asics has 30% of the trail market, while Salomon has 31%. “We’ve had good growth in trail running, good growth in road running and growth in natural running,” he says. This was achieved in a time when Asian production costs pushed manufacturing prices up, while consumers had less money to spend.

Other areas For many years a market leader in serious performance running, Asics has made in-roads in other sporting categories over the past few years. Growth has especially been good in tennis footwear (double-digit) and apparel (tripledigit) in Europe, and in the US they got the award for making the best tennis shoe this season. “The shoes are made for speed, aimed at the net players,” says Cameron. They signed Samantha Stosur to play in Asics and will also soon announce the signing of a male player. Cameron speaks of gains in Commonwealth sports like rugby and cricket, which gets good media exposure to an affluent consumer market — especially the huge global exposure of rugby on TV and in print. They are working on growing market share in cricket. As sponsor of Australian cricket, they’ve worked with the national team players to gain greater insight into their needs. In Japan and Italy they are also a player in the soccer market, and in SA they sponsor the Proteas netball team with footwear. Their second biggest product category is apparel — running, teamwear and sportswear — which now constitutes about 20% of sales, and offers the single biggest opportunity for growth. Earlier this year Asics acquired the top end Scandinavian outdoor brand Haglöfs, and Cameron now chairs their board of directors. As a

Alistair Cameron, CEO of Asics Europe

Japanese company, they will be expanding Haglöfs into Asia — Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan — and the Benelux subsidiary countries before considering the SA market, he says. “SA is too small to consider as a target area, for the time being.” In their new Spring 2013 range the lifestyle models will be offered under the Onitsuka Tiger brand, to distinguish them from the Asics performance range. A separate Onitsuka Tiger business unit has been created for all products related to lifestyle, ensuring that the Asics range remains pure performance. Both Asics and Onitsuka have selective distribution policies, providing different product to retailers operating at different levels.

Own stores Following in the footsteps of other international brands, Asics has also opened their own stores across Europe to showcase the full range of the brand. Their first store is in Amsterdam, they recently opened flagship stores in Stockholm and Barcelona, and is planning a store for Madrid. Their new and biggest flagship store, opened in July on Oxford Street, London, offers an award

winning retail concept — it was voted the best new retail concept of 2011 by MAPIC, the international retail real estate market. The three-storey store features footwear and apparel for rugby, tennis, cricket, hockey and netball, alongside the expected full Asics running ranges. But, the goods on sale are only the start of the shopping experience. It has facilities like a unique Running Lab, where consumers can have things like their foot shape, leg alignment, body composition, muscle strength and aerobic fitness, etc. biomechanically analysed, and also obtain professional advice. The Asics Foot ID in the store is a high-tech measurement tool developed in the Asics Institute of Sport Science in Kobe, to ensure a perfect fit when selecting a new shoe. Customers who join the Asics Running Club — managed by experienced professional coaches — can benefit from the exclusive use of showers, lockers and change rooms in the store after a run along one of the scenic routes planned by the club. “With all eyes on London this summer, the new store will certainly act as the shop window to the rest of the world, reflecting our position as the true sports performance brand,” says Cameron.

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

Less is more in running shoes p30  ::  Apparel Industry & Footwear

Across the world more and more consumers are demanding running shoes that are lighter, closer to the ground and promote a more natural footstrike. With most of the leading athletic and outdoor footwear brands introducing ultra-light or minimalist shoes, this has become a mainstream trend

The next Pronutro African X Trail Run, presented by New Balance, will be held in April 2013. Photo: Cherie Vale, Stillwater Sport and Entertainment


ess is more, is the theme for the latest running footwear ranges. From road to trail, brands are seeking innovative ways ways to reduce weight, but still offer a comfortable run. While some traditional brands may still shy away from the term barefoot running, evidence from across the world shows that minimalist footwear is becoming mainstream. Consumers certainly want their shoes lighter: lightweight shoes contributed nearly 60% to the annual growth in US running shoe sales, sales data from the research company NPD Group shows. They estimate the current market share for performance lightweight shoes to be 14% — nearly triple the share a year ago. Because lightweight running shoes tend to have a shorter lifespan than other athletic footwear, the replenishment cycle is shorter, ensuring future growth. According to NPD most sales were in the R670-R750 price points. While the market share of minimalist running shoes is only 7% in American specialist running accounts (SRA), it is by far the fastest growing segment with 105% growth, says Michelle Chowles of SBR Agencies, local distributor of Brooks, who recently attended the brand’s international sales conference where key market trends were identified. Incidentally, in the US specialist running stores support running shoes have 45% of market share and neutral running shoes 36% — but annual growth in support shoe sales is only 7% and in neutral 21%. Minimal running shoes account for about half of the SRA trail category and virtually all of the category growth, continues Chowles. “Our Cascadia shoe bridges the gap between the extremes as it nicely combines ground adaptation with the ability to connect with the trail.” This move towards shoes that offer a more

Sports Sports Trader  Trader  ::  ::  2012 2012 August/September August/September

For every 100gm of weight saved, an athlete’s performance can be improved up to 1%.

natural, almost barefoot foot strike was also identified as one of the main footwear trends at the recent OutDoor trade fair in Friedrichshafen (the other trend was the growth in trail running offerings by most of the top international outdoor brands). Outdoor brand Merrell, who introduced their first barefoot collection two years ago (3.0:MConnect) introduced a “new generation of minimalistic outside athletic shoes that gives you a more natural running experience”, according to Teresa Ranft, head of marketing for Merrell Germany. “Natural motion is the trend of the future,” confirmed Michael Krell, Business Unit Manager Footwear at Salomon, Germany. “The key advantage of this new kind of shoe lies in its especially flexible construction, which enables a more harmonic rollover and an optimal grip while ensuring an ideal fit.” Lighter and more natural is certainly the trend in the SA running shoe market, both on and off the road, confirms Donovan van Gelder of Rebel Elite Fitness, distributor of Inov-8. “The industry has realised and the consumer is being educated on the fact that all the technology that has been stuffed into shoes over the years has not been successful in preventing injury or improving the runner’s experience. Take all the stability and cushioning technology out of a shoe and it becomes much more low profile and lightweight.”

“Our feet and legs are designed for running and should be allowed to do what they are intended to do without interference from the shoe — and every brand is starting to embrace this idea and designing models to allow this,” he adds. “Fortunately for us at Inov-8, our whole design philosophy has been centred around the above premise and we have in fact been ahead of the trend in making minimalist footwear and nothing else, since 2003. So we are definitely seeing the positive effects of this growing trend as our footwear is moving towards the mainstream market or should I say, the market is moving towards us?” Many consumers associate the barefoot running trend with Vibram Fivefingers. “Our footwear has always been a leader in minimalist ultra-light footwear and although we continue to push the limits in terms of getting lighter and lighter, we have never really had heavy shoes so we have not noticed a huge preference for lighter shoes in our range!” says Alex Hawkins of SA distributor Branded Footwear. “The (Seeya) style we are launching in summer is by far the lightest running shoe you would have ever seen.” Vivobarefoot is another brand that has been at the forefront of the ligthtweight minimalist footwear trend. “The category is definitely on the increase with the US showing a 30% growth last year,” says Stuart Hutcheson of Native Sport, SA distributor of Vivobarefoot athletic footwear. “As more research is done on the benefits of natural running you will see a larger demand for this type of shoe.” The lightweight footwear trend has also been adopted by the traditional athletic footwear brands. According to adidas for every 100gm of weight saved, an athlete’s per- To p30

adidas presents

Industry  ::  p31 Advertorial  ::  p31

the adiZero Feather 2 The super lightweight adiZero Feather 2 boot features a miCoach cavity embedded in the shoe, which allows the runner to insert the new miCoach SPEED_CELL™.


didas recently launched their adiZero Feather 2, the lightest every day running shoe, to help athletes all around the world become faster and improve their performance. The adiZero Feather 2 now features a miCoach cavity embedded in the shoe, which allows the runner to insert the new miCoach SPEED_CELL™. It records up to eight hours of performance data, including distance, speed, pace, time, number of sprints, as well as time and

movement of fore- and rearfoot. The shoe also contains SPRINTWEB, a lightweight mesh construction that is achieved through strong seamlessly bonded TPU material for maximum comfort, support and breathability. Other technological features are full forefoot adiPRENE®+, the adiWEAR rubber outsole that ensures long-lasting durability and traction, and strategic foam placement on the sole that allows for a dynamic push-off while minimizing the overall shoe weight. The technology and permiCoach formance benefits of SPEED_CELL™ the adiZero Feather 2 can also be found in the adiZero Prime, the lightweight sprint spike (99g, men’s, size UK 8.5) that was worn by adidas athletes including Yohan Blake, Jessica Ennis and Tyson Gay at the London 2012 Olympic Games this year. The adiZero Feather 2 for men and women weighs 190g (size UK 8.5) and 160g (size UK 5.5) respectively.

distance in speed zones, and provides personal data to share, compare adiZero Feather 2 (women’s) and challenge with friends. On the technology side, the adiZero Feather 2 features the SPRINTFRAME platform directly attached to the upper, which ensures optimum forefoot propulsion. It significantly saves shoe weight while maintaining important performance characteristics, such as comfort and energy transfer. Fully integrated in the SPRINTFRAME platform is the TORSION SYSTEM that allows independent

Contact adidas SA on 021 442 6200. For more information on adidas running, visit, their social media news room or follow them on www.facebook. com/adidasrunning.

adiZero Feather 2 (men’s)

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p32  ::  Apparel & Footwear

Running shoe trends cont from p32

Cameron. “The 33 collection (launched in 2011) has been incredibly successful.”

formance can be improved up to 1%. The adidas athletes in the London 2012 wore the lightest-ever footwear in 20 out of 26 Olympic sports in London — it is estimated that the adidas’ London 2012 footwear range was on average 25% lighter than the equivalent range for Beijing 2008. While he agrees that more natural running shoes are definitely becoming a bigger part of the Puma range and the market, Collin Alin of Puma asks whether “it’s just that younger

people are coming into the sport and enjoying lightweight and colourful shoes and the older guys, who wore traditional structured shoes, are stopping running?” But, either way, Puma’s shoes are now considered light weight. Asics has also joined the more natural minimalist runing movement with their 33 collection. "We are approaching it responsibly, introducing a less structured shoe with our more structured shoes,” says Asics Europe CEO Alistair

There are several new trail running models to look out for.

natural balance. Flexible materials allow for a more efficient push off during the propulsion phase. A flexible band wraps over the instep to comfortably secure the foot in place — stretching just the right amount to provide reinforcement for the individual foot shape and size. Brooks’ well-known earth-friendly BioMoGo midsole technology, is blended with their patent-pending DNA smart cushioning to create a springy return and custom comfort. This also reduces the use of wasted energy. An anatomical last contours the foot for a glove-like feel and provides support for every part of the foot. The signature Brooks inverted heel promotes a natural foot strike by guiding the foot to land in a more forward position on the foot. This aligns the runner’s center of gravity and encourages optimal energy return.

The name “33” was inspired by the fact that there are 33 joints in the human foot that enable it to move efficiently. “Mizuno’s running footwear is all about lightness and you will be able to get a well cushioned, stability shoe for less than 250g, which is incredibly light for a comfort top end running shoe,” says Irene Scholtz of local distribu-

On trail for the next season

Brooks builds on success Brooks is introducing two new trail running models, the Cascadia and Pure Grit. The popular and attractive Cascadia is doing exceptionally well in speciality running stores in the US — accounting for 18% of the sales year to date, behind the New Balance Minimus Trail, accounting for 22% of sales. The no-sew construction of the Cascadia ensures comfort as there are fewer stitches and seams that can create irritation, while the asymmetrical Eyestay fastening ensures a snug fit. The segmented outsole promotes a smoother heel to toe transition, with rubber recessed for added duraBrooks Cascadia bility and a Ballistic Rock Shield to for functional protection. The ultra-light Pure Grit, an extension of the Pure Project range, is so named because “nothing comes between you and the trail,” explains Michelle Chowles of local distributor RBA Agencies. It features a new outsole with a more aggressive, multi-directional lug pattern that will provide a better grip on the unpredictable trail surfaces. Its concave shape delivers better balance by splaying out upon impact and creating more surface area for ground contact. The upper, in blazing bright colourways, has been re-worked to give runners a better midfoot wrap. Brooks has tuned the midsole density to better adapt to weight and gender differences and deliver a customised balance of cushioning that’s not too soft or stiff. A toe box split allows the big toe to function independently and aid the runner’s

Sports Sports Trader  Trader  ::  ::  2012 2012 August/September August/September

Inov-8’s Trailroc ideal for SA Inov-8’s exciting new Trailroc range, which arrived in SA in August, is designed to handle loose, rugged and eroded trails and will be just as adept on hard-packed single track and district roads, says Donovan van Gelder of local distributor Rebel Elite Fitness. “Although not designed specifically with South African conditions in mind, they might as well have been.” One of the unique features of the Trailroc is the use of three different rubber compounds and different size lugs on the outsole to optimize grip and performance. Larger lugs made of endurance rubber are placed in the highwear areas, such as under the ball of the foot. A hard, sticky rubber and more large lugs are positioned on the outer sections where grip and stability are crucial. The toe and inner arch areas are made of a softer,

Above: Merrell Mix Master Aeroblock Left: Inov-8 Trailroc

tor Super-Brands.

sticky rubber with smaller lugs for flexibility and suppleness when jumping from rock to rock and contouring. “Like all Inov-8 shoes, the Trailroc range is superbly flexible and give the runner an unsurpassed feel for the underfoot conditions, essential on the trail where, rocks, corners and obstacles are all part of the experience,” explains Van Gelder. “The Inov-8 wearer can handle anything the trail throws at them with complete confidence and sure-footedness.” Inov-8’s shoes are designed to put the foot in the most natural position possible, as if barefoot. This means no difference in height between the heel and forefoot. Inov-8 employs a transitional approach to this in order to allow runners to gradually move from the high heeled shoes that they may have become used to. The Trailroc is no different. There will be two models available in SA: Trailroc 255, which has a 2-arrow Shoc-Zone and therefore a 6mm differential between forefoot and heel and the Trailroc 245, which is a 1-arrow shoe with a 3mm differential.

