After launching its online platform for sustainable sports products In April 2021, Sportgreen has opened a physical flagship store of 800 square meters under the same name and with the same products in the German town of Ingelheim. The new store adds up to two smaller Sportgreen shops that were silently opened during the lockdown phase in Germany: a boutique-sized store (140 sqm, open seven days/week) in the tourist town of Eltville, and a 400 sqm store located in the center of Geisenheim.
All three stores were previously run under the Intersport Kiegele banner. Their owner, Joachim Kiegele, is a co-founder and the general manager of Sportgreen. He still manages an Intersport Kiegele store in Wiesbaden and he is in talks for the establishment of new Sportgreen stores or shop-in-shops on a partnership basis in other parts of Germany, in collaboration with other Intersport franchisees and other independent retailers.
Asked whether he would be open to franchise the concept to retailers outside Germany, Kiegele replied: ”We are open for all kinds of partnership with brands and retailers in order to come closer to the circular economy.”
In all Sportgreen shops, customers find information on the topic of sustainability and fair production conditions in relation to the sports clothing and other products being offered to them. At the moment, only 70 to 80 percent of the range consists of sustainable products because of delivery and sell-out issues caused by the difficult last months of coronavirus-related restrictions. The ratio is expected to grow in the future.
At this stage, Sportgreen defines the products it offers as sustainable if they have been certified as made with at least 50 percent organic or recycled materials. “The ratio should grow in the coming years,” says Kiegele. He does not see the topic as just a marketing gimmick: At the age of 55, he is currently writing his master’s thesis on the circular economy at the university - “It’s never too late to learn,” he says - and is working closely with suppliers to promote the issue of sustainability.
In a future step, Sportgreen wants to enter the circular economy - cradle to cradle – by inviting consumers to drop off their used and worn-out sports gear at Sportgreen to be recycled and reused.
Sportgreen’s brand identity and its omni-channel approach have been developed in collaboration with Brainartist, a German marketing agency. The brands Vaude, On and Brooks have supported the opening of its flagship store with campaigns of their own.
The company was founded in early 2021 by Kiegele in partnership with Ralf Kauffmann and Volker Ostermann, who come from Brainartist. Today, the company employs 30 people at its sites in Ingelheim, Geisenheim and Eltville.