Global information ratings company Nielsen reports that for the last quarter of last year, Malaysia experienced “brittle” consumer confidence. Generally, consumers tend to cut back spending on non-essential items during challenging times.
However, it appears that sports equipment and apparel, which are considered by many as non-essential items, are seeing a growth in demand and retail outlets are optimising on this trend.
Sports Direct Malaysia managing director Paul Gibbons tells FocusM: “We have been very fortunate that even through a difficult retail environment, we are still growing. We look at it from two points of view – from store to store and also the whole business. For the group, growth has reached 40% year-on-year, which is 5-15% for each store.
“I could say that for certain zones, our outdoor products (for hiking, camping, trail running) are growing at 30% a year. Women’s training (gear) is growing at a double-digit (pace) year-on-year. The areas we are trying to refocus (on) would be swimwear, racquet sports and football.”