Bells and whistles from Merrell In the Mix Master Aeroblock Merrell is introducing another low profile winner with bells and whistles that don’t add bulk or weight. A 4mm heel to toe drop puts it in the transition to barefoot category. While the 10% thinner and 25% lighter midsole provide more feel and ground control, the proprietary air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability. A shock absorbtion pad in the flexible forefoot protects the foot by distributing pressure and 3 5 mm lugs helps the move from street to trail. The upper has several comfort features: Aeroblock fabric with a closed cell mesh lining warms and protects the foot against wind and rain in cool weather conditions, while an Air mesh bellows tongue ventilates the foot when warm, while keeping debris out. The EZ Clean finish sheds dirt and resist stains and a TPU overlay provides a secure fit. To p32

Industry  ::  p33

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p34  ::  Apparel & Footwear

New trail ranges cont from p34 Reflective details on the heel and forefoot aids visibility and the EVA anatomical footbed has been treated with an Aegis anti-microbial solution.

New in Salomon’s winning range Salomon’s newest offering in their awardwinning XR family of door to trail running shoes, is the Mission, an all-terrain trail running shoe with specific men’s and women’s designs and constructions. The light and flexible Mission, with several comfort features, is aimed at runners who “who want to take their training seriously and want lightweight and flexibility,” explains Jeff Dill, S a l o m o n ’s Pr o d u c t Line Manager for Trail Running Footwear. Salomon XR Mission The XR Mission is not simply a slimmed-down version of the popular (but higher mileage) XR Crossmax. Newly designed from the ground up, the Mission is light

to support a higher arch and taller instep — common among women — and thicker foam around the heel, XR Mission Women has more and deeper flex grooves to accommodate a lighter average weight and more rigid foot, also common in women. “Although they look similar, it was critical throughout the process to define specific fit and performance characteristics for each gender,” explains Dill. “We have given women a shoe that is designed for them in every way.”

and responsive. The heart of the shoe is the OS muscle and tendon, Salomon’s patented cushioning midsole and energy returning tendon system. It cushions shocks, while improving heel to toe transition, making the shoe simply easier to run in. The Contagrip outsole helps the XR Mission to naturally adapt to variances in terrain, providing Vivibarefoot’s new models great grip and rebound on any surface. “Vivobarefoot is one of the few shoe Comfort features company that manufactures barefoot include the use of shoes only and the growth Sensiflex, a soft that the company has mesh fabric, coated shown throughout the with flexible TPU and placed ranges from Kids, Casual on the metatarsal area of the foot. and Performance, shows Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail This provides great foot support this trend is still expandin the forefoot, but reduces the development ing,” says Stuart Hutcheson of local distributor of bunions that occur in about 30% of runners. Native Sports. Sensifit and Quicklace technologies allow the They have three new Barefoot road shoes in Mission to adapt comfortably to almost any line for release in December and a brand new foot. version of the popular Evo Trail shoe. XR Mission Women is built with a Women’s “Added to this, some funky new colour rangSpecific Ride. In addition to a specific last es in the ever popular Breatho Trail makes for shape, asymmetrical fit that wraps medially some exciting times at Vivobarefoot,” he says.

Six for the Road Ultra-light is also the new trend for road running shoes

Adidas’s lightest shoe The adiZero Feather 2, is the lightest every day running shoe yet launched by adidas: it weighs 190g (UK size 8.5) and 160g (UK size 5.5) in men and women sizes. But, despite the light weight, it has many performance features (see p31). The Sprintframe platform, directly attached to the upper, not only significantly saves weight, but ensures optimum forefoot propulsion and energy transfer. The adidas Torsion System is integrated in the Sprintframe platform to allow independent movement of the fore- and rearfoot. Sprintweb, a lightweight mesh construction created through strong seamlessly bonded TPU material, ensures maximum comfort, support and breathability in the upper. Other technological

Above: K-Swiss Left: adiZero Feather 2

features are full forefoot adiPRENE+, the adiWEAR rubber outsole that ensures long-lasting durability and traction, and strategic foam placement on the sole that allows for a dynamic push-off, while minimising the overall shoe weight. It also features a miCoach cavity where the new miCoach Speed Cell can be inserted to record up to eight hours of performance data. The technology and performance benefits of the adiZero Feather 2 can also be found in the adiZero Prime, the lightweight sprint spike (99g, UK size 8.5) worn by adidas athletes, including Yohan Blake, Jessica Ennis and Tyson Gay, at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Light running from K-Swiss K-Swiss is introducing two lightweight road running shoes, featuring their Blade-Light technology, which offers a cushioned ride at slower speed, but at faster speeds the blades firm up and contract to aid acceleration. US champion Josh Cox attributes his new American record in the 50km to this BladeLight technology in the K-Swiss Kwicky shoes he wore. In conjunction with the K-Swiss Guideglide technology, it keeps the foot in line from mid foot to toe-off in a natural strike that makes the

Sports Trader  Trad- ::  2012er  ::  2012 August/September Sports August/September

foot feel part of the road and shoe part of the foot. The Blade Max Glide is a high-mileage neutral running shoe, with Blade Light technology that offers a good cushioned ride from heel to toe. The seam-free upper ensures a comfortable chafe-free run, even when worn sockless. The Blade Light Run is a natural running shoe with progressive cushion technology, which will be ideal for the supinator to the mild over-pronator, providing an excellent ride with natural stability enhancement. It also features the K-Swiss Blade-Light technology. Both shoes weigh 283gm and feature staytied laces, a Flow Cool system in the upper that enhances breathability and moisture management to keep feet cool and dry and Aösta II rubber compound — a high-density outsole that provides excellent durability from heel to toe.

Mizuno back in SA Mizuno is constantly working on improving their technologies, for example, using lighter, more durable, biodegradable materials, etc. says Irene Scholtz of local distributor SuperBrands. They re-introduced the Japanese brand into the SA market earlier this year and will be concentrating on the running as well as team boot markets. The new range will be available in September. Known worldwide as a top techni- To p34

Industry  ::  p35 Advertorial  ::  p35


It’s not just about the shoes. Technique is everything…


ative Sport PTY LTD has recently been given the green light to bring VIVOBAREFOOT to SA. Who is VIVOBAREFOOT? In 2004, Terra Plana became the pioneers of the barefoot-shoe movement by launching VIVOBAREFOOT, the first minimalist shoe with a patented, ultra thin puncture resistant sole that offers maximum sensory feedback and maximum

protection. In 2010, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Harvard University both released studies to support that barefoot reduces injuries, reserves energy, and improves technique. As scientific support for barefoot health grows, so does demand for VIVOBAREFOOT and the collection features the most comprehensive line of minimalist shoes on the

market. The VIVOBAREFOOT difference is in the sole. They make a series of constructions specifically designed for varying elements, terrains, and activities. From high performance off-road and trail running shoes, golf and road running shoes, to work and kids shoes, VIVOBAREFOOT offers a total lifestyle solution for the whole family and options for transitioning from walking to sports.

Native Sport PTY LTD has teamed up with the world’s best barefoot running coach, Lee Saxby, to create the definitive barefoot running resource. Their South African coach, Dale Turrell, is accredited by both Lee Saxby and Harvard Prof. Dan Lieberman. Turrell and their training resources cut through the myths and misinformation to bring you the ultimate guide to barefoot/minimalist running. It is the fastest growing sector in running shoes, yet the public knows very little about it. They have put education at the forefront of their strategies and look to work handin-hand with retailers and clients offering workshops, in house training and one-onone coaching sessions. Their workshops at the end of August in Johanesburg/Pretoria and in Cape Town in September, will be followed by another national tour in October. Through these they make sure the public understands that the shoes themselves can make a huge difference, but that good technique and an understanding of the biomechanics of why they should be running naturally, is just as important. Can they perform? They’ve only just ar-

rived and already they have three trail run victories under their belts, thanks to runners like Greg Goodall, who came 3rd at the Otter Trail last year and won the Constantia Valley Trail Run in a pair of Breathos. Next up Charl Souma, who won the Impi Elite Challenge last year, also raced to victory at the VFT in Cape Town earlier this year in a pair of Neo Trails. Team VIVO won the Hout Bay Challenge team event at the end of July. The Spring Summer range has some exciting products, introducing four of their performance range: •  On Road — Breezy — A long lasting favourite for road running and every day gym workouts. The Soft High Abrasion TPU 2.5mm sole is the thinnest VIVOBAREFOOT sole offering maximum proprioception, designed for hard flat surfaces. •  Multi Terrain — Evo-Lite — The 5mm soft high-abrasion rubber sole designed with hex-flex directional grip control is optimal for cross training, zigzagging through parks and roads and light trails. •  Off Road — Breatho Trail — Take on the toughest terrains as this 2.5mm rubber

sole allows the foot to stay connected to the ground, while the 4.5mm multidirectional lugs ensure you keep your grip on the most aggressive trails. •  Amphibious — Ultra-Compressing from 7mm to 3mm, the Ultra EVA outsole is designed for maximum proprioception with suitable grip for amphibious activity. VIVOBAREFOOT footwear is produced sustainably using recycled, locally sourced materials, with efficient and eco-friendly production techniques, in independently monitored ethical factories. Though sustainable, it must also be comfortable and durable in quality and style. So they tick all the boxes: Healthy for you; Healthy for our planet. For VIVOBAREFOOT trade enquiries •  Sales and Marketing Director: Stuart Hutcheson 0828513065 •  Coaching and workshops Dale Turrell •

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p36  ::  Apparel & Footwear

Road running ranges cont from p36 cal running brand, Scholtz believes that Mizuno also appeals to the lifestyle runner. They will therefore be growing their Mizuno offering to SA retailers to cover a much wider spectrum of runners: from the top-end technical performance shoes to more affordable models for the lifestyle runner “without changing the perception of consumers that Mizuno is a top quality running brand,” says Scholtz. “Sustainability is very important for us, bearing in mind that Mizuno had been in the country before — not necessarily positioned optimally. Product training and retail education will therefore be another main focus area for them. Mizuno’s Wave technology combines the two key elements that make great running shoes: cushioning and stability to help disperse excessive force and stress across a larger surface area during running, and resisting the compression of the midsole in areas where support is needed, she explains. “The basic elements of cushioning and stability in each Mizuno Wave can be engineered to cater for any type of runner, thus resulting in the lightest, most technologically advanced, serious performance sports shoes.” Wave technology is therefore featured in various ways in Mizuno’s shoes. Infinity Wave is the next level with a more visible and effective construction. Ultimate Wave features two parallel plates that sit together with soft cushioning pillars in between, to provide excellent cushioning and improved durability by absorbing and dispersing the impact at foot strike. Parallel Wave technology, which uniformly disperses shock throughout the sole, provides excellent cushioning and enhanced stability. Fan Shaped Wave features various Wave heights to deliver great stability and excellent cushioning. X Wave technology has a neutral Wave configuration to provide medial and lateral stability and a centralized cushioning sweet spot. It absorbs maximum impact force and universally dispersing shock throughout the midsole. Other Mizuno technologies include Dynamotion Fit, Smoothride, Wet Traction and Intercool system, to name just a few. The new models they are introducing include the Wave Evo Cursoris and Wave Evo Levitas for runners trying to evolve to a mid/forefoot strike. For neutral runners they offer the the Wave Rider 15, Wave Precision 13, Wave Inspire 8 and Wave Elixir 7. The Wave Inspire 8 and Wave Elixir 7 are also available in W o m e n ’s Support modNew Balance Ionix

