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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Outsourcing e-fulfilment pays for Running Bare

Monday July 19 2010

Sports retailer trebles orders after moving to third-party e-commerce fulfilment service

Sports retailer trebles orders after moving to third-party e-commerce fulfilment service


Specialist sportswear retailer, Running Bare, has reported 100% growth of its e-commerce website, in 2008/09 and its projections for the future are bright.


Running Bare managing director, Anthony Stiefel, says he owes a lot of this to the fact that he took the decision to outsource his order fulfilment to Gateshead-based e-commerce specialist, Spark Response.


“We started using Spark in the summer of 2007 and it had a significant impact immediately. We had just become one of the only UK retailers to be stocking the massively popular FitFlop, a revolutionary footwear product which tones legs and buttocks, and needed a partner who could help us cope with the demand for the summer,” he said.


Punching above its weight


“We are now using the same infrastructure as many much larger retailers and, as a result, can compete on their level. Running Bare has more than trebled order numbers since partnering with Spark.”


Far from being a one-off summer fling, FitFlop now boasts over 20 styles, which can be purchased via Running Bare’s stores and online, with Spark still acting as the sole fulfilment support for all online sales. As the footwear brand continues to grow, Stiefel said that further growth for his business is expected.


Running Bare was set up in 2004 by Stiefel on return from a trip to Australia. He opened his first shop in Putney, London followed by another store in London and a third in Tunbridge Wells. The business was an instant success, which the team puts down to the fact that they ensure they are selling the products their customers really want.


Scaling to meet demand


Stiefel soon realised that he needed to extend the reach of his product and set up his e-commerce site in 2005. The site now accounts for the majority of his business.


As the online business became too much for Running Bare to manage effectively on its own, Steifel looked for a company who could ease the pressure on his fast-growing business.


“The team at Spark has helped us with so many aspects of the business from troubleshooting customer areas of our website to taking all of the worry of order fulfilment and delivery off my hands, leaving me free to concentrate on expanding my business.”