ARL’s Withers praises first conference

New general manager of ARL’s sports and leisure division Corrie Withers (pictured) likened the success of the summer conference earlier this week to ‘being given the keys to a Ferrari’, so impressed was he with the achieveents of the division’s staff in organising the event.

The four day event was held at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne’s Docklands in the Victory room with bird’s-eye view of the frantic preparations on the turf for a music gig later in the week.

Most of the around 160 Sports Power and Sportscene stores attended the conference, which began with state of the industry addresses, marketing plans and a major show by Nike on Saturday, followed by catalogue buying showing off the own label product for the coming season and Adidas’s turn on the runway.

The trade show on Monday and Tuesday featured around 65 preferred suppliers, with all summer categories, plus shopfit and store design covered along with the ARLpos programme demonstrations, designed says ARL’s  Alex Bowler “to increase stores and our members profitability.”

Suppliers reported they were very happy with the response by members to their showing, with many pleased with orders and catalogue inclusion.

Several new members were tackling their first conference including Sports Power Mornington and Orange, with new stores launched recently in Sunbury and Toowoomba by existing members.

The industry appears to have got its confidence back, was the general feeling and there certainly was a considerable buzz around the stands, boosted by the availability of decent coffee and the success of the awards dinner on the Sunday night where the instruction to mask up was taken very seriously.

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