Sports Sports Trader  Trader  ::  ::  2012 2012 August/September August/September

faster runs, workouts or races. Sandwich-mesh makes the upper highly breathable while an Ortholite sockliner provides maximum fit and els. In off-road running they offer the comfort. Puma’s resilient and durable propriWave Cabrakan 4, Wave As- etary Faas Foam in the mid-sole provides a cend 7, and Wave Harrier smooth ride through the gait cycle, while the 3 models.Wave Rider 16, Everride blown rubber in the high abrasion reWave Precision 13, Wave sistant outsole provides extra cushioning. The Inspire 9 and Wave Elixir 6mm heel differential places it closer to the 8. The Wave Inspire 9 ground for a more responsive ride. The Faas 900 Cushion is a durable, plush, and Wave Elixir 8 are also available in Women’s neutral trainer for the runner requiring extra protection during training. It has a 2mm thickSupport models. In off-road running er midsole than the Faas 500, which produces Mizuno Wave Evo Levitas they offer the Wave excellent cushioning. Like the Stability Racer, Cabrakan 4, Wave it features Sandwich-mesh and an Ortholite sockliner in the upper, Faas Foam in the midAscend 7, and Wave Harrier 3 models. sole and Everride in the outsole. It has a reNew New Balance Minimus model flective Form stripe to ensure more security The New Balance Minimus Zero Road was se- when running at dawn or dusk. It is built on a lected as the best road running shoe in The comfort last, to ensure the maximum fit and Outside Magazine Summer 2012 Buyers’ comfort while running. Puma is also making a replica of the iconic Guide, featuring 315 field-tested products. Usain Bolt’sevoSPEED Sprint spikes that he After three months of testwore in the 100m at the 2012 London Olyming, clocking about 640km, pics available. The microfibre synthetic upper the testers reported that the fits like a glove, while the suède lining feels lightweight NB Minimus was soft on the skin. Asymmetrical lacing still almost as new; even ensures an improved fit and comfort. though only two-thirds Puma’s KMS-Lite midsole material of the outsole is covered is 30% lighter than standard in hard rubber (the rest EVA. Built on a racis foamy midsole material, ing last with a allowing the minimalist shoe to more curved and remain soft and flexible). The genrounded bottom, it erous toe box, low-profile good looks has a lower instep fit and snug upper fit that feels like Vibram FiveFingers Seeya around the midfoot to optimise a sock, are some of the other feastability. The Pebax spike plate has tures the testers liked. New Balance SA is now introducing the Ionix, a 8-spike configuration. the newest member of their popular Minimus Minimalist Vibram FiveFingers family, to the SA market. “It’s not about what is put into the shoe, it’s This summer, Vibram FiveFingers introduces about what we took away,” says John Andrew, the new ultra-light, streamlined, Seeya as the newest performance option for seriProduct Line Manager of New Balance SA. ous minimalist runners. The Ionix offers ultra lightweight — be“Designed to bring low 198.5 gram — cushioning and enhanced the runner even closer flexibility. The design will appeal to the to the barefoot sensayounger runner looking for an evetion, we’ve radically ryday running shoe, while the reduced overall weight technical features will meet and material with a the demands of the serious more breathable mesh runners. upper to deliver true, Powered by REVlite and performance-driven footwear,” says cradled by ground contact Alex Hawkins of local distributor Branded EVA, the Ionix platform redefines what an everyday running Puma Faas 350 Footwear. Minimum rubber thickness in the outsole shoe can provide, says New Balance. Inspired by the skeletal geometries of a molecule, the maximizes foot feel and flexibility, while a soft designers have removed material from the midsole further reduces thickness and weight midsole to provide a plush, lightweight, flex- for natural movement. A stitched-in insole protects skin and foot tissue during longer runs. ible, underfoot feel. For a snug fit, the lightweight, stretch mesh Puma Faas and Bolt Sprint upper has a seamless collar and adjustable Puma is introducing two new models in their hook-and-loop closure, he says. Vibram FiveFingers footwear are machine Faas range — the Faas 350 Stability Racer and washable. Faas 900 Cushion. They are also expanding on their Kiddies The Faas 350 is a lightweight, low-profile stability trainer that provides support for over- range and this summer will introduce the pronators, whether they are participating in Sprint and Speed Models to this range.

Industry  ::  p37

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

Kitting out the triathlete

p38  ::  Apparel & Footwear

Triathlon events in SA have experienced tremendous growth over the past few years. As a sport that combines swimming, cycling and running, equipment that helps performance in each discipline would be required. This does not necessarily mean that the best bicycle, pair of running shoes or swimming costume would necessarily be the best option for the triathlete. Products designed with the triathlete in mind (whether it be pull-on shoes, an aerodynamic bicycle or a tri-suit) can save the participant minutes in racing time, whether during the transitioning phase or whilst doing the activity. What would you as a retailer need to know to kit out a triathlete?


here has been quite a slow but steady increase in triathlon participation numbers over the past 8 years. The increase is nothing like the mountain biking and trail running boom, but there has definitely been an increase,” says Damian Bradley, director of B-Active Sports Marketing. “We’ve been organising a large number of the triathlons and duathlons in KwaZulu Natal for about eight years now. I’d say over the past six years the participation numbers for triathlons has increased dramatically and I think a big reason for this can be attributed towards the Ironman race coming into the country in 2006.” Attractions like the Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 competition recorded a surge from 800 participants in 2008 to 3 000 in 2012, according to websites such as Off-road triathlons, such as the Totalsports Xterra, have seen a dramatic growth in numbers as well. The Xterra Grabouw event grew from 800 participants in 2009 to 2 000 in 2012. The organisers had to limit entries for Xterra Knysna, Buffelspoort and Grabouw because of this growing interest. Triathlon Western Province is planning on adding two new venues, in George and Mossel Bay, to the events calendar in 2012 because of the dramatic growth in cross-triathlon (triathlons with cross-country running instead of road or track running) and triathlon participation, says Tony Bradford, chairman of Triathlon Western Province. Even though off-road triathlons have experienced a boom, some experts believe that the majority of participants still do traditional (road) triathlons. “The participation numbers for off-road triathlons are good, but it’s not as good as the main on-road triathlons,” says Bradley. “We organise the annual Midlands Ul-

Sports Sports Trader  Trader  ::  ::  2012 2012 August/September August/September

People are bored with just running or only cycling and are now trying out different kinds of sports and enjoying it. tra triathlon. We did a trail run the one year and the following year our numbers dwindled as people didn’t want to do the trail run at Midmar. We then switched back to the road running leg the following year and the numbers picked up again,” he explains. The number of athletes registered with Triathlon South Africa (TSA) grew from 1 241 in 2008/2009 to over 1 850 in 2011/2012. “However, that is not a clear indication of the number of triathlon participants in SA, as many people who are not registered still compete,” says Stef Joubert, office executive of TSA. As a national federation cooperating with SRSA, TSA represents SA internationally, therefore triathletes competing internationally and on a professional basis will register with the federation. Weekend warriors or people participating for fun and fitness are not necessarily registered. Event organisers like Micheal Meyer of Stillwater Sport & Entertainment have also noted the growth. “The number of weekend-warriors or novices taking part in triathlons increased by as much as 40% over the past three years,” says Meyer. “People are bored with just running or only cycling and are now trying out different kinds of sports and enjoying it,” says Bradley. How the increase in participants affects retail sales is difficult to determine as participants combine equipment from each discipline for the sport.

“The triathlon-division in retail stores had some mixed success,” says Meyer. “Triathletes combine so many event disciplines, whether it is running, cycling, swimming or paddling. People taking part in the Ironman competition would also do the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, for example,” says Meyer. Because many use the equipment they have for running, cycling or swimming triathlons — and not necessarily specific triathlon equipment it is difficult to determine when equipment is bought solely for triathlon purposes. “The limiting thing with triathlons is that it is quite an expensive sport to get into. Not only is the equipment needed for three different disciplines costly but race entry fees also increase each year,” says Bradley. “The sanctioning fees from Triathlon SA that event organisers have to pay are also increasing rapidly each year, which means that the price that the competitors have to pay will be doubled,” he continues. Raising the price of day licences to such an extent could ultimately have a detrimental effect on an already expensive sport. The minimum gear requirements to participate in a triathlon is a swim cap, goggles and swimming costume (you get a swim cap at most triathlons), a bike, helmet and a t-shirt and shoes. Beginners participating for fun might be happy with an entry level bicycle, ordinary running shoes and a swimming costume. Triathlon-specific products, however, does make it easier for the triathlete to perform.

Road bikes and time-trial bikes Generally a road or mountain bike and helmet will suffice for the cycling leg. If a triathlete wants to specialise and improve his/her time, s/he can upgrade to a time-trial bike and helmet with a more aerodynamic feel, says Dave

Apparel & Footwear  ::  p39

Harrington, MD of triathlon retailer Tribe Multisport. Standard triathlons prohibit “drafting” and riders are not allowed to get within a few meters of the bike in front of them to make use of the slipstream. In non-drafting triathlons road bicycles as well as time-trial bikes are permitted. A very small number of triathlons allow drafting. Only road bikes are allowed in the draft legal triathlons. “Ironman (non-drafting) competitors would use time-trial bikes, Xterra-competitors would use mountain bikes,” says René Basson, marketing manager of Treger brands, former distributors of Trek bicycles. Rudolf Zuidema, national marketing manager of Omnico, distributors of Cannondale, says most triathletes use a standard road bike with clip-on aero bars and a standard cycling helmet. Clip-on handlebars, called aero- or tribars, allow for an aerodynamic position that will be similar to what one would achieve on a triathlon bike. In a non-drafting event a specific time-trial bike can be used as well as a more aerodynamic helmet or time-trial helmet. The bikes and helmets compare closely with those used in the time-trial event at the major Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) tour events like the Tour de France. “Time-trial bicycles are fullon aerodynamic bicycles and are completely different to regular standard road bicycles,” says Kevin Gaynor at Dragons Sports, distributors of Giant bicycles. They are generally optimised for aerodynamics, with special handlebars, aerodynamic wheels and other components designed to pro-

Off-road triathlons, such as the Totalsports Xterra, have seen a dramatic growth in numbers as well. vide more speed and reduce wind resistance. Some triathlon bikes have a specialised geometry, including a steep seat-tube angle — both to improve aerodynamics and to rest muscle groups needed for running. This forward seat position puts more weight towards the front of the bicycle and makes it difficult to control when cycling downhill, but creates less wind resistance.

Triathlon apparel Harrington recommends a tri-suit, which can be used to swim, run and cycle in. It saves time for athletes who do not have to change when transitioning from one discipline to the next. And it is also comfortable. One can wear it for all three disciplines — for the swimming leg underneath a wetsuit, if needed. Should you stock one- or two-piece tri-suits? A one-piece suit is easier to swim, run and ride in, according to Harrington. For a long distance event, like an Ironman, it might be easier to use the two-piece suit, especially when you have to take a toilet-break. The one-piece tri-suit might have an effect on the lower back, stiffening it up on the bike when in an aerial position on a long ride, says Keaton Oddy, marketing manager of New Balance South Africa. A two-piece tri-suit might allow the lower back to relax more on a very long ride.

Triathlon specific shorts generally have minimalistic padding that offers some cushioning for the bike leg, while still being flexible and light enough to run in, says Zuidema. Tops should be a slim fit so as not to catch the wind and flap around. A typical tri-suit has a smooth outer surface designed to decrease the drag coefficient of a swimmer. The panels on the back, arms and arm pits are also much thinner than a standard wetsuit to allow greater freedom of movement, says Zuidema. “A well fitted, tight but comfortable tri-suit with a good chamois is a valuable investment as the tri-suit will be used in all three disciplines,” adds Basson. A triathlon wetsuit would differ quite significantly from a surfing wetsuit. A modern triathlon wetsuit is designed with swimming in mind, whereas a surf wetsuit is designed with retaining body heat as its primary function, says Zuidema. Triathlon wetsuits are made from a very flexible closed cell neoprene, says Brad Gale, swimwear-specialist of Second Skins. It improves the hydrodynamics and also makes it easier to remove the suit faster for a speedy transition. A triathlon wetsuit also assists a weaker swimmer with buoyancy, adds Oddy.

Footwear Harrington recommends that a running trishoe and a cycling tri-shoe be used. They are light-weight, have vents for good breathing and are fast to slip into, making the transition from one discipline to the next seamless. To p39 For the running leg the athlete

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Kitting out the triathlete cont from p40 would need a race belt and tri-shoes with elastic laces. A peak cap with an open top is an advantage as it allows heat to disperse. It would also be advisable to supply energy sources that are not too heavy to carry, according to Harrington. Most triathletes will wear a tri-suit through the three legs of the triathlon, so there really is only one piece of equipment that is specific to the running leg and that is the shoes, explains Donovan van Gelder of Rebel Elite Fitness.

Specialist shoes for each discipline Even though any shoe can be used for the cycling phase, the majority of participants use cleats and not hybrid running/cycling shoes, says Bradley. “There is no one shoe that will suffice as a cycling and running shoe, and I would recommend specialist shoes for each discipline,” says Van Gelder. “The requirements are similar for both disciplines, though — the main ones being lightness and easy access so that they can get in and out of them as quickly as possible.” Oddy explains the difference between a road cycling shoe and a triathlon shoe: “The trishoe will have two Velcro straps on the shoe and the top of the shoe is more ventilated as

make it possible to run in without socks without getting blistered.

Other items The limiting thing with triathlons is that it is quite an expensive sport to get into. Not only is the equipment needed for three different disciplines costly but race entry fees also increase each year, in many triathlons most athletes do not cycle with socks.” Wearing socks is something very personal and subjective, but most specialists suggest that it is not needed over shorter distances as it adds time during the transitioning phase to put on. “I recommend them for longer distances. For anything under a standard triathlon, there is little need for socks,” says Harrington. Gale suggests that your customers wear socks for longer distances, even it if takes two minutes to put them on. The alternative could be blisters and discomfort that could cost you ten minutes over all. Van Gelder suggests that when a triathlete buys running shoes, s/he should buy shoes that

The essentials to have during the swimming leg apart from the tri-suit, are a good pair of goggles, silicone cap, one- or two-piece race suit and a good wetsuit, says Gale. Salt tablets should be a must-have at a triathlon event or during training, especially over long-distance triathlons, reckons Oddy. In terms of luxury items to stock for triathletes, it is important to stick to the essentials. “Don’t sell them too much equipment that could complicate things.” Sunglasses and caps could be nonessential items, as putting more items on than is necessary will cost the triathlete time in the transitioning phases. Rather encourage them to opt for luxury items that will enhance performance like a tribike and time-trial helmet (more aerodynamic) as well as disc wheels, reasons Harrington. Items such as triathlon specific watches can help athletes perform and keep track of their performance during the race and whilst training. “Generally, battery life and water resistance are important considerations for a triathlon watch,” says Basson. “And then dependent on the athlete GPS, heart rate, splits, speed and distance features are also beneficial for the triathlete.”



