Andres de la Dehesa is chair of Spanish Association of Manufacturers and Distributors of Sporting Goods (Afydad), and is a founding member of Gescode (specializing in software for shops). In this interview he explains and analyzes the rise of the sport in the fashion world and tells of how he sees the future of retail.
1 – Could you introduce yourself? When did your relationship with the world of sport start?
None of us is better than all of us: I learned playing rugby when I was still old enough to play, although I admit that I still occasionally play veterans matches.
I have two decades professionally linked to the sporting goods industry. Working with brands and sports shops, providing them with technology solutions that allow them to understand better their business and make the best decisions possible.
I am also proud to carry something over four years from actively contributing Afydad (Spanish Association of Manufacturers and Distributors of Sporting Goods) to add and multiply to improve our industry.
2 – It seems that sport has attracted fashion and brands have begun to present sports collections. So fashion shops have appeared with sports collections (Mango, H & M), and sports shops with streetwear clothing. How do you think this has affected both industries?
It is not new that brands develop the sports sector with extensive collections streetwear products, sportswear, surfwear, snowear, Outdoorwear … and many people acquire to dress with a trusted brand.
Currently certain sports, such as running or fitness, have increased in recent years their percentage of practitioners, especially women, and that was the main reason that certain fashion brands to incorporate items sports in their collections, and a very dominant female focus.
Both sectors, sports and fashion, have things in common and some very different. Depends largely on the type of business. Have nothing to do the business models of vertical integrators, much more rooted in the fashion world, who own brands, stores and all the logistics, with a certain flexibility and ability to produce and replenish or to market new collections every month, with models sporting brands, they need to develop their samples, submit them to these retailers to place their orders and they produce brands afterwards.
The key to compete in the future is to manage information, without that partnership between retailers and brands will be increasingly difficult to compete with already operating depth information in real time.
3 – The link between sport and fashion, has somehow changed the target audience?
I would like to clarify that this union is pure marketing. The brand may be the same but the products, collections, have nothing to do between those designed for sports, which are more technical products, with those developed to dress comfortably. The sporty origin of our brands, specialization, elite athletes who practice their sports with these products, the professional teams that use them … plus the substantial investments in research and development mark a clear difference between the two sectors … to the point, the target has not changed but the way to contact them. The ability to communicate using technology has grown exponentially and specifically our target.
4 – Sports brands now come to compete in the field of fashion, and need to meet new performance indicators. How big brands have adapted to this evolution?
We have always competed with fashion, and certain retail formats do much inequality in very specific ways. The management of information is paramount. Brands need to understand the behavior of the sales of their products in order to act, and more and more retailers who provide this information to brands on a regular basis, and work together to better manage procurement and stocks. This is a first step, undoubtedly outlets daily can analyze many indicators. The big fashion chains, for example, have people in mind all its shops, some already well advanced analytical projects Wi-Fi, and even use RFID to provide real-time inventory. The multi-brand trade either sports or fashion, is putting the batteries in this sense, are even some leading brands that are recommending and promoting the use of certain technologies to increase the competitiveness of the retail business.
5 – How do you see the future of retail?
This is already Omni channel. No models of collaboration between brands and retailers, seven hundred and twenty degrees models, fully bidirectional models that provide a consistent experience across the various channels (multi-mobile ecommerce shops, specialists, flagships, outlet, tablet SmartTV-… ), to provide seamless access to information on sports equipment, and where consumers purchase anytime and anywhere, it would be unthinkable concept. However, banks are a good example of Omni channel, customers control the channels you want to use, whether web, mobile or social; We have adapted rapidly to this Omni channel experience. We started with our bank website from your computer, and now with our mobile phone or tablet with our financial institution operate with confidence anywhere. The same is happening in fashion and sport.