In just a few trade sectors, many new entrants have been pushed into the Austrian market in recent years, as in the sports trade. After Sports Direct, XXL and Decathlon, the first Austrian site of the British sportswear chain JD Sports will open on July 12 at Mariahilfer Straße. Customers are still delayed on the Austrian website. "Coming soon," he says.
The company, founded in 1981, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and, above all, has sneakers and sportswear from well-known brands such as adidas and Nike, The North Face, Puma and Reebok. Sports equipment does not run JD Sports. There are about 1,200 branches across Europe, 2,400 worldwide.
At the beginning of February last year, fiscal year 2018/19 benefited the UK's largest sportswear retailer from recent acquisitions, such as North American Finish Line and smaller rival Footasylum. The trend of wearing sports clothes more and more in leisure time or in the office also boosted the business. Turnover increased by almost half to 4.72 billion pounds (5.47 billion euros). Pre-tax profit increased 15.5 percent to 355 million pounds (411.3 million euros).
JD Sports is also moving to the largest shopping street in Austria. It was not until early April that the Norwegian sports retailer XXL opened its fifth location on Mariahilfer Strasse in the Gerngross department store after Sports Direct opened the field in late 2018. JD moves to Mariahilfer Strasse 47, where the Bershka clothing network was the last.
Sport 2000 boss Holger Schwarting looks calmly at the newcomer. "We see JD as a fashionable addition, but they are not a direct competitor to us," Schwarting told APA. In his opinion, JD Sports will cover a niche that does not yet exist in Austria.
With a focus on sportswear and footwear, JD is likely to challenge not only sports, such as Decathlon, Sports Direct or XXL, but also sportswear chains such as Snipes and Foot Locker, or athletic fashion retailers in the segment.
The fact that Austria is so interesting for the international sports chains is also due to the high per capita expenditure of the Austrians in sports articles and clothing, which is on average 300 euros per year. The Germans spend, on average, only 100 euros per year for sports equipment or sportswear. Even in Switzerland, it is 240 euros less than in Austria.
The end of the mast for new operators has not yet been reached. There are also speculations about the entry into the market of the Swiss subsidiary Deichmann, Ochsner Sport.