The trusted true SA cycling brand

valanche was founded in 1992 to make mountain biking accessible to South African cyclists. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s mountain biking was still a new and expensive sport, because none of the international brands offered key models at affordable prices. This motivated cycling enthusiasts Michael Hirschfeld, Amanda and Michael Davis to create a South African brand that could offer all the benefits and qualities of the international brands — but at a local price. The first Avalanche model, the affordable stalwart Reflex, introduced

Avalanche made mountain biking accessible to many SA cyclists. More than 20 years later, it is still at the forefront of innovation mountain biking to all South African cyclists. It has been followed by 22 further models — from a 12” balance bicycle, 29er Mountain Bike, single speed bicycle, spinning bikes and even a kid’s stroller/ trailer. Avalanche also has an extensive range of accessories, including bottles, baskets, gloves, lights, tools, pumps, tubes and tires to name but a few. This makes the Avalanche range unique and incomparable to other brands in the market. The people at Avalanche Bicycles understand that the market and customers are always changing — they therefore spend a lot of time on research and development to make sure that the value they add to their bikes gives 100% customer satisfaction. The results are

Sports Get bitten by theTrader  MTB bug::  on2012 a bike August/September that delivers a great combination of comfort and price.

clear, as one can still see plenty of the Avalanche Reflex bicycles at major cycling events. The core values that have underpinned the growth of the brand shine through in their range of bicycles and accessories, namely: affordable, quality, attractive, purpose and service. The bicycles are fully created and designed in the Avalanche headquarters in Cape Town. Here the core team — director Michael Hirschfeld, designer Paula Hirschfeld and brand manager Adriaan Hofmeyr — dream up the bicycles and products they want to create. They do their own frame drawings, in-house frame graphic designs, spec the models to be suitable for the market, plan the shipments, sell to retailers, and handle warranties … and all that can possibly be done in-house. The only step that they outsource, is manufacturing. This SA brand of cycles is now also available in Australia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Contact Dragons Sports on Tel: 021 461 6252, Fax: 021 461 9273, email: info@avalanchebicycles. or visit

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

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Above: The latest from Mountain Equipment, locally distributed by Adventure Inc. Top right: the new GoPro camera, in SA available from Omnico. Left and right: lightweight was a major trend in equipment as well as clothing. Opposite page: Outdoor clothing and footwear that look like lifestyle recreational wear will be see in outdoor stores next season. This was a trend in Germany as well as Asia. Photos: Messe Friedrichshafen GmbH.

Outdoor market trends The latest trends in the outdoor market can be spotted at the OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen


he annual European OutDoor trade show is always a good indicator of the latest trends in the global outdoor industry. Supported by the European Outdoor Group (EOG), whose members include the top 100 outdoor companies, new developments from the top brands are showcased at this show. This year’s show, held in Friedrichshafen from 12-15 July, was no exception. With most of the European outdoor industry attending the show, the EOG makes use of the opportunity to give an overview of the state of the outdoor market. Despite fears that weather and economic conditions would adversely affect European outdoor sales, the annual retail sales reported by the more than 100 brands participating in the latest EOG study exceeds €10-bn (R100.5-bn).

Market growth According to the EOG State of the Trade 2011 — Interim Report, apparel constitutes more than half (52%) of the sales in the outdoor market, followed by footwear (24.9%),

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

other (9.8%), backpacks (5.6%), tents (3%), climbing (2.8%) and sleeping bags (1.8%). The report was presented to participating companies at the European OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen. According to the report Germany has the highest annual turnover (24% of the European countries), followed by the UK and Ireland (14%) and France (13%). “Participation in outdoor sports is an ongoing trend so the outlook overall is positive, but, looking at the actual potential for the market, we have to face a harsh reality: the regions that are strongest commercially are saturated with product and companies and are paying a high price to gain market share and deliver growth figures,” says EOG vice-president and CEO of Deuter Sport Bernd Kullmann. “As an industry, we should be making realistic assessments and try to build a decent but solid growth instead of trying to break records while losing sight of the real strength of market demand.” Brands from Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Russia and Sweden reported more than 9%

wholesale growth, while those in the Benelux, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and UK & Ireland reported less than 5% growth. While growth in the Asian outdoor market also slowed down considerably from the 50% growth last year, this market is still strong with an anticipated 20% growth among traditional outdoor manufacturers, Knut Jaeger, founder and Chairman of Asia Outdoor reported at the Nanjing show, also held in July. The 2012 Asian show also attracted 7% (20 542) more visitors than in 2011 while the 21 730 visitors drawn to the Friedrichshafen trade show by the 907 exhibitors was only 1% more than last year This means that the OutDoor show's ten year record of attracting more visitors every year has been maintained.

New trends The OutDoor show is always a launch pad for new outdoor trends — like softshell jackets launched at the show ten years ago. This year lighter clothing, footwear and equipment was a trend — for example, a down jacket that can be folded as small as a chocolate bar.

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Market share per product: 2011 EOG report

Market share per country: 2011 EOG report

Innovations included functional features like insect protection and cooling incorporated into outdoor clothing, two new breathable membrane technologies and the use of natural cork in high quality functional textiles. In outdoor footwear lightweight trail running shoes is a growing trend. Among the camping innovations was a portable camping bed that can be folded to be carried in a rucksack. In Friedrichshafen and Nanjing a trend for outdoor apparel and light outdoor shoes that are also ideal for recreational use was evident. In Asia the camping segment is also growing fast.

Feet and hips bigger Brands have also responded to the latest data on changes in consumer body measurements. A presentation on the serial measurement project by SizeGermany, jointly organised by the Hohenstein Institute and the ergonomics firm Human Solutions GmbH, showed that consumers are getting bigger. During 2009 modern 3D scanner technology was used to determine the hip, chest, arm and leg measurements of 13 362 men, women and children between the ages of 6-87. The results showed that since the last serial measurement was conducted in 1994, women’s average waist measures have grown by 4.1cm, hips by 1.8cm and chests by 2.3cm. The last such measurement of men took place thirty years ago. Men’s waists have grown on average 4.4cm, their hips by 3.6cm and their chests by 7.3cm. Average heights have changed as well: women have become about 1 cm taller and men have grown by 3.2cm. A similar question arises in regard to shoe sizes. The last serial measurement took place in 2009, with 5200 German men and women taking part. The result: while feet have not gotten any longer in the past few decades, they have gotten wider. People’s forefeet have become broader and flatter and the heel generally somewhat narrower. A new last costs about 50 euros, with a brand requiring hundreds of new shoe lasts. This represents a considerable cost and is perhaps one of the reasons why some brands have waited so long to develop shoe lasts specifically for women. Adjusting apparel sizes requires much effort but the big names in the outdoor industry have taken note of the size increases, especially with their women’s collections.

Why consumers choose a store US consumers buying sporting goods are more likely to choose a store that offers a good price, while shoppers looking for footwear and apparel tend to visit their favourite stores and then search for goods. The US NPD Group’s Sports Retail Landscape Report (www. show that consumers buying outdoor and athletic footwear favour a retailer they know and trust; while apparel shoppers prefer a retailer that reflect their own style and needs. Buyers of sporting goods are less specific about their preferred retailer – with I was in the store anyway as the main reason for choosing a store to buy sports equipment and a gift card or money-saving offer from the retailer as two of the other top five reasons for choosing to shop in a store. 2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

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Photos: Anja Köhler | | Messe Friedrichshafen | OutDoor Show |

What do consumers want when buying backpacks?

What do consumers look for when buying a new backpack? Is it a good price, colour, design, technologies or other features? BRANDON GREGORY asked some experts for advice


he backpack is a convenient way of transporting clothes, sleeping bags and any other equipment. Today there are many varieties of backpacks available to suit various people’s needs, from the urban dweller to the outdoor specialist. The backpack itself dates back to ancient history when it was in its simplest form; nothing more than an animal hide sack carried on the shoulders secured by two straps. But since the word backpack was first coined in 1910 in the US, more sophisticated materials and designs have been used to produce the backpacks we are familiar with. Today outdoor and sport stores can choose to stock from a large variety of features and brands to find backpacks that will suit their customers’ needs. The three types of outdoor customers that would buy backpacks are the urban dweller, the outdoor enthusiast and the specialist outdoorsman, says Brendan Le Riche of retailer, Cape Union Mart. According to him the urban dweller will buy a backpack for fashion reasons while the outdoors enthusiast just enjoys being outdoors, sometimes with friends and family. The specialist outdoorsman is in essence a purist when it comes to the outdoors and related activities. “You will find that the specialist is in the minority in terms of numbers but no less important than the other two, as they are the drivers for innovation and technology. The

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

specialist has a specific bag for every activity they do,” says Le Riche The outdoor enthusiast tends to choose a cross-purpose backpack that will allow them to engage in more than just one outdoor activity. Price and colour may be the winning attributes of a backpack for the urban dweller, whereas technologies and particular brands may be more important to the outdoor enthusiast and the specialist outdoorsman.

Price The price customers will be willing to pay is a major determining factor in their buying decision, says Simon Larsen of Ram Mountaineering, local distributor of Black Diamond. Price is especially important for urban dwellers as they tend to focus on the aesthetics of a pack, as well as how much it costs, says Le Riche. He believes that the outdoor specialist would be less concerned with the price as they look for the latest technologies and more advanced features. The price that people will be willing to pay for a backpack will be influenced by several factors. One of these factors would be the advanced features, designs and technologies — for example, a 65 litre locally manufactured bag with reliable fabrics, though not of the latest design, can cost up to R1 000. An imported bag of the same size, with the latest design and all the bells and whistles, could cost up to R2 200, explains Chris Mostert of retailer, Leotana Buitelewe.

How often and where he’d be using the backpack will also play a role in how much a customer will be prepared to pay. The outdoor enthusiast or outdoorsman who would go on a major hike twice a year may feel that he or she doesn’t have to pay a lot for a high-tech backpack not used very often, says Mostert. Or they could decide that they will be using the same backpack twice a year for twenty years and so will need to pay more for a better quality bag. Comfort is very important for those embarking on hikes that continue for days, and they will therefore be prepared to pay more for a bag with comfort features, he believes. The outdoor enthusiast is aware of what is going on in the outdoor market, especially in terms of technologies and brands, and will therefore look for a bag that offers the most features at an affordable price, says Le Riche. The purpose for which a backpack will be used will be an important factor in the price a customer will be prepared to pay. “Someone may not be as fussy about the features of a daypack as they would for a 40-60 litre hiking or climbing backpack,” says Ian Little, marketing manager for Hi-Tec.

Colour and design Suppliers and retailers agree that colour definitely plays an important role in the decision making process when purchasing a backpack. Plain and darker colours always sell better for performance backpacks, they agree, because

Outdoor  ::  p45 the darker colours don’t show dirt as easily. Larsen, however, believes that brightly coloured performance backpacks sell just as well as muted or charcoal colours. “Colour is really just a personal thing,” he says. “The customer probably buys the pack for its features and then expresses his own view of the world by his colour choice.” For the urban dweller looking for a daypack and a younger customer, colour and the brand name is probably as important as price, he adds. They are brand conscious and enjoy showing it off, says Mostert. School bags would be an exception, explains Zobuzwe Ngobese of adidas, because most of them are sold in navy blue or black. Even though the practical darker colours are still the bigger seller in backpacks, the trend for bright colours are increasing in popularity. Colour can play a more important role than simply being fashionable: brighter colours can be detected easier when riding a bicycle, or when the carrier is in distress — if injured on a walk, for example — and need to be visible, says Steve Gallienne of Super-Brands, local distributor of Karrimor.

Technology Much like anything else today, technological advances in backpacks have made them more convenient and user friendly. “Serious or seasoned hikers know what they want and will read up on the features and benefits, which include the materials and technologies,” says Gallienne. “They want top technologies, with materials that are light and comfortable, but not forgetting durability,” says Gallienne. Two of the most popular technologies consumers look for in backpacks are airflow systems that allow for proper ventilation, and hydration bladders with drink tubes, which come in very handy for mountain bikers and climbers. But technology isn’t always the main deciding factor when consumers are buying backpacks, especially urban dwellers that are more brand conscious and price sensitive. “Our typical customers, who are price sensitive, are not looking for a technical bag, thus they will go with the basic material makeup,” says Ngobese.

Extras Base compression straps, front grab handles, expansion side pockets, splashguard zips, rope compression straps, base compartments, waterproof taped seams, ice axe or walking pole attachments and an extending lid are some of the extra features on a backpack that can prove to be convenient and useful. Though all of the above mentioned extras are useful and tend to attract younger consumers, in many cases simplicity and functionality over rule all the extras, especially for the more experienced consumers, says Mostert. “Years ago I had a customer that bought the latest design in backpacks,” he recounts. “He proceeded to cut off all the compression straps and said that he didn’t want so many straps hanging off the bag. I was horrified,

Technology isn’t always the main deciding factor when consumers are buying backpacks, especially urban dwellers that are more brand conscious and price sensitive. but, he didn’t want them so he cut them off!” The larger the backpack’s capacity, the more important it becomes to have a bag equipped with extra pockets inside and out, as well as the compression straps, airflow system and backpack covers, explains Little.

Size The size of the pack will depend on the activity it will be used for. It is therefore important to offer a variety of sizes while keeping female customers in mind too, suggests Gallienne. Customers often need to be guided in their purchases when it comes to size. Young men tend to want to take the biggest backpack they can find, while young women often think that a 35 litre backpack will be enough for a five day hike, says Mostert. In the case of the young woman it may be best to suggest a 5060 litre backpack that is adjustable with a top that can rise. Daypacks are especially popular with the urban dweller and the most popular size for a daypack is between 20–35 litre. These sizes are ideal for carrying all the gear needed for a day hike and for the urban dweller it is large enough to carry a laptop or pad. The demand for light and multifunctional daypacks among outdoor enthusiasts is on the increase because they can be used for more than one outdoor sport such as mountain biking and trail running, says Le Riche. Trekking or hiking backpacks are ideal from 35–70 litre, although it may be necessary to take a 85 litre backpack, depending on the hike. The outdoor enthusiast normally requires a backpack of 55–65 litre while the specialist outdoorsman requires a backpack as big as 65–85 litre, says Le Riche. Backpacks make for good travel bags and the ideal size for travelling is 70–80 litre and sometimes as much as 100 litre. It would be determined by how the customer is planning on travelling — a larger backpack if used as a suitcase, or a daypack for carry-on luggage, advises Little.

