Sports Direct sees online and mobile channels drive sales

Sports Direct has reported continuing growth in online revenue in its latest results, driven by investments in its main and mobile websites.

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Sports Direct has reported continuing growth in online revenue in its latest results, driven by investments in its main and mobile websites.

In its preliminary results for the year, the sports good company said that online revenue now represented 17.1 percent (£38.9 million) of total sports retail sales (£2.3 billion), up from 15 percent in 2013.

Sports Direct, which said that its order fulfilment and IT solutions are developed in-house from its National Distribution Centre in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, said that it continued to focus on its multi-channel offering this year.

“Specific customer landing pages, and ‘My Account’ pages have now been upgraded and provide an improved customer experience,” the company said in its results today.

Further, it is continuing to promote its online presence in its stores by rebranding 401 of its storefronts with Sportsdirect.com, up from 376 last year.

Approximately a quarter of visits to the website are now made via mobile devices, the company said. It has therefore updated its mobile site to support multiple language and currency options.

“During FY15 we aim to enhance the customer experience by upgrading our search facility to ensure that the results are as relevant as possible,” it added.

Other investments include developing functionality such as Click & Collect, which Sports Direct expects to roll out to its UK stores later this year, online gift cards and the opportunity to open a credit facility.

Premium business

As well as sports goods, Sports Direct sells high fashion through its ‘Premium Lifestyle’ division, which includes the brands Flannels, Cruise, USC, Republic and Van Mildert.

It has been integrating this division into its main business throughout the year, including IT systems in Flannels, Cruise and Republic.

“Online revenue in the division increased by 57.6 percent in the year to £37.5 million,” the company reported.

“During the year, the division’s ecommerce platforms have been integrated with the group’s IT systems. These now consist of Flannels.com, Cruisefashion.co.uk and USC.co.uk.”

Sports Direct said that launching the USC and Flannels mobile platforms in November 2013 had also helped drive higher online sales in the high-end division.

Future

The company will continue to focus on online, saying that “online remains a significant growth opportunity for the group”.

“Our online business continues to benefit from the group’s brand recognition and investment in online product range and availability,” it added.

Sports Direct reported overall pre-tax profit of £239.5 million in 2014, up 15.6 percent on last year.

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