Signa, the Austrian-based real estate and retail giant is further expanding its reach beyond the core German market with a small acquisition in Spain and a bigger one in Switzerland.

Tennis-Point – the online retailer of tennis products owned by Germany’s Signa Sports United and currently operating 40 stores, 90 percent of them in Germany – will be expanding into Spain this year. As CMDsport reports, on Feb. 29 the banner will take over 5sets, a store of 200 square meters located in the town of Mataró and operating under the management of Miquel Just. In exchange, Just is taking charge of a new subsidiary, Tennis-Point Iberia, and strategizing further expansion on the peninsula, where the banner’s presence has so far been entirely online.

Speaking to CMDsport, Just has said that in late June or early July Tennis-Point will also be opening a new physical store in downtown Barcelona on 700 square meters specializing in tennis and pádel. It will be the largest such store in the city. The primary aim is to gather market knowledge on pádel in Spain, as the this typically Spanish form of paddle tennis is spreading abroad and could in time become a hot ticket throughout Europe. Just notes that the market for pádel in particular is open on the continent, as no company has established dominance. To seize that opportunity, Tennis-Point seeks to establish stores in Spain’s 12 largest cities, perhaps by taking over other physical stores.

Tennis-Point plans to have a large store in Madrid in 2021, with Valencia, Bilbao, Seville and Palma de Mallorca to follow. The company might also acquire “one or more relevant online banners.” In addition, Tennis-Sport will seek to establish shop-in-shops of up to 50 square meters with other retailers and host smaller such shops (15 square meters) within its own stores. It is already doing this at its 40 stores in Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium and, most recently, France, where it has acquired the Tennis Pro chain.

Based in Germany, Signa Sports United operates 13 e-commerce banners, among them Fahrrad, Probikeshop and Brügelmann as well as Tennispro, Tennis-Peters and CenterCourt, and generates annual revenues of more than €400 million. Signa Sports United is controlled by the Austrian Signa Retail group, which owns separately Karstadt Sports chain through the Karstadt Galeria Kauhof retail group and is in line to take over the SportScheck chain of sporting goods stores.

In another strategic expansion move, Signa is moving into the Swiss market.

Signa Holding and the Thai-based Central Group have taken over a big Swiss department store chain, Globus, from the Migros cooperative, which had put it up for sale last June to focus on its supermarket business and other operations including its SportXX sporting goods stores. Like Karstadt and Kaufhof in Germany, Globus sells many sporting goods stores at its 48 department stores in the country, but the new owners want to reposition Globus to be the leading luxury department store group in Switzerland.

Globus’ stores are to be integrated into the European Luxury Department Store Group, a 50-50 joint venture formed by Signa and Central Group in the course of this takeover. The new joint venture of the two groups will bring together their luxury department stores in European city center locations under one roof, which could lead to synergies such as improved access to luxury brands and products. In addition to the department store business, the joint venture is taking over eight of Globus’ real estate properties in Switzerland. European competition authorities still have to approve the takeover, which is to be completed by mid-2020.

Together with Central Group, Signa already operates the German luxury department stores KaDeWe, Oberpollinger and Alsterhaus under the KaDeWe Group. The KaDeWe Group is also currently planning two new department stores in Düsseldorf and Vienna. The Central Group also owns nine Rinascente department stores in Italy and the Danish department store Illum.

Vittorio Radice, CEO of Central Group Europe and a representative of the European Luxury Department Store Group, will strategically lead Globus as its chairman. Globus’ current CEO, Thomas Herbert, would become a member of the board. Franco Savastano, the current deputy CEO of Globus, will take over the operational management as managing director.