Backpacks for school Taking into consideration the amount of text books children have to carry with them it’s important to have the right strength and capacity bag to carry them. For school bags the most popular sizes range from 18–34 litre. Some schools prescribe what is acceptable for a school bag and this usually rules out fancy coloured bags and even the familiar surf brands, which may not always prove to be the best in terms of durability in the long run. “As long as kids have to go to school, the

school bag market will be there,” says Little. It is a fairly constant or slowly shifting market as most children today use a daypack for school, which can double up as a day trip pack. Aside from backpacks for school, the children’s backpack market may be a small player, but with the trend of outdoor sports becoming more and more popular and people wanting their whole family outdoors, the children’s market in backpacks has begun its slow ascent. “We have to constantly monitor this growth and ensure that this market is catered for,” says Le Riche. Although there are backpacks specially manufactured for children, Ngobese found that parents are buying their children adult backpacks simply because the children specific bags are a bit too small. Back to school and small team sports bags are, however, selling well. “These bags are well priced and have great value with exceptional quality,” says Ngobese.

Sports or gear bags Sports or gear bags are doing extremely well. Most brands offer a range of good and reliable gear bags (so named because these bags can be used for most activities). These gear bags are available from 25 litre right up until an enormous 120 litre. The number of pockets and compartments are an important selling point, according to Little. While most customers prefer the cordura fabric for gear bags, there are those that require something more robust and designed to rough it, says Mostert. These bags are manufactured from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and are hard to the touch. He described them as feeling almost bulletproof. PVC bags last much longer, however they are more than double the price of a To p45

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Backpacks cont from p46 normal cordura bag.

Most popular features and trends A number of compartments, an airflow system, a hydration bladder or sleeve, comfortable straps, harnesses and waterproof rain covers are generally the most popular features back-

packers look for. But, above all, the backpack must be comfortable on the wearer. Once the size and other features have been chosen, the bag must fit well on the back and rest easily on the hips. “The backpack must be comfortable for a full day of strenuous hiking,” says Mostert. A

Range info Good news for outdoor retailers: two wellestablished and respected outdoor footwear brands now also offer backpacks and other outdoor equipment to the market. Because their brands — Rocky and Hi-Tec — are already well-known to outdoor customers, their backpack ranges should be an easy sell.

Hi-Tec Hi-Tec’s range covers the full spectrum of backpacks — from daypacks through to 60 litre bags for serious hiking and climbing. “We are also launching a range of trail running packs, which include hydration systems,” says Ian Little of Hi-Tec SA. “We have seen tremendous growth in trail running and these will complement our trail running shoes.” They also supply a number of sports and gym bags, which have been selling very well, says Little. The number of pockets and compartments is an important selling point for them.

Rocky Outdoor brand Rocky has also now entered the backpack market with a full range aimed at all activities, from hiking to cycling. All bags have been designed with features important for specific functions, like waterproofing, different compartments, side pockets to hold smaller items like keys and cell phones, with lots of drawstring mechanisms. They come in outdoor colours like cream, stone, khaki and black. “Some of our bags are in bright colours for hiking purposes and the cycling bags also have lots of reflexive material in them,” says Petro Howard of Quad Rocky Marketing, local distributors of Rocky. Other, established, outdoor brands have also introduced new backpacks to their ranges.

Black Diamond Black Diamond, locally distributed by Ram Mountaineering, has a backpack within its range to suit all outdoor activities and within the range there has been a trend from its development point of view towards active suspension. Most of Black Diamond’s development in the past four years has been to develop bags on suspension that move with the wearer. The bag itself remains stable but the suspension mechanism — the shoulder straps

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

and the hip belt have the ability to move. The frame system’s primary purpose is to ensure greater comfort and Black Diamond has been able to achieve that with lightweight bags. The active suspension system in Black Diamond’s range has been well received internationally. A good example of a backpack created by Black Diamond using active suspension is the versatile Blaze pack. This pack is a smaller pack and is ideal for running, hiking and riding or any other speedy activity.

Columbia Columbia’s technologies in backpacks and travel bags — along with their stunning good looks — will be the major draw cards for consumers, says Jackie Gouverneur of local distributor Wild Elements Apparel. “Our equipment incorporates technologies like L.O.A.D (Lightweight Open Air Design), Techlite cushioning shoulder straps, Backdraft Aerating Suspension, Silverback reflective lining and OmniShield advanced water and dirt repellency.” L.O.A.D. straps and hip belts, made in rugged, lightweight Techlite material usually used in footwear, provide impact absorbing support, stability and protection. Columbia’s Backdraft technology combines a stiff PE sheet for support, dense Atilon foam for comfort and raised directional foam that helps channel hot air out and replaces it with cooler air. It is available in selected trail and technical daypacks. The Backdraft Aerating Suspension uses lightweight frames with a tensioned back panel to offer comfort and support. All contact points with the back are in breathable mesh and the additional side vents help to prevent hot spots. Most of the packs in their ranges incorporate these technologies — e.g. the 50 litre and 65 litre Endura range; the smaller Treadlite range, which includes a 10 litre trail running pack, 16 litre and 22 litre packs; the Axel 45 Rolling duffel in various sizes, which includes wheels; and Load Hauler 50 with a multipoint lash-down system and a grab handle or shoulder strap options for gear hauling.

Karrimor Customising fitting is a key element offered

fit male backpacker must be able to carry a bag weighing up to 25kg with ease and a female backpacker one of 17kg. Other than the physical features and technologies of the backpacks they should also carry a reliable back up service or guarantee. In a nutshell, a trusted brand name, good quality, fair pricing and, of course, having the products in stock that consumers demand, will ensure good backpack sales, says Gallienne.

in the Karrimor range, locally distributed by Super-Brands, with four levels of customised fit on certain bags. Comfort and fitting is optimised with the various Self-Adjust systems throughout the range. They also offer more depth in their travel range with various options to suit different types of specialist outlets. The Altitude bags, in the Global Travel category sizes range from 45 litres to a large 100 litre travel bag with wheels. The Altitude pack series offer laptop compatible bags. Their trekking/hiking series cater for all needs and their sizes range from 55 litres to 95 litres, which is the largest pack Karrimor offers. Karrimor also has a successful schoolbag series in 18, 20 and 25 litre sizes with a variety of practical add-ons. They are, however, engaged in a monthly fight against counterfeiters. These include features like expansion side pockets, base compression straps, rope compression straps, three-point X-wing compression, extending lid with two pockets, base compartments and main body access, lid shock cord carrying system, ice axe and walking pole attachments, front and wand pockets, internal compression straps and mesh pockets, front grab handles, splashguard zips, waterproof taped seams … all in one bag. Some Karrimor bags have the option to strip down to make them lighter, or to add on if they wish to add stability. Several of them feature reflective branding or strips to ensure better visibility in low light, for example, when cycling, or hiking.

Adidas Sports brand adidas also offer a range of backpacks, focusing mainly on schoolbags, daypacks for brand conscious urban dwellers, running and cycling markets packs and sports gear and bags. “Our entry level backpack selling for about R199 is a top seller for adidas,” says Zobuzwe Ngobese. “The small team bags that are wellpriced, and offer good value at good quality, are also popular.” Although affordably priced, the entry level backpack is made from top quality material like 100% polyester in plain weave. In order to keep the price down, the styling had been scaled down, but basic comfort features like adjustable padded shoulder straps are retained. The schools’ market is also growing for adidas. Their 31x14x43cm sized backpack is very popular among learners as it is big enough to fit all school books or gym clothes.

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

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Richard Turkington was nominated as a top salesman by Mark Ponting, director of the Trappers chain of outdoor stores, who believes his vast experience in outdoor retailing and excellent product knowledge makes him a top salesman





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ichard Turkington is known as one of the foremost outdoor product sales people in SA. For him,the selling proses starts the moment a customer enters the shop. “It is very important to acknowledge the customer very soon after he enters the store. Even if you are busy with another customer, say hello to him and tell him that you will be with him in a moment,” he says. He suggests that sales people should try and be more creative in the first interchange with the customer, instead of sticking to the traditional approach where you ask the customer whether you can help him. He regards the most important rule in selling to be to listen to the customer. You have to establish what the customer needs by letting him explain his needs, he advises. In this process you often need to ask questions, such as what features he wants in the product, what, where and how he intends using the product. “But, never ask him what his price range is.”

Richard Turkington is one of the foremost retailers of outdoor equipment.

It is always very important to observe and interpret the customer’s body language. “This is a very difficult aspect to teach a new sales person,” he acknowledges. The next step in the sales process is to start narrowing down the number of alternatives the customer needs to choose from and explain the differences between the products, including the price differences. Turkington says the sales person has a huge power of influence over the customer and he must use it wisely to ensure repeat business not only for himself, but importantly, for the store. “Remember that it is a team effort to establish repeat customers for a store. If another staff member is more knowledgeable about a certain product, don’t hesitate to call them in during the selling process, even if it is only for a short while,” he says. Knowledge of the product is essential, but often practical experience in using the product is even more important. Therefore, stores should try and employ staff who are passionate users of the products

We’re looking for top salespeople In response to retailers’ request for articles on the art of selling, we’ll be asking successful salespeople in the industry for tips on how they clinch that sale in this series on Sales tips from top sales people. Please nominate yourself, or a staff member, to share your sales philosophy by contacting Trudi du Toit on Tel: 021 461 2544, Fax: 021 461 2549. Email: they are selling. “If they are not passionate about it at the time of appointing them, ensure that they at least agree to join the team on gear testing outings where you are going to have an opportunity to develop their passion,” he suggests.

More about Richard Turkington Richard Turkington has spent his whole working career honing his skills in retail. He gained his first experience of retailing while he was still in school, when he worked in a motor cycle accessories shop during weekends and school holidays. Born in Northern Ireland, his family had immigrated to SA when he was fifteen years old. After completing school, he started working in the sports department of the Hypermarket in Sandton, but after a year, he got the opportunity to work for the highly respected outdoor store, Drifters, in Sandton City This is where his passion for the outdoors and selling were truly developed. Apart from an 18-month stint in sales and buying for Camping for Africa in Randburg, Turkington grew a reputation as the go to person in the SA outdoor retail industry as he assisted the Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

diverse Drifters customers who required assistance to find the right products. Based in a mall, everybody from the Kilimanjaro summitters, to multi-day hikers, to family campers or outdoor lifestyle consumers shopped at Drifters. He was living the lifestyle of the customers of the store he managed: doing numerous hikes in the Magaliesberg, the Drakensberg, Otter Trail (twice), Fishriver Canyon, etc. He also climbed Kilimanjaro — twice. Turkington also enjoys camping, mountainbiking and fly fishing. In 2008 he joined the expanding Trappers outdoor group with a 50% partnership in Trappers Wonderboom and later as manager of their Fourways store. By stocking products representing the latest outdoor trends and providing customers with valuable advice, the store became a destination for discerning customers seeking specialised gear as well as the family campers seeking advice. He has since been appointed Trappers Johannesburg operations/ area manager, where his vast product knowledge is put to good use as buyer. He is also responsible for staff management.

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p50  ::  Outdoor

What you need to know to sell outdoor cooking utensils Any customer spending a day or more outdoors during a self-catering trip/activity will need the guidance from an outdoor retailer before they stock up on cooking utensils. Convincing a customer to opt for outdoor cooking utensils instead of packing home cookware and cutlery might not be as easy a task as one might think. NELLE DU TOIT found out


ore and more people are realising the benefits of investing in good quality outdoor cookware and utensils. “People who start off buying the cheaper products tend to invest in the more durable products eventually as they begin see the value in it,” says Simon Larsen of Ram Mountaineering. There are a few points to mention when convincing customers to invest in quality outdoor specific cooking utensils. The major benefits are the lightweight and compact nature of the products. Many outdoor crockery and cutlery sets pack into each other making family sets that much more compact. “Outdoor cooking sets are also made from materials that will not break,” says Malcolm Loos of Adventure Inc. “Some ranges have an incredible strength to weight ratio, are impervious to odours and stains and will not crack in extreme cold. These features and benefits would not be achieved with domestic products,” he adds. Before you can share your outdoor cooking expertise with a customer who is going to cook without a kitchen, you will need to find out the following, advises Richard Turkington of Trappers: •  how will the customer be travelling — by

motor vehicle, motor cycle, cycle, will he be hiking, etc. — as this will impact on the weight of utensils and how compact it should be; •  what is their destination and the duration of their trip is, as this might influence the type of fuel they need to take. For exam-

ple, multi-fuel might be better for longish trips into Africa as paraffin is more available than gas in countries across our borders. Even the small gas canisters can Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

Customers are aware of the long-term effects of using aluminium and that it is one of the factors contributing to Alzheimer’s, so they may be swayed to buy the more expensive stainless steel pots due to health concerns. become bulky and heavy compared to liquid fuel for a hiking trip that lasts more than a few days. •  and how many people will be in the party, as this will influence the size of the cooking utensils. Customers planning a caravanning or camping trip will have more space and volume at their disposal than hikers, so their needs will differ in terms of what type of products would be best suited. Customers with limited space would value the compact nature of utensils and customers carrying their equipment on their back would value the lightweight nature of products. It would be difficult to determine whether to stock more products for the luxury camper or for the hiker roughing it outdoors. Some people believe that the outdoor cooking segment of the market leans more towards the hiker. “There are products in the line-up that are lightweight and have a small pack size and would thus appeal to the hiker, motor cycle tourist and traveller who would generally be roughing it,” says Loos. “We also have a line of crockery that is not as compact and this would appeal to luxury campers.”

