BRW award makes 2011 an even bigger year for The Athlete's Foot
BRW's Outstanding Retailer of the Year awards were held recently with The Athlete's Foot taking out the top award for Innovation in Retail.
The awards were split into six categories, three of which were won by franchise systems. In addition to The Athlete's Foot's success, Healthy burger franchise, Grill'd took out the Successful Retail Marketing Campaign award and Bakers Delight won the Sustainable Retailing award.
Ivan Hammerschlag, chairman of RCG, The Athlete's Foot's umbrella company, said the company has undergone a number of changes lately, all of which have contributed to its success last night, including a larger store layout, the use of fitting technology as well as tried and tested sales and training systems.
"We've brought customers into our stores that would never have come in before," he said.
In December 2008 the footwear franchise began rolling out its new, larger store layout which has allowed the business to expand its product offering.
"We used to be a retailer of athletic footwear, and by making our stores larger we've used our selling systems to sell extra categories of footwear ... and it's made out core business much more profitable," Hammerschlag told Franchising.
A winning yearOf 147 stores, 34 have been converted to the larger footprint and according to Hammerschlag in the first year after the conversions they have all enjoyed in excess of a 20 percent increase in sales.
Taking out BRW's Innovation in Retail award simply added to the good year that The Athlete's Foot is having so far, with the company's group sales exceeding $20 million for the first time in March.
Hammerschlag expects its net profit for the financial year to be between $8.4 million and $8.8 million, a 30 percent rise on the previous year.
"The sales were remarkable given the results of other comparable retailers and the impact of the devastating natural disasters throughout Australia and New Zealand during the second half of the financial year," he said.