Thursday, June 13, 2024

NI sports retailer to double warehouse capacity with seven-figure investment

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Total Hockey is expanding its base of operations in Banbridge after the volume of internet transactions trebled since acquiring Gilmour Sports in 2017.

The purchase of the rival firm, based in Scotland, resulted in a huge growth in demand for field hockey equipment in both the domestic and international markets.

Total Hockey now operates retail stores in Banbridge, Belfast, Dublin and Brentford, and also exports to Europe, North America, Latin America, and Australia.

It was established more than two decades ago by brothers Alan and Steven McMurray, fourth-generation entrepreneurs whose family has been part of the local business community for more than 100 years.

Steven McMurray said: “Our online sales volumes skyrocketed after we acquired Gilmour Sports and integrated its digital platforms into the Total Hockey business.

“By then e-commerce had been an important part of our offering, but it marked a significant turning point for us.

“Online quickly became our primary sales channel and where our biggest opportunities for growth lie.”

Alan McMurray added: “Alongside our online business, we manage most stock orders for our store network from Banbridge.

“The space wasn’t equipped for the volume of orders being fulfilled, so we made the decision to double our footprint – our largest ever capital investment in the business.

The additional space will allow us to be much more efficient in how we manage the flow of goods in and out of the business.”

This investment has been supported by Ulster Bank, whose business development manager Derick Wilson said: “The McMurray family have been part of the local business community for over 100 years and we’re proud that Ulster Bank has been a partner to several generations of entrepreneur for much of that rich history.

“It’s a family enterprise that has continually adapted to the market it operates in to identify new opportunities, first as an early adopter of online retail in the 2000s to acquiring Gilmour Sports in 2017 to further strengthen its online business.

“The bank provided the funding for that acquisition, and we’re pleased to continue to support Alan and Steven with an investment that will help Total Hockey respond to demand now while also building capacity for future growth.”

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