“Caravan and 4x4 campers can almost take cutlery and crockery out of the home,” says Chris Mostert of Leotana Buitelewe in Stellenbosch. There are, however, advantages to taking more suitable outdoor cooking equipment, such as compact stainless steel kettles, etc., when camping where space is not an issue, he adds. “An interesting crowd that is starting to emerge are the motorbike touring crowd — where space is very limited, similar to the hiker, in fact,” adds Larsen. “These crowds are also very interested in the lightweight compact outdoor cooking utensils.” Depending on the type of outdoor activity each customer will look for different features in the equipment they buy.

Stoves The family camper will be more inclined to buy a large gas stove to cater for a big group and multiple pots (or potjies) large enough for the group’s needs. The hiker will be attracted to the compact cooking systems where all the added accessories (the pot-support, stabilizer, adaptor and stand) fits into each other. Asking the customer whether the stove they intend to buy will be used just for boiling water or to make full meals will help you determine just how adjustable the flame control of the stove needs to be. Larsen suggests taking a compact cooking system designed specifically to boil water (a few seconds short of the time it takes an electric kettle to boil) along with a larger stove to cook meals if space and weight constraints are not a problem. The type of stove the customer opts to buy will affect the type of fuel that s/he will need to carry with. Factors that will need to be considered in terms of what gas to buy will include burn time, cost, ease of handling and

Outdoor  ::  p51


Sumo • Thermo-Regulate™ technology performs a consistant heat


down to -6 C • 1.8 Liter FluxRing® cooking cup • Total Weight: 453g • 4min Boil Time for 1L • 24L boiled per 230g jetboil canister

Photo by Messe Friedrichshafen

availability (especially when travelling to areas that only sells certain types of fuel). Gas stoves are the most popular and economical to purchase. Apart from the large family sized canisters, they are also used for super-lightweight high altitude mountaineering as they are easier to operate in a closed space. Vaporised liquid fuel stoves such as petrol and paraffin are significantly less expensive than gas, making the running costs lower. The higher purchase price is more than compensated for by its durability. Some stoves are designed for boiling water at low temperatures and are not readily adjustable. Others have more sophisticated simmer controls, giving a greater degree of adjustment. “More people are realising that the models that provide a quicker cook/boiling time is a better investment, despite it being a lot more expensive than models that have a slower burn time, as they don’t have to use as much gas,” says Mostert. “Because less gas needs to be carried to use the stove, it also becomes lighter and saves on weight and space as well as costs.”

Pots and pans Not all pots and pans are created equal. “Some brands supply stainless steel pots, pans and crockery that are better quality than the aluminium or lower end ranges,” says Mostert. Stainless steel is very durable and resists scratches and dents. It is also easy to clean. Unlike aluminium, it does not react to acidic or alkaline foods that are cooked in it, according to “Even though they are more expensive, customers are still prepared to pay extra for a better quality pot,” adds Mostert. “Customers are aware of the long-term effects of using aluminium and that it is one of the

factors contributing to Alzheimer’s, so they may be swayed to buy the more expensive stainless steel pots due to health concerns.” One disadvantage of stainless steel is that it is a poor conductor of heat, which sometimes results in uneven cooking. It also tends to take longer to prepare than in aluminium. Aluminium comes in various degrees of quality such as pressed (the cheapest and least durable), cast (thicker and holds heat better) and anodized (which is the most expensive of the types).

Crockery and cutlery “Cook sets (such as 4-6 person eating utensil sets) as well as collapsible mugs, plates, bowls and sporks (knife, spoon and fork tools) are consistent sellers,” remarks Evan Torrance of Cape Union Mart. “With regards to cutlery, the foldable knife, fork and spoon army-knife-inspired cutlery is very popular,” adds Mostert. The more lightweight and compact the eating utensils, the more attractive it becomes for the weight and space conscious consumer.

Accessories for add-on sales Cooking accessories could provide great addon sales. “The first time customer would start off with a plate, bowl, mug and cutlery tool,” says Loos. “A more advanced camper would probably add a small gas stove or multi-fuel stove, as well as pots and pans that nest inside each other. Car campers would generally use larger gas and cooking appliances.” When a customer is looking to buy a stove find out the duration of their trip and whether they have enough gas canisters or fuel bottles stocked up on. “Larger pots would be a good add-on accessory as well,” says Mostert. “Most people want a bigger volume pot to cook food in To p51

Accessories available • Compact and lightweight 3-piece. Jetboil Sumo Companion Bowl Set nests inside any Jetboil Sumo. 021 532 0549

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader 2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p52  ::  Outdoor

Selling outdoor cooking cont from p52 once they have their gas stove so that they can cook for more people. The bigger sized compact cooking systems are also more popular than the smaller sizes.” “Sporks, bowls, mugs, utensil sets, cook sets and water bottles are popular accessories too,” suggests Torrance. According to Loos, “Titanium cutlery and cook sets represent major weight advantages for the hiker.” One of the new products they will be launching next season is a type of collapsible container that rolls flat, which takes up hardly any space or weight at all, says Larsen. “The small sized collapsible foil holders work perfectly for people to put mayo, tomato sauce, dishwashing liquid, etc. inside so that one could take small quantities of these kinds of condiments into the field. We are expecting it to do well in the hiking accessory market.” A luxury item that does really well is a coffee press (or French press). “Coffee lovers will pay a lot of money to get a decent cup of Java in the morning, even whilst roughing it outdoors,” says Mostert. “One of the trends we have seen overseas at trade shows is the increasing amount of preprepared/packed food meals on the market,” says Larsen. “These are sold in a foil bag that

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

More people are realising that the stove models that provide a quicker cook/ boiling time is a better investment, despite it being a lot more expensive than models that have a slower burn time, as they don’t have to use as much gas.

just needs to be heated or boiled and can be eaten straight out of the bag. They are more expensive than fresh food, but the ease of use and the lack of washing up afterwards is really attractive to most hikers, especially on shorter trips.”

Outdoor cleaning equipment “For food burned onto a pot, you can use sand or snow to scour away the attached food and then clean and sanitise with a biodegradable soap,” says Loos. “It is always good to use biodegradable soap which is environmentally friendly.” As a general rule to help protect the environ-

Photo by Anja Köhler for Messe Friedrichshafen

ment customers should always try to clean at least 50 metres away from any water source. A kitchen sink allows for this, he adds. Compact kitchen sets helps to clean cooking utensils. “Some sets have a pot scraper which is basically a nice plastic scraper with a rubber edge to it which allows you to clean pots without damaging the surfaces of the pots,” says Larsen.

Industry  ::  p53

Statistic round-up Figures supplied by Statistics SA for the quarter March-May 2012 show that African countries receive a significant percentage of the sports equipment exported from SA The graphs below show the Rand value of sports equipment imported into and exported from SA during March to May 2012. The graphs below left reflect the Rand value (in thousands) of equipment for cue sport (billiards, snooker, pool, including arcade games), waterski/ surf, etc, golf, sports equipment

(code H95064000), racket sports, balls (excluding golf balls), other equipment (code H95069100), cricket bats, hockey sticks, other equipment (code H95069990). The pie chart indicating the top 25 countries we export to — note the ten African countries, Zambia #4 — include fishing rods, fishing

Exports Top 25 countries of destination

Import value of sports equipment R’000

(Sports equipment plus fishing)

Imports Top 20 countries of origin

Import of sports equipment ’000 units

(Sports equipment plus fishing)

Comparison of sport & fishing exports to Africa and rest of the world per R’000 R ‘000 March 2012 Africa A breakdown of the exports of individual product categories (in R’000) show that the highest exports are in many instances to African countries — with the relatively high European exports of surf/waterski etc. equipment a notable exception.

Cue Sport Surf/waterski Golf H95064000 Other Racket sport Balls (Not golf) H95069100 Other Cricket bats Hockey sticks Fish hooks Fishing reels Other fishing

91 116 309 70 19 136 1 536 7 68 25 108 85

Rest of world 0 4 318 280 0 3 6 3 0 0 116 0 74

Highest exports

Zimbabwe Italy Japan Mozambique Zimbabwe Zambia Mozambique Mozambique Zimbabwe US Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

hooks, fishing reels and fishing: other (code H95079000) in addition to the sports equipment above. The chart of the 20 countries from where SA imports the above sport and fishing equipment show that China is by far the biggest supplier, followed by the US, Italy and India.

R ‘000 April 2012

Africa 138 112 305 12 9 228 944 15 0 0 2 146

Rest of world

0 3888 154 0 0 3 712 0 0 74 15 404

Highest exports

Malawi France Zambia DRC Zambia Kenya Australia Mozambique US Seychelles Australia

R ‘000 May 2012 Africa 320 97 310 19 6 155 1134 11 677 19 8 104

Rest of world

0 3697 27 25 245 13 0 672 0 25 656

Highest exports

Zambia France Kenya DRC US India Angola Nigeria UK Zambia Australia Spain

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

Latest eyewear ranges

p54  ::  Advertorial

Spring is when your customers start stocking up on apparel and gear for summer sport — for example, eyewear for watersports like paddling, surfing and fishing, or like squash and shooting that require protection for the eyes. Here are some of the latest performance ranges from South African distributors supplying eyewear to the retail trade

Reduce water glare

The sun’s rays are harsh, and even more so for fishing and watersport enthusiasts who have to deal with the sun from above as well as the reflection on the water. Removing annoying glare greatly increases your ability to see into water. Fish and other important subsurface structure appear from below. Oncoming boats and snags previously hidden in water’s harsh glare become apparent. This is where Guideline Eyegear’s polarized sunglasses are a lifesaver. Their lenses are crafted using a patented processing technology delivering unsurpassed distortion-free, polarized vision. The polarized filter is sandwiched between two layers of crystal-clear, hard-coated polycarbonate material. The result is a lightweight, scratch-resistant, shatter-resistant, polarized lens offering superior eye protection. The lenses weigh less than half the weight of glass, which means they can be worn for extended hours without fatigue. Completely unique to GuideLine, a complete award winning Bi-Focal range equipped with an additional magnifying feature for the up close and fine work. Contact GuideGear SA Tel: 082 378 4841. Fax: 086 260 7973 Email:

Top protective eyewear The Pilla Panther system of high performance eyewear was originally designed for shooting legend George Digweed, and has become the #1 competitive frame in the world. It is designed to eliminate visual interruption of the site picture, employing a minimal nose piece to maximize the window of peripheral vision. It utilizes Pilla’s proprietary Snap Tec System, which is the fastest lens changing system on the market, allowing athletes to swap lenses in seconds. It also includes the proprietary RatchTec System, which allows for fully adjustable temple arms. The wrap around ear piece eliminates movement during usage, and its rubber construction removes discomfort. In order to perform at their best, shooters need the most visually accurate lens technologies on the market. Pilla is trusted by more World Champion Shotgun Shooters than any other brand because their technologies provide shooters with optimal light management in all lighting conditions during competitions.

Contact Liteoptec (Pty) Ltd. Tel: 011 462 6986 Fax: 011 462 9584 Email:

The pioneer of polarized lens technology DID YOU KNOW •  Polaroid is the inventor of the first ever man-made polarizer in 1929 — and to this day still creates the world’s most advanced polarized lens •  Polaroid polarized sunglasses provide the highest possible levels of polarizing efficiency for glare-free vision •  No squinting and reduced eye fatigue = greater driving safety •  The Polaroid wearer enjoys visual acuity, UV protection and durability at an unbeatable cost-value ratio •  The unique Polaroid Ultrasight lens consists of nine effective layers bonded together to create the best ever lens produced by Polaroid •  Not all sunglass companies claiming quality Polarized sunglasses can stand up to these Polaroid facts. Make sure you know what you are paying for •  2012 celebrates 75 years of Polaroid: we invented the technology and we strive year on year to better it Contact SDM Eyewear Tel: 011 334 7020. Fax: 011 334 6026 Email:

Sports Sports Trader  Trader  ::  ::  2012 2012 August/September August/September

Advertorial  ::  p55

Solution for active spectacle wearers Cocoons polarised sunglasses are designed to be worn over corrective eyewear and provide outdoor enthusiasts — especially anglers and other water sport lovers — with enhanced visual perception, convenience and comfort without the expense of buying prescription sunglasses. Cocoons’ patented OveRx frames deliver protection from the top, sides and bottom, allowing only filtered light to enter the eyes. Each frame is coated in a Soft Touch finish and fitted with high definition, scratchresistant Polaré lenses. The field tested lens system filters out 100% of damaging ultraviolet rays while eliminating blinding glare that can significantly hinder vision clarity and cause unnecessary eyestrain. Flex2Fit temples allow the wearer to manually adjust the ear pieces for a precise fit that is both comfortable and secure during extended wear. It comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. Contact Vivtek Fishing Tel: 044 382 0335 Email:

Ultimate vision, stability, comfort and protection Designed with an ergonomic profile for extra stability and contoured lens shape for peripheral vision, I-Armor sets the benchmark for premium protective eyewear. Dunlop I-Armor squash glasses offer ultimate vision, ultimate stability, ultimate comfort and most of all ultimate protection. An essential for any serious squash player the I-Armor glasses provide fantastic eye protection when on the court and thanks to the diamond coated polycarbonate lens prevents abrasion and reduces misting. Dunlop’s squash eyewear, come complete with impact resistant Aculon frames and include an elasticated headband for a secure fit during play as well as a protective drawstring bag. The Dunlop I-Armor glasses are available in Contact Super-Brands both junior and senior sizes. Tel: 021 385 0686 Dunlop I-Armor Protective Eyewear is the Fax: 021 385 0247 only squash eyewear approved by the World Email: Squash Federation for use in competition.

