The UK’s largest sports retailer has announced it will be selling sports equipment for the first time in more than a decade, as the country’s economy faces a shortage of labour and the economy suffers from the effects of the Brexit vote.
The UK’s Sport Equipment Group, a subsidiary of sports equipment manufacturer Sportworks, said it was offering the first online sports equipment sale in six years in a bid to boost business and support the UK Olympic and Paralympic teams.
The retailer said it had received an “extraordinary” number of orders and that its customers had “been so supportive” that it was planning to sell its products in the UK in the near future.
“It is a great opportunity to meet the customer and get them on board,” said Sports Equipment Group chief executive Peter Tinsley.
“We are committed to making the sale in the coming weeks and months as soon as we can, but there is no timetable as yet.”
The UK has not yet announced how much it will charge for the equipment, but the retail price will likely be lower than in the past.
Sports equipment can be purchased online from online retailers such as Sportworks and the UK Sports Direct website, or via a range of third-party sites.
A spokeswoman for Sportworks said: “We’ve had over 300,000 orders and we’ve been delivering the products to customers in the last couple of weeks.
We have more than 300 UK Sport Equipment suppliers, who we have had to work with to deliver our products.”
The spokeswoman said it hoped to begin selling products in July, but added that the company was working closely with the Government to find a solution to the issue of shortages of skilled workers in the construction industry.
“I’d like to reassure the UK that we’re working with the government on how we can support the construction sector and we are investing £2m in new training centres,” she said.
“There is still a significant shortage of skilled construction workers in this country, and this issue needs to be addressed.”
The Government has said it plans to invest £3.6bn in infrastructure to help the construction and construction industry to remain competitive.
A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said the UK government was working to create more jobs in construction and maintenance and to help employers to recruit and retain skilled workers.
“This includes supporting new apprenticeship programmes, and introducing apprenticeship pay, which we believe will be a key component of any plan to increase the skills of the workforce,” he said.