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Online sports firm achieves new goal in expansion
A thriving sports clothing business founded by Bradford City legend Bruce Bannister has celebrated the fourth expansion of its Shipley premises in as many years.
Following a six-figure investment, online retailer SportsShoes.com has doubled its warehousing capacity and distribution space where the family-run business now employs more than 100 staff after taking on around 20 more people over the past year.
The latest development takes the investment at the site to around £2 million over the past seven years and has linked the complex together providing easier access for delivery and collection vehicles. The expansion has taken SportsShoes’ site to around 50,000 sq ft.
Sportsshoes.com has focused entirely on internet sales since closing its city centre shop on Hall Ings, opened by Bruce in 1982, following an 18-month wrangle over the rent.
Managing director Brett Bannister, Bruce’s son, said the store closure had not affected its business which now dispatches more than 350,000 sales worldwide.
“We were sorry to leave the store which had become an institution and attracted trade from far and wide as it enabled loyal customers to get face-to-face advice from knowledgeable staff, but it accounted for only a small part of our overall sales. We continue to focus heavily on customer service as well as being competitively priced, which has enabled us to continue growing the business .
“This latest development marks a real milestone and will enable us to operate more efficiently and continue to take on more people.”
SportsShoes.com has increased turnover from £17 million in 2011 to £24 million currently and, in addition to the UK, sells goods to customers in more than 100 countries. It stocks a wide range of branded footwear, clothing and accessories aimed at serious sports and keep fit enthusiasts. The company fulfils around 750,000 orders a year.
Brett, who joined the family firm seven years ago from a career in internet marketing, said SportShoes.com had kept an eye on the future since launching its first website in early 1999. and was determined to stay at the forefront of e-commerce.
“We’re in a very competitive business and while we saw the potential of the web and launched our online operation early on, we must remain on our toes to remain successful.
“The latest investment is part of that commitment by ensuring we have the type of operation hat can handle growing demand. We also invest in specialist IT and customer services people to deliver a first class service, as well as providing jobs in the warehouse and other areas.
“We have a hard working and loyal workforce who are the backbone of the business, including many who have been with us for 15 years or so, along with several members of the same families.
“That’s why we wanted to mark the latest expansion with a champagne reception to show our appreciation of their efforts,” said Brett