Eyewear that keeps up with the wearer Costa Del Mar, distributed locally by Stealth Fly Rod & Reel, was born after the need arose for good quality sunglasses that would stand up to the wearer’s water sport adventures. Their polarized eyewear is suitable for all sporting codes, but they have a strong footprint in fishing as the brand was founded by anglers in 1983. In the US they are especially closely associated with fly fishing, and is a favourite among many guides. Thanks to the Hydrolite co-injecting lining, their Blackfin model won’t to slip, no matter how much brine you have on your face, or what you are fighting on your hook. The flexible nylon frame adds comfort and the 60.6mm blue mirror 580P plastic lens repels water and oils and blocks yellow light. Contact Stealth Fly Rod & Reel Tel: 011 791 2635. Fax: 011 791 2782 Email:

Protection for any activity W.E.T. Sports Importers’s JD-52 sports eyeguard is ideal to protect the wearer’s eyes, no matter their activity. It offers a distortion free and comfortable fit, which means the wearer can continue with their activity without worrying about their eyewear. The soft nosepiece adds to the comfortable fit and absorbs shock. The lenses are polycarbonate and shatter resistant. The anti-fog treatment on the lenses eliminate fogging – great for those times when the wearer would get hot from physical activity. The JD-52 meets impact standards required for racket sports. But it is not only suitable for racket sports – the eyewear is ideal for any activity, for example basketball, volleyball, hiking, cycling, etc. The eyewear comes with its own protective pouch, which will help protect the lenses.

Contact WET Sports Importers Tel: 021 948 8150 Fax: 021 948 8084 Email:

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p56  ::  Industry

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

Industry  ::  p57


Visit Sports Trader’s website for more product knowledge:

How to fit a tennis racket


t is important to recommend the correct tennis racket to a player. The wrong racket for a player could lead to injuries such as tennis elbow, or an injured shoulder or wrist. The different parts of a racket have different benefits for different players. Knowing how they influence the playing style will help the retailer to recommend the correct tennis racket. The following is a guide to help a retailer recommend a racket to a player. However, keep in mind that in the end the most important aspect is that the racket looks and feels right for the player.


Our cut-out-and-keep series to assist retailers with product knowledge

A larger head offers more power and a larger sweet spot while a smaller head size offers the player more control. For junior players, a larger racket head helps them hit the ball easier while they are learning to play tennis. The retailer should find out how often the player plays. If they don’t play very often and need some forgiveness in their shot, recommend a mid- to oversized head. •  Oversize (± 270-310cm2): Usually for beginners. The big head offers more consistency from fewer mishits and the larger sweet spot offers more power. •  Midsize (± 254-269cm2): Offers better control without losing too much power. •  Traditional (less than 254cm2): For a player who generates his own power (normally an advanced player). Offers good control, but sacrifices power. The racket head shape affects the placement of the sweet spot. The sweet spot is the area inside the head where the strings create the most power for the least amount of effort. •  Oval: The sweet spot is in the bottom half of the head. •  Tear drop: Most of the strung area acts as a sweet spot.

Words: Carin Hardisty. Compiled with the help of Andrew Wentzel of W.E.T. Sports Importers, Brad Summers of The Golf Racket, Oliver Ciganek from Tecnifibre SA, and websites, and

Length The length of the racket depends on the size of the player and the type of game that (s) he plays. •  Standard length: Provides a combination of power and control. Easier for smaller players to handle. •  Extra length: Provides greater leverage on a swing and more power. Allows player to cover more of the court. A guideline to finding the correct racket length for a junior player is to have the player hold the racket at the grip, as they would normally, and let the racket hang down their side. The racket should be the right size if it just touches the ground, or rests at a slight angle. Junior rackets come in three sizes. Typically each size is for a specific age group. •  43-54cm is normally for ages 3-6 •  48-62cm is normally for ages 5-7 •  63-67cm is normally for ages 6-10 Older than 10, most people use standard length (68.5cm). A junior could also use standard length, as long as the strokes and body have been successfully developed. The above is a rough guide. Make sure the child is comfortable with the racket in hand so that they don’t develop bad habits at a young age.

Weight The weight of a racket affects power and control. As rackets get lighter, most of the weight is placed in the head to increase power. •  Heavy: Provides a more solid feel and better resists twisting on off-centre hits — thereby better protecting the arm. •  Midweight: Fits most types of player. Offers a combination of control and power. •  Light: Easier for smaller players to handle.

Grip size

The closer the racket weight gets to that of the ball, the less the racket absorbs the impact shock and the more shock goes into your arm. If the racket is too heavy or too light it can lead to injuries or swing problems. A too heavy racket can lead to tennis elbow or shoulder problems, while a too light racket could lead to the player trying to swing too hard and causing arm or shoulder injuries. A rough guideline for ages and weights: •  230-249g: Juniors (6-10 years old) •  250-289g: Ladies and juniors (10+ years old) •  295-340g: Better players and tour players

An incorrect grip size can cause injuries to the player. •  If the grip is fitted properly it will improve the player’s control over the racket. •  If the grip is too small, the racket will twist in the hand, which can lead to tennis elbow. •  If the grip is too big, it will lessen wrist snap on serves and prolonged use can lead to tennis elbow. So how does a retailer help the customer choose the correct grip size? •  Have the player open their hand with fingers extended and close together •  Place the end of a ruler in the middle of their palm, in line with the bottom lateral crease of the palm •  Measure from the middle of the palm to the tip of their ring finger. This is the ideal grip size. When the player closes their hand around the handle, the fingers should not touch. There should be approximately one finger width gap. The player should feel like he is straining to grip the racket. If the player is in between two To p57

20122012 August/September  August/September  ::  Sports ::  Sports Trader Trader

p58  ::  Sport

How to fit a racket cont from p58 grip sizes, recommend that they use the smaller size and add an overgrip or heat-shrink sleeve. This will increase the grip size slightly. Also keep in mind that not all racket handles are the same.

Stiffness and flexibility The stiffness and flexibility of a racket only really impacts advanced players. Stiffer rackets return more energy to the ball, offer better control of return shots, dampens vibrations and stress on the elbow and offers more power, because less energy is wasted. Generally, the thicker the profile (viewed from the side), the stiffer the frame. Players with higher and faster swing speeds tend to prefer a flexible racket. It offers less power, but greater control, and makes it easier to finesse shots. Aluminium rackets tend to be flexible while rackets using graphite range from flexible to stiff.

Strings Rackets are either available pre-strung or unstrung. Pre-strung rackets tend to be for beginner/recreational players. Unstrung rackets are mainly for intermediate to advanced players and allow the player to customize string and tension settings according to their playing style. The type and quality of string will affect

the string’s snap back quality, which helps the player when making shots. Type of string: •  Synthetic: For recreational players. Offers a good balance of durability and playability, but makes very little difference in performance. •  Natural gut: Provides the most consistent feel, but it is not durable and needs to be changed frequently. •  Multifilament: A more economical alternative to natural gut. It can be used in rainy conditions. String gauge: The thickness of the string makes a difference in durability and playability. Thicker strings last longer (15-16 gauge), but thinner strings offer better feel (17-18 gauge). String tension: A lower string tension offers more power. Higher string tension offers better control. Higher tension is usually only recommended for experienced players. Stringing pattern: A more open/widely spaced stringing pattern offers the player more power and a bit more spin. The number of main strings makes the difference, with a lower amount providing a more open pattern.

Experience levels To be able to fit the racket correctly to the player, the retailer first has to find out the player’s level of experience as well as their playing style.

The player’s experience levels will play a part in the type of racket you would recommend to them. •  Beginner: Recommend an aluminium, midto oversized, pre-strung racket that has a large sweet spot. •  Intermediate (belongs to a team and plays at least once a week): If (s)he is a power player, recommend a lighter, smaller racket. If (s)he is a finesse player and needs extra power, recommend a larger racket. Recommend a graphite racket with a midsize head, unless the player specifically prefers an oversized head. The balance of the racket becomes more important at this level. •  Advanced (plays 2-3 times per week and/ or competes in a league): Recommend a full graphite (titanium) racket that provides control and power and is either medium or heavy weight for the better older junior or senior top player. At this level balance and weight of the racket are important to the player.

Playing style The player’s playing style will influence what type of racket suits them best. •  Power player (long, loopy swing; hits ball aggressively): Recommend a racket with a smaller and thin beam that is flexible, for better control. •  Finesse, or older, player (slow-to-moderate swing speed; has a short, compact stroke): Recommend a racket with a larger head size that increases the sweet spot and a wider beam that will help with game improvement.

Range info Dunlop Dunlop introduces their Biomimetic 400 racket: its engineering is inspired by nature by looking at anatomical bone structures. They inverted the beam in three key areas to minimise torsional deflection for enhanced control and precision. They have also introduced CX Technology, which is inspired by the wings of a bird of prey, in the frame to reduce aerodynamic drag in the hoop and increase power. Additionally, they have introduced an AntiFrictional Grommet System (pictured below) that is inspired by the Sandfish Skink, a lizard

that swims effortlessly through sand. In the same light, this unique grommet technology reduces friction of movement of the string resulting in enhanced power. Even with all these benefits the r a c k e t is still supported with Dunlop’s HM 6 Carbon, Aeroskin surface technology and Gecko Tac grip. Dunlop is distributed locally by SuperBrands.

Luxilon “In my opinion strings play as important, if not bigger, a role as the racket,” says Brad Summers of Luxilon’s local distributors, The Golf Racket. “Players forget it’s actually the strings that are

Sports SportsTrader  Trader :: :: 2012 2012August/September August/September

making contact with the ball, not the racket.” 73% of the ATP Top 100 players and 59% of the WTA Top 100 Players playing in the 2011 Australian and US Open used Luxilon strings (information based on sponsorship and purchases from Luxilon). Luxilon strings snap back into place so fast that it imparts added spin and more control. This means that players can take bigger swings and know that they can control it. Luxilon is distributed locally by The Golf Racket.

ROX No matter the player’s style of play, ROX have a string for him or her. They offer strings that cater for players that play with more spin, and others suited to a players who use more power, for example. To p58


Profeel 9847C aluminium entry level providing excellent value

Pro Comp 810 Aerospace composite with additional power & excellent touch

Graphite Control V211 100% graphite with titanium reinforcement


Titanium 312 100% graphite with titanium reinforcement


RX 2000 steel frame with tempered steel shaft Profeel A 91 Aluminium O Beam tubing with fibre injected yoke. 110 square inch

PRO 969 Composite racquet with the look & feel of graphite Midsize Frame

MAT 80 alloy frame with tempered steel shaft

New Super Power 100% graphite at a great price Midsize frame

BB101 100% graphite for the competitive player Midsize frame


Vibration dampeners Snake type vibration dampeners in 3 colours

ST3 Protector tape 3m of the popular ROX tape

Junior tennis balls ITF reduced compression tennis balls Red (age 8 and under) 75% reduced compression Orange (age 9-10) 50% reduced compression Green (age 10 and up) 25% reduced compression

Full range of grips and strings also now in stock

These products and more available from W.E.T. Sports 2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader Tel: 021 948 8150  Fax: 021 948 8084  Email:

Racket news p60  ::  Sport

Dunlop leaves their mark Dunlop has brought success to their sponsored players. They boast with the junior squash World Champion, Marwan El Shorbagy, and world #2 senior squash player, Nick Matthew, both playing with their rackets. El Shorbagy recently became World Junior Squash Champion in Qatar. El Shorbagy plays with Dunlop’s Biomimetic Elite racket and wears Dunlop apparel. Matthew, who up until recently was the world #1 senior squash men’s player, plays with Dunlop’s Biomimetic range of rackets.

Wilson wins all the Wimbledon singles titles

total of 287 weeks, plays with the Wilson Pro Staff 90 racket. Williams won the women’s title with a Wilson Blade Team BLX. Bouchard and Peliwo made Canadian history by winning the 2012 girls’ and boys’ Wimbledon singles titles respectively. Bouchard plays with a Wilson Steam racket.

Nick Matthew

©2012 WILSON SPORTING GOODS CO. *TIA census (USA 2010), Yano census (Japan 2010), SMS census (Europe 2010)

Wilson took home the senior and junior titles at this year’s Wimbledon with Roger Federer (17 Grand Slam record holder), Serena Williams, Eugenie Bouchard and Filip Peliwo using the brand. World #1 Federer, who has set a new all-time record by becoming the first male tennis player to hold the world #1 ranking for a

PRO STAFF SIX.ONE Control & Spin

Pro Staff Six.One 100 BLX

Pro Staff Six.One 95 BLX

Pro Staff Six.One 90 BLX

MADE FOR ROGER. AND NOW FOR YOU. Meet a legacy of Grand Slam Championships. The Pro Staff Six.One® provides more control and spin than tennis courts have ever seen. This is Roger Federer’s racket of choice and now there is one that’s right for your game too. Because the Pro Staff Six.One® family is made for any advanced player. These rackets don’t just play games, they change them. More Legend. More Perfection. More Win. Get more at WANT MORE CONTROL & SPIN? Scan this QR code with your mobile device. No reader? No problem. Go to: or for more info

For trade enquiries contact The Golf Racket Tel: 011 807 5362 Fax: 011 807 5435 Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September NUMBER 1 IN TENNIS*

Tennis range info cont from p60 For the entry level market the strings allow good overall playability that caters for all types of players. ROX also offers a range of rackets made of aluminium, graphite, or a composite in different sizes to suit various players. ROX is distributed locally by W.E.T. Sports Importers.

