Retail: The real Olympic winners

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Olympics euphoria has sent the sales of sportswear retailers soaring, but will the afterglow last until London hosts the 2012 Games, and who else might benefit? James Thompson reports

1. TESCO

Who are they?

The world's third largest retailer. Non-food sales accounted for £11.8bn of the grocer's global sales of £51.8bn in the year to 23 February.

Have they benefited from the 2008 games?

Tesco said that sales of swimsuits and goggles rocketed by 135 per cent for the week to the end of 22 August. Sales of horse-riding-related products jumped by more than 130 per cent over the same period, boosted by Britain's medal-winning performances. Sports nutrition products, including supplements and isotonic drinks, rose by 155 per cent.

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

Given its immense general merchandise offer and a colossal marketing budget, Tesco will go for gold in the London games. It also has more stores than any other grocer in east London and is understood to have a number of planning applications, including major regeneration projects, in the pipeline for the area.

2. ASDA

Who are they?

The Wal-Mart owned grocer is the UK's second-largest supermarket. Asda has 356 stores in the UK, including its Super centres, Superstores and Asda Living.

Have they benefited from the 2008 games?

Sales of swimming goggles have jumped by 20 per cent and female swimming costumes have soared by 15 per cent. A spokeswoman said: "Asda has even run out of toy gold medals as youngsters up and down the UK are inspired to recreate the Team GB's Olympic glory." Asda gave out 60 per cent more of its sporting chance vouchers during the last week of this summer's games. The initiative aims to link children with free sport sessions over the summer and offers financial support to emerging young athletes.

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

Asda Direct, its combined non-food catalogue and web offer that launches across the UK later this year, will be a major weapon in its armoury by 2012. Asda will pull out all the stops to ensure that Tesco does not run away with the supermarket non-food gold medal in 2012.

3. HALFORDS

Who are they?

Halfords has 433 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland. It accounts for one in three bicycle sales in the UK.

Have they benefited from the 2008 games?

A Halfords spokeswoman said it has delivered a gradual increase in sales of its upmarket Boardman bikes over the past year, which it expects to continue. In November, Halfords is to start selling for £1,400 a replica of the specially designed Boardman bike used by Nicole Cooke, who won Team GB's first gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in the Women's Road Race.

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

Sales of bikes should continue to grow in the build-up to the games, as the long-term trend towards a healthier and greener lifestyle gathers pace. The impact on sales of bikes will be much bigger in 2012, if Team GB delivers a repeat performance.

4. DSGi

Who are they?

DSGi (Dixons Store Group international) operates PC World, Currys and Dixons.co.uk in the UK and Ireland. It has stores and websites in 28 countries, including Italy, Spain and Sweden.

Have they benefited from the 2008 games?

A spokesman said: "We saw growing interest in mobile access to the internet, as people wanted to stay constantly in touch with results and the medal table." Its sales of Netbooks grew by 75 per cent in the last week of the games compared with the previous week. However, he said it had not expected a big uplift in television sales from the games, partly because of the late-night viewing times.

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

A spokesman said: "We're excited about the prospects for 2012, obviously because of the location and the feelgood factor it will bring, but also because of viewing times."

5. JJB

Who are they?

The sports retailer trades from more than 317 JJB stores and eight Clearance stores, as well as 61 Original Shoe Company and 24 Qube footwear stores.

Have they benefited from the 2008 games?

Any increase delivered in sales of Olympic-related equipment, including cycling, swimming and running kit, is likely to have been marginal compared with the surge when England's football team plays in the World Cup or European Championship.

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

JJB will no doubt receive a healthy boost across many of its sporting ranges at the London games. However, much will depend on whether Great Britain breaks with tradition and controversially puts out a football team comprising English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish players.

6. SPORTS DIRECT

Who are they?

The sports retailer group has more than 470 stores including its Sports Direct.com fascia. Sports Direct was founded by the colourful Mike Ashley, who is its executive deputy chairman and owner of Newcastle United Football Club.

Have they benefited from the 2008 games?

Sales of football tops are a key driver of its growth and because Team GB did not have a football team at this summer's games the impact on sales is likely to have been small. However, its stores sell a wide range of equipment from tennis racquets to hockey sticks, and it will have posted a marginal increase across many lines.

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

Sports Direct will do far better at the 2012 games, particularly if a Great Britain football team emerges. The retail group will also be able to ramp up its sales of third-party brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Umbro and Fila, plus its own brands Everlast, Lonsdale, Dunlop, Slazenger and Karrimor.

7. HARRODS

Who are they?

The store in London's ultra-posh Knightsbridge is one of the world's largest department stores, with more than 330 departments.

Have they benefited from the 2008 games?

The retailer is unlikely to have received much, if any, of an Olympic boost. Harrods has a large sports department, but many of its overseas customers are unlikely to have been stuffing sporting equipment into their suitcase in the way they do Gucci handbags and Prada dresses.

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

Harrods is on the tourist map for many visitors to the UK and is likely to receive a big spike in traffic to all departments, including fashionable sporting goods, in 2012. The department store is not one to miss a PR opportunity.

8. HOLLAND & BARRETT

Who are they?

The UK's biggest retailer of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements.

Have they benefited from this summer's games?

Sales in its sports-related product department have grown in the past few years and the Olympics may have contributed to the growth this summer. One of its best-selling products is Glucosamine, which is used for recovering from joint problems.

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

A spokeswoman said: "We expect the 2012 Olympics to have a huge impact on the amount of people getting interested in sports, and sports nutrition to improve performance. Our fully trained store associates will all be providing customers with information on the supplements they need to perform for their chosen sport, whether it is their daily jog around the park or a more intensive fitness programme."

9. NIKE

Who are they?

The global sports brand giant delivered record sale of $18.6bn in the year ending 31 March 2008. It has operations in more than 160 countries and standalone stores in flagship locations, including New York and Oxford Street in London.

Have they benefited from this summer's games?

They will have enjoyed a small uplift in sales at its Oxford Street flagship and through sales in third-party retail outlets.

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

Sales are likely to receive a substantial Olympics boost in the UK in 2012 through its various channels. Nike aims to have at least three standalone stores in and around London by 2012, in addition to the Oxford Street store.

10. COMET

Who are they?

Comet is owned by Kesa Electricals and has more than 250 stores in the UK. The group was founded in 1933 by George Hollingberry in Hull as Comet Battery Stores Ltd.

Have they benefited from the 2008 games?

Comet will not have enjoyed the same uplift in sales of high definition television sets that it did in the 2006 Football World Cup. But Jon Herzberg, Comet's head of marketing, said: "We find that most sporting events have an effect on sales at Comet."

What will be the likely impact on sales from the 2012 games?

Mr Herzberg said: "In 2012 when the Olympics are on our home turf we expect this to have much a bigger impact on sales. The fantastic success the British team enjoyed at the Olympics this year is sure to mean there will be more interest from the public than ever before."

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