Following its launch in January 2022 the Running Industry Alliance (RIA) has been going from strength to strength with a large number of high-profile Foundation Members and Alliance Partners confirmed over the last few weeks.
Insights into the running industry are a key element to help advance the sector in an ever-changing landscape, and Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS), the Official Insights Partner of Running Industry Alliance, will be launching the Running Retail Audit which will be a vital contributor towards understanding the value of the Retail sector.
A specialist market research consultancy to the sports and leisure industry, SMS is establishing a service monitoring running sales through the UK running specialty retail channel, which is supported by Running Industry Alliance.
This exciting initiative will provide a monthly measurement of running product sold at brand and model level detailing the sales value, volume and stock in the market across the key running categories – footwear, apparel, wearable tech and accessories. The service is being funded by running equipment manufacturers and is supported by many of the leading specialty running retailers in the UK and also by Running Industry Alliance. Plans to extend this to Ireland are being considered as part of the longer-term strategy.
SMS is currently inviting selected specialist running retailers who are able to provide their data through their EPOS systems to be part of this important project. In return for providing their monthly sales and stock data, the running retailers will benefit from free access to national monthly sales information, which will be delivered via a user-friendly, password-protected interactive dashboard.
Updated monthly, this will enable retailers to review their business against the rest of the running market across a range of reporting measures. All store data remains confidential, and data is aggregated with the retailers only able to identify and access their own sales details.
Jonathan Midwood, Co-Lead of Running Industry Alliance and leading the project with SMS, commented: “SMS has a proven track record of operating retail audits for the sports industry and understands the value it can bring to retailers. Having worked in the specialty running retail market myself as the General Manager of Up & Running for over 20 years, I know the importance of understanding your sales and being able to access key market data to benchmark and see how you are doing. Insights are very important for the Running Retail sector to understand the true value of the sector.
“It will be great to get as many running retailers as possible involved in the Running Retail Audit, which will help reflect the true value and worth of the running retail sector through insight, which is why we at RIA are fully supportive of the project.”