The Paddle Zone has a surface area of 400 square metres, which, according to its head, Pablo Risueño, makes it the “largest store specializing exclusively in paddle tennis in Spain”.
(29-6-2022) About to close the first half of 2022, the revenue of the Paddle Zone store has increased by 40% compared to the same period of the previous year. “It is not the same as last year, when we were doubling our turnover, but we are satisfied because we continue to grow at a good pace”, highlights its CEO, Pablo Risueño.
The head of the Paddle Zone establishment, Pablo Risueño, points out that during the first quarter it registered a better behavior, in terms of sales, than the second quarter, when “demand began to normalize, returning to pre-pandemic levels” . The retailer adds that “this year the margins of the blades have been reduced compared to last year, due to the fact that there is already greater product availability of all brands.”
It should be remembered that the brand invoiced 1.1 million euros last year, 70% of which came from its online sales.
Laughing highlights, on the other hand, that the growth experienced during the first half of this 2022 has been based on getting more customers, especially in online sales both nationally and internationally. In addition, the physical store of Zona de Pádel, which occupies 400 square meters in the city of Valencia, has recovered customers who had switched to online shopping during the pandemic.
Own shovels, strategic project
Paddle Zone continues to develop its own brand of rackets, called Dreampadel. According to Risueño, it is a long-term strategic project, “taking into account that brands are moving to direct sales, both physical and online.”
Another motivation for this initiative cited by the retailer lies in “the movements that are observed in other sports sectors, such as running, “where Nike and Adidas increasingly limit distribution.” Given all this, the retailer concludes that “we want to have an open door in case at some point the rules in the paddle market also change.”
At the moment, the production of Dreampadel blades is around 3,000 units per year, which the firm distributes on its channels. After initially launching a high-end, domestically manufactured, they have incorporated the mid-range, the first batch of which they hope to receive shortly.
They are also going to launch a low range of blades that, like the average, will be manufactured in China “for a cost issue”.
According to the retailer, last year the blade market was focused on high ranges and low ranges. Now, those players who started practicing during the pandemic have evolved enough to need a mid-level padel racket, a segment that “manufacturers are most neglected.”
Bet on e-commerce
The main source of income for the Paddle Zone continues to be the online channel, which this first semester continues to represent, as in the global of the past 2021, 70% of the total turnover. The brand is betting on the development of specific websites for its main markets, instead of carrying out translations. Based on this, it has recently renewed its Spanish e-commerce and launched a generic website with the “.com” domain, as well as the Italian online store. This summer it plans to have active online stores for France, Sweden, Holland and Belgium.
Spanish ecommerce currently contributes most of online billing, 65% of that chapter. According to Risueño, the recent improvements have managed to increase conversions, improve visibility and gain market share. The manager assures that, according to their metrics, they have gone from fifth to second place in visibility compared to other competing stores, in “a ranking whose first place is occupied by Pādel Nuestro with a great advantage over all the others”.
Regarding the commitment to