Scapino, the largest footwear retailer in the Netherlands, has teamed up with Aktiesport, a discount-oriented sports retailer owned by the Unlimited Sports Group (USG). To start with, the partnership calls for Aktiesport to set up shop-in-shops dedicated to sports products at Scapino.

Owned by the Macintosh Retail Group, Scapino has 211 shoe stores in the Netherlands and another 29 in Belgium, with an average surface of 800 square meters. Aktiesport is the largest sports chain in the Netherlands with 150 stores – although most of them are small urban outlets, covering an average of 150 square meters. The two parties describe their collaboration as a means to more profitably use the store space at Scapino.

The Scapino stores will offer a range of sports brands picked by Aktiesport, and a wider range of products will be available online, to be accessed through touch screens. The two retailers said that this concept was partly meant as a reaction to declining in-store traffic, due to more competition from e-commerce operations. Starting with a first batch of shop-in-shops this month, the rollout of the joint format is meant to be completed by the end of next year.

Macintosh Retail Group operates about 875 shoe stores in the Netherlands, Belgium and the U.K., with banners such as Brantano, Dolcis and Manfield, among others. USG is an influential player in the Dutch sports market, with Aktiesport as well as two other retail banners in the Netherlands - Perry Sport and Time Out – along with Primo in Belgium, and a wholesale distribution business for a flurry of sports brands that are either owned, licensed or distributed by USG.

As reported in our previous issue, USG is expanding its business further outside the Benelux countries with the launch of an international arm in the U.K., after other forays into the German-speaking countries, southern Europe and Scandinavia.