Why Sportsgirl, Novo Shoes & Roger David are for Sale

June 17th, 2016 / Chloe H

Fashion retail has never been tougher for locals.

The onslaught by Internationals H&M, Zara and Uniqlo has had a substantial impact, with their ripple effect ever widening. Countless retailers Borders, Dick Smith, Ksubi, Man 2 Man; Clive Peeters, Kleenmaid. Luxury, Perfume Empire; Basics, Payless Shoes; and Darrell Lea have gone by the wayside. In the digital age once considered impervious family generational companies have realized under present management their decline may also be inevitable.

According to Deloitte’s companies with the highest levels of digital engagement are:

  • 2X more likely to be growing revenue
  • Earn 2X more revenue per employee
  • 4X more likely to be hiring

The owners of Sportsgirl, Novo Shoes & Roger David’s have recently been testing the waters with private equity to see if they can off load their floundering retail flagships.

Yes, retail is tough and the impact of the Internationals is momentous but the unifying characteristic of why these three brands suffer is their leadership’s unwillingness to fully embrace digital and ensure the job gets done. Online today is integral part in the customer buying process.

90% of all consumers in the US now interact online at one stage before they purchase.

To highlight the point from a practical or shopping perspective:

Search on Google for “dresses”, a signature line for Sportsgirl. Sportsgirl is not to be found near page 1. A search for “mens suits” the primary staple of Roger David and Roger David is nowhere to be found. Novo shoes is not on page 1 of a google search for “womans shoes” – their only product.

When the executive team ignore the impact Google is having on how we shop then there is little chance of the retailer flourishing. It is a salient lesson that customers need to be able to find you before you invest in the fancy instore App. We all know how important Google is to our daily lives. A critical component to bricks and mortar success today is for new customers to be able to find you for signature products online which often pre-empts the in-store visit.

dresses google search

“Advertising spend is the tax you pay for not attaining the highest levels of digital engagement”  

In contrast Sportsgirl’s inability to embrace online has allowed local competitors to flourish. Upstart ForeverNew, born in 2006 has seized upon Sportsgirl’s online apathy and they now double Sportsgirl’s ecommerce sales.

The retail leadership within these iconic companies Roger David, (family owned since 1948) have been unable to grasp and embrace the need for a seamless experience with their customers online and instore.

For Sportsgirl, Novo Shoes & Roger David it appears a private sale or a cultural management shift is their only realistic option to prevent their continuing decline.

The impact of online on bricks and mortars sales has been well canvassed but in reality it is the executive’s job to appreciate and upskill head office staff to ensure that they can be found online for signature products. Today’s executive must aim for the highest levels of digital engagement to survive. Many local, forward-thinking retailers like Cottonon and ForeverNew have seized their opportunities and have prepared well for the international invasion that has raised the bar in creating deeper customer connections.

On average each Australian makes over 20 searches a day using Google.  

You want to be found online for your signature products


When the executive team ignore the impact Google is having on how we shop then there is little chance of the retailer flourishing.

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*Predikkta has sourced several external independent global tools to analyze websites.These tools do not reflect on occasion the internal website analytics, but are recognised global tools and provide accurate comparative results for measurement against competitors.

**The views in this article are those of the author