The German Intersport organization has announced major changes in its internal structures. The group, directed by Klaus Jost and Kim Roether, has installed a new business unit in charge of distribution. The idea behind the plan is to steer the headquarters even more into the direction of being market- and member-oriented rather than being focused on purchasing. With the introduction of a real distribution unit, Intersport Deutschland continues its transformation from what used to be called a buying group into something that perhaps needs a new name, something like a marketing-purchasing-sales organization. It should be discussed anyway whether the term “buying group” is still appropriate for any modern and future-oriented retail organization of this kind.

The new unit will be led by Stefan Engers, until now the head of purchasing for hardgoods within the group. He will be supported by Thomas Maier, who will be in charge of the never-out-of-stock ranges and the core articles. Maier has served as Intersport’s buyer for snow sports, racquets and golf. While purchasing for apparel will remain in the hands of Thomas Scheck, the purchasing of hardgoods and footwear is being merged under the leadership of Markus Moller, up to now the chief buyer for shoes. Another new face in the headquarters is actually an old one: Arno Metzer, one of Intersport’s buyers for six years, will return to the group as the manager for alpine skis and the fun-wheel segment. Metzer had an intermezzo as managing director at Rheingold, a local distributor of ice-hockey products.

The need to create a centralized sales unit next to the marketing and purchasing department was felt after sales used to be quite decentralized in the sense that the buyers were partially in charge of sales activities as well. Intersport believes that the new distribution will help to better serve its affiliated members.