SPRINGSTAR: CUSTOMERS' PURCHASING AWARENESS IS CHANGING NOTICEABLY
Reitsport Branche 12/ 2021
EEBA club member SPRINGSTAR GmbH, founded in 2009, is a manufacturer of riding clothes and riding accessories for fashion-conscious female riders. We talk to Ümit Göycali, CEO.
What do you consider the biggest challenges in the equestrian sector at the moment?
Due to the pandemic, traditional sales structures via direct sales at events have collapsed for many dealers from one moment to the next. Digitalisation became a huge challenge for many more traditionally oriented dealers. Only those who managed to react quickly to this change could continue to position themselves in the market and do good business. And although things are slowly getting back to normal, we have to be prepared to react eben more flexibly, quickly and creatively to changing conditions and changing buying behaviour in the future. This will be supported by keeping a forward -looking mind, a close exchange with colleagues in the industry and, in the future, hopefully also a strong representation of interest bei EEBA that supports manufacturers and retailers in their further development. Parallel to the pandemic, we have been noticing for some time that our customers’ purchasing awareness is changing noticeably. The interest in sustainability is also growing rapidly in our industry. We are being asked more and more often about environmentally friendly materials, recycling or about the production conditions in the manufacturing process. Customers are reacting more sensitively to unnecessary packaging, are happy to get along without plastic bags and expect products from us that are not only chic but also sustainable.
What are your expectations towards EEBA?
On the one hand, I see the potential that the desire of many small and medium-sized traders and manufacturers to get involved and be heard can be fulfilled by the EEBA. There was no platform in the past for us to find joint solutions to the challenges facing our industry. This could now change through the working groups. Especially when it comes to sustainability, I have high hopes that we can achieve more as a group. Unlike in the sporting goods industry, where individual global big players don’t have an issue about meeting their self-imposed standards – may it be sustainability or working conditions – we can’t do that much on our own in the equestrian industry due to the size of the businesses involved. There are individual approaches, but we simply do not have the possibility, for example, to monitor entire production chains. Only together can we achieve success more quickly. I hope that the EEBA will become the strong, powerful voice that our industry urgently needs and that will set the standards for the future.