The management of Intersport International Corp. (IIC) claims that its banner continued to gain market shares in the European outdoor market in 2015, with its affiliated retailers booking a sales increase of just over 4 percent in this segment against an estimated growth of only around one percent in the market. Higher increases were recorded by Intersport in fitness and running, and they helped the international retail organization to reach a highly satisfactory increase in total retail sales of 5.1 percent to €11.03 billion.

The score is remarkable in consideration of a drop of about 100 units in the number of affiliated stores to around 5,400, the absence of global mega-events such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup of football, and the unseasonably warm weather at the end of the year, which affected the retailers' sales of winter sports products. November was satisfactory, but the month of December was even worse than the poor corresponding month of 2014.

Franz Julen, who is scheduled to leave as chief executive of IIC at the end of this year, as we already reported in our sister publication, Sporting Goods Intelligence Europe (SGI Europe), attributes Intersport's good results in part to the passion, the expert advice and the quality of the work performed by the affiliated retailers, as well as the continued heavy investments in the Intersport brand. His outlook for this year is positive. The winter selling season is expected to be flat if the cold weather of the last few weeks persists.

More in SGI Europe, including sales trends in different countries, Intersport's penetration into new markets and the even better results of The Athlete's Foot, the chain of sports lifestyle shops that belongs to IIC.