Alliance Partner – AIS
Associated Independent Stores (AIS), one of the largest non-foods buying groups in the UK, launched an AIS Sports & Leisure product category in 2021. Supporting the independent sector for over 45 years, AIS has over 300 Members, encompassing department stores, category specialists and garden centres.
With existing product categories in Furniture, Fashion, Toys and Home; Sports & Leisure completes the line-up to offer a broad, contemporary offering to retailers, enabling them to provide a compelling and versatile product offering to their customers.
The Sports & Leisure department will give members access to innovative performance and lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories, across a wide range of sporting and leisure activities including running, training, yoga, tennis, cricket, rugby and football, amongst many others.
Over 40 established independent sport retailers across UK and Ireland such as Jarrolds, Simply Sports, John Moore Sports and Sports Merchandising Ireland along with 35 key suppliers, including global brands such as Under Armour, New Balance, Puma and ON having already signed up to the group.
There is a lot of growth and opportunity for our current membership, and we can help facilitate and support new independent Sports & Leisure members keen to join the group. Running and Training are two categories that have experienced significant growth and success recently. As team sports activity have returned Football, Cricket and Rugby are also enjoying some strong results. We would like to see additional focus and growth within the group, Trail Running, hiking and Outdoor sporting pursuits have become more prominent and are here to stay.
AIS want to encourage and facilitate members to offer best in class retail, be it selling new innovative product, improving their omni-channel capability, hosting vibrant trade shows and networking events, or a better understanding of their consumer journey within the industry.