Sears to relaunch troubled Olympus
Wednesday 05 April 1995
Olympus Sports, the loss-making high street sports chain, is to be relaunched later this year in an attempt to turn the group around. Sears, the retail group that owns Olympus as well as Selfridges and Freemans mail order, says the stores will be given a completely new look inside and out and the range of goods will be changed to focus more on women and a slightly older audience.
A spokesman for Sears said: "Labels such as Nike and Reebok provide a very strong offer aimed at young men but they pay less attention to women who do sports and that number is growing." Liam Strong, Sears' chief executive, said: "The shops will be very different and much less cluttered. There is a decent business to be had here."
It is a business Olympus has struggled to address since the 1980s. Last year the 140 Olympus shops and 58 department store concessions are estimated to have lost several million pounds. Although still one of the best-known names in sports retailing in the UK, the chain has struggled to adapt to a downturn in the market and an increase in the level of competition, which has seen groups such as JD Sports and Cobra expand. In February Sears announced that it was closing 30 of its worst-performing Olympus outlets. Management has also been changed.
However, analysts are unconvinced that Sears has the ability to resuscitate one of its great disaster areas. John Richard, stores analyst at NatWest Securities, said: "They haven't managed it in the past. But health and fitness is a growth market. The problem is that some of the brands are so strong it is difficult for the retailers to make a margin."
The growth in Sears' sports retailing is still expected to come from out-of-town expansion, where its Sportsworld chain has been a success. Sears is embarking on re-fit programmes at its Adams children's wear chain and Dolcis shoe shops. Next week a pilot Dolcis store opens in Reading, offering a "fast shoe" concept, in which customers are served by staff equipped with telephonist-style head sets who transmit the order to back office staff. The shoes are then delivered down a chute to the counter. Customers can watch MTV on in-store screens while they wait. If successful the concept could be used in all 122 Dolcis branches.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Follow the latest news and score as Chelsea take on Maribor at Stamford Bridge.
Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...
£27000 per annum + pension, 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ind...
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...