Wilson Wilson’s current premier racket range is BLX, which provides great feel and comfort. They incorporate Basalt in the frame as well as the Amplifeel technology in the grip for ultimate shock absorption. The Amplifeel technology in the handle offers players an enhanced feel as well as a more customised handle system, which provides additional handle comfort, further maximising the feel in the racket. BLX makes use of basalt fibres woven longitudinally with [K] arophite Black to create an advanced composite. Basalt fibres offer excellent vibration resistance, which means that a smoother signal reaches the hand. BLX technology delivers clean feedback and better sensation for a great feel. Wilson, distributed locally by The Golf Racket, has a racket in the range for every type of player.

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

What are customers looking for in darts?

p62  ::  Sport

With an international darts range named after a South African professional darts player, darts can not only be viewed as a hobby that generates good holiday sales. As there are different levels of darts players, there are also different preferences among darts customers, BRANDON GREGORY found


arts are ideal add-on sales or gift items. No wonder that retailers confirm that the darts market is the busiest over the December holiday period, when many families purchase a set to keep children and visiting friends entertained. But, darts is also a serious competitive sport with a strong league system for all ages and genders, national and international competitions and even professionals. South African champ Devon Petersen not only turned professional, but also has his own Unicorn darts series (see box). Darts SA run leagues in more than 60 districts across the country and next year a SA team will compete in the World Championships in Canada in October. Customers who buy darts will therefore have vastly different abilities, levels of play and needs. Do you stock the right products to cater for all their needs — and do you know how to sell darts to them? The majority of SA darts customers buy darts more as a hobby than a competitive sport. A little more than half the retailers selling darts contacted by Sports Trader believe that there has been no change in the demand for darts, while a third of them reported a growth in the darts market, saying that it is becoming more popular. The retailers unanimously agree that the darts market mainly forms part of the home industry as customers generally buy darts for entertainment at home. There is, however, a difference of opinion

about whether the more entry level beginners’ type of darts is the highest in demand. About half of our retail sources said that the entry level darts form the majority of their dart sales, while the other half said that while the cheaper darts sell well, they stock and sell more of the mid-range tungsten darts. After he began stocking a larger range of darts, beginners returned to his store to buy more expensive darts as their experience increased, one retailer found. Darts are far more complex than most holiday players would realize — and each component can have an impact on sales, as different customers will have different expectations of the components. The traditional dart is designed with four main parts, namely the barrel, shaft, flight and tip or point. These four pivotal parts are responsible for the weight and determine the quality of the dart. Darts with a shorter shaft in medium weight — say 21-28gm — are the most popular across the world, says Edward Lowy, MD of Unicorn darts. But, interestingly, SA customers prefer longer shafts. “We have, however, seen a shift to players looking for shorter shafts,” says Andrew Wentzel of WET Sports, distributor of Datadart darts. Medium length shafts seem to be the least popular. Locally, medium weight darts are much more popular than lighter or heavier darts, with about 90% of our sources indicating that their customers prefer them to lightweight. Heavy weight darts proved to be completely unpopular.

Internationally straight barrels are the most popular, says Lowy, while torpedo type barrels are more popular in the SA retail stores we contacted. Centre-weight barrels are the next most popular. Bomb type barrels do not really find favour with SA darts customers. But, this choice is player specific as each player over time develops his own preference, advises Wentzel. SA customers have a clear preference for pear shaped flights, with a small group preferring the heart shape. None of our retail sources found that their customers like the slim flights. The smooth flights are more popular, say more than half the retailers. According to Wentzel, the Dimplex 3D is becoming very popular, but according to retailers they are not yet as popular as smooth flights. According to a few retailers long life flights are also popular amongst their customers. Colourful flights, or flights with specific designs, such as animated characters, football club logos or brand names, are also popular with the home market darts customers who shop at the majority of our retail sources. The most popular theme for flights in their range is country flags, says Wentzel. Top end local players prefer plain black flights with a small logo printed in one corner, but the international pros prefer a plain flight, says Lowy. Although men still constitute about 85% of the darts market, Unicorn’s Autograph, or Here Come the Girls darts range aimed at women is doing very well, says Lowy.

SA champ gets own darts range When SA Open darts champion Devon Petersen played in the 2009 SA Masters championship, he received a set of darts from the legendary Phil Taylor, who played an exhibition match during the tournament. Now, Petersen plays with his own Unicorn Contender Devon Petersen darts in 90% Tungsten, weight 230gm. A lot had happened since Petersen lost in the final of the 2009 SA Masters, the annual qualifying tournament to represent SA in the World Championship in the UK. This fun-filled TV spectacle, sponsored by Unicorn, has done a lot to promote darts as a sport in SA

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

— as in the rest of the world. Petersen is currently the highest ranked SA darts player on the PDC Order of Merit and last year he reached the first round of the PDC World Darts Championship as the reigning SA champion. He subsequently turned professional and now lives in the UK. This year he reached the top 32 in the PDC World’s. He also represented SA with Shaw Hogan in the 2012 PDC World Cup of Darts, where they reached the quarter finals. Sponsored by Unicorn, Petersen has been rewarded by having a darts range developed for him.

Darts inspired by SA Champ

Level 3 Black Brass Stainless steel

Matt black brass barrels Non-tarnish finish barrels XL Aluminium shafts


90% Tungsten

RISING STARS IN THE PDC RANKINGS Barrel designs as used by Contenders on TV Gripper II shafts Guaranteed weight certified ± 0.1g Eclipse Max case Engraved Unicorn hallmark


Core Maestro For trade enquiries contact Opal Sports Tel: 011 613 7473 Fax: 011 613 5241 Email:

Set of three thicker gauge, ultra strong polyester dart flights

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

Trade show news

p64  ::  Trade shows

National boat show and dive expo South Africa’s boat show will be celebrating its tenth anniversary by putting together a powerhouse programme at the Coca-Cola dome from 7-9 September. Boating, scuba diving, fishing, watersports and outdoor leisure items will all be on display. Scuba diving is one of South Africa’s fastest growing watersports and visiting the Dive Expo will disclose why many people enjoy being under water. Among the many exhibitors a go fish kayak and jetski fishing clinic will be available. In celebration of the tenth anniversary, the National Boat show and Dive Expo is giving away many incentives and prizes that are not to be missed. See more at

SAFTAD expands This year’s annual tackle trade show, SAFTAD, took place 25-26 August in the Unisa Conference Centre 2 Vinton Rd Ormonde Ext 1 Johannesburg. This year’s show was bigger than before with Akals/ Midas Group taking a large stand.

In an innovative move, Akals also exhibited their cycles in a room in the same building. For a full report, look out for the 2012 Tackle Trader, which will be mailed at the end of October together with the October/November issue of Sports Trader.

ICAST 2012 Awards Category



Best of show Apparel

Hobie Cat Mirage Pro Angler 12 Columbia Sportswear Airgill Chill Zero Long Sleeve Shirt Boat Hobie Cat Mirage Pro Angler 12 Boating accessory JL Marine Systems, Power-Pole Drift Paddle Inc. Combo Pure Fishing, Inc. Penn Battle Combo Electronics Johnson Outdoors Humminbird 360 Imaging Eyewear Costa 580 P Sunsrise Lenses Fishing Accessory American Premier The Ultimate Line WindCorporation ing System Fly fishing Luna Sea Master Guide Fly Rod accessory "Cush It" Fly fishing reel Eagle Claw Wright & McGill Sabalos Saltwater Fly Reel Fly fishing rod G. Loomis NRX Fly Rod Fresh water reel Pure Fishing Abu Garcia Revo Freshwater rod St. Croix Legend Xtreme Giftware 3D Picture Store Jigsaw Kid's Tackle Pure Fishing Shakespeare Hide-AHook Bobber Kit Line Pure Fishing Berkley Trilene XL/XT Hard lure Koppers Fishing & Live Target Frog Popper Tackle Corporation Soft Lure Lunkerhunt LP Bento Baits Saltwater reel Pure Fishing Penn Spinfisher V Saltwater rods St Croix Legend Inshore Tackle Magnetic Marine Gear Grabbar Lure management Products Hangar Kit Terminal Tackle Pure Fishing Berkley Gulp! Jig Heads

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

EFTTEX 2012 Awards Category



Sert Furiozza FRC 631 Ultimate Fishing Armageddon/ Okuma One Rod

Fly rod


JMC Excellence

Fly reel

Pacific Wave A. Jensen da Vinci

JMC Galaxy

Fixed spool reel

Shimano Vanquish

Zebco Europe Exo/ Paladin Castalia Magic Flight

Multiplier reel

Zebco Europe Exo

Okuma Makaira

Fly Line

RIO Products In Touch Snowbee XS Switch Sinking Intermediate

Mono line

DAM Damyl Tectan Superior

Rapala VMC Sufix Synergy Carp Fluoro

Braided line

Shimano Fishing Europe Bite Motion

Ockert Snakebraid Leadcore

Hard lure

Rapala VMC Balsa Xtreme

Fairpoint Outdoors

Soft lure

Savage Gear Real Eel

Berkley Drop Shop Minnow/ Pro Tackle Molix Frog

Metal lure

Rapala VMC Blue Fox Vibrax Super Bou

Autain Peche SAS Suissex Spinnerbait/ Utopia Tackle Suchadu


Sage Travel Rod Tubes Think Fish Fly Pad/ Shimano Olive Luggage


Rudi Heger/Traun River 3 in 1 Salt jacket

Rapala VMC Ecowear Reflection

Soft dough/ natural bait

Old Ghost Double Layer Boilies

Solid Blue Freeze Dry Squids

Terminal Tackle

Liquid Zone OY Zoner J:Son Flies T1 Teazer


Rudi Heger/Traun River ultralight boot

Snowbee Prestige Nubuck wading/ Seeglo TR Thinsulate Vibram/ JMC Oural Boa

Visitor's choice

Lynx Rigs

Eumer SpinTube Jump

Innovation of Year Lynx Technology Rigs


Trade show news

Trade shows  ::  IBC

Increase in Asia OutDoor exhibitors

SAITEX hosts Future of Trade Africa

The 7th annual Asia OutDoor show took place 26-29 July in Nanjing, China. This year’s show saw an increase in exhibitors with 540 exhibitors occupying an exhibition area of 48 000m2 (2011: 452 exhibitors, 42 000m2). Asia OutDoor took place in conjunction with Asia Bike, which featured 230 bicycle exhibitors on 24 000m2 of exhibition area. Visitors could attend both shows on one ticket.

SAITEX and Africa’s Big Seven (AB7) trade shows too place 15-17 July at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg. AB7 is the biggest food and beverage trade exhibition in Africa and it’s seven-shows-in-one event covers the whole gamut of the food

Cycles a hot topic The number of bicycles sold in Europe has grown to 4.05-m in 2011, report the Bicycle Industry Association, and the market share of classic city and trekking bikes is around 59%. Urban cycles again formed a substantial part of the exhibits at this year’s ISPO Bike show, held 16-19 August at Messe Munchen in Germany. This year’s show had a strong focus on the growth of the e-mobility and urban biking segments. See more at

See more at html.

New exhibitors at OR The Outdoor Retailer Summer Market took place 1-5 August in Salt Lake City in Utah, US. The show introduced new events to the Open Air Demo, new

show features, the latest in outdoor technology and products in more than 850 booths returned as well as 300 new exhibitors. See more at

Receive Sports Trader directly in your inbox Sports Trader have now expanded the way in which you can receive your industry news. As part of our efforts to cut down on our carbon footprint, and to reach a wider audience, we are now offering the option of receiving Sports Trader as an ebook. Subscribers to the electronic version will receive a link to the latest ebook issue and they can then go read it on the internet. The ebook has exactly the same articles and advertisements as the printed version. If you would like to receive the electronic version, please contact Brandon Gregory on 021 461 2544 or We especially encourage our African and international readers to make use of this option. To view the June/July ebook visit sastjunejuly2012.

Advertisers index — a list of advertisers in this issue adidas          31 Adventure Inc        52 Avalanche        40 Awesome Tools      49 Badge-It          IBC Branded Footwear     OBC Cocoons         55 Costa          55 Crown Footwear  OFC, 2, 3 De Wet Sport       61 DMQ Trading       11 Dragons Sports      40 Dunlop        55, 56 Ellesse           2, 3 Footwear Trading     10, 24 GuideGear SA        54 Hi-Tec          21 Inov-8          41 Intershu            25, 27 Jeep            10 Jetboil          51 Jordan            5 Jordan & Co        5

and beverage industry. This year was the first time that SAITEX hosted the Future of Trade Africa — an in-depth commerce exchange and business matchmaking platform that primes delegates with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed in business in Africa.

Laycol          12 Leatherman         49 LED Lenser         49 Liteoptec         54 Medicus Shoes      33 Merrell          33 Mizuno           37 Native Sport         35 New Balance         9 NSD Powerball SA      12 Opal Sport        63 Orbit Sport        13 Pilla           54 Polaroid         54 Powerball          12 Quad Rocky Marketing    47 Ram Mountaineering     51 Rebel Elite Fitness     41 Rider            25 Rock Spring         27 Rocky         OFC, 47 ROX            59 SDM Eyewear        54





BALLOONS Tel: 031-2052074

Sea to Summit        52 Sissy Boy Sport      24 Stealth Fly Rod & Reel    55 Super-Brands     37, 55, 56 Tanga          61 The Golf Racket       60 Tony Miller Promotions  IBC

Unicorn           63 Vibram FiveFingers   OBC Vivobarefoot       35 Vivtek Fishing        55 W.E.T. Sports Importers  55, 59 Wilson          60 Wingki Chan        1

2012 August/September  ::  Sports Trader

p66  ::  Industry

Sports Trader  ::  2012 August/September

Sports Trader August/September 2012  
Sports Trader August/September 2012  

The business-to-business e-magazine for the sports, outdoor and leisure trade industries.