A retail curveball for Norwich department store as it opens new sports shop
PUBLISHED: 17:07 06 July 2018
Copyright: Archant 2018
An independent sports retailer has re-branded in a bid to boost in-store sales at a Norfolk department store.
Jarrold Intersport, formerly Pilch Sports, has joined the company’s flagship store in Norwich city centre and will offer a new range of sporting equipment as well as more advanced store services.
By introducing shirt printing, racket restringing and cricket bat refurbishment, development director Michelle Jarrold is certain the store will stand out from its online competition.
She said: “Everybody shops online at different times, but some people don’t want that as their only option.”
It was formed through a partnership between Jarrold and Intersport, a Swiss company which has more than 5,400 shops across 42 countries.
“Jarrold Intersport and Intersport is a very crucial partnership, the timing was right for the sports store,” Ms Jarrold said.
A seventh-generation-run company, Jarrold has options for customers to sit for a meal or drink at the bar at its main store in Exchange Street, but Ms Jarrold admits the business is “struggling” with a rate increase and the high cost of living.
But she feels the company, which employs 450 people, can push through “as long as you have the ambition and you choose to invest for long-term”.
She added: “We invested over a million pounds into Jarrold and Jarrold Intersport because we knew we had to.”
As well as giving the sports shop a face lift, management aim to use more modern technology such as digital gait analysis to bring customers in.
Ms Jarrold said: “We have an expert shoe fitting and offer services they wouldn’t be able to get online.”
She added: “Customers want entertainment, you have to ask how do you make them feel completely welcome.”
The Jarrold Intersport concept store officially opens today (Saturday, July 7). The store will have a new range of brands, plasma screens with live coverage of Norwich City Football Club matches and other events such as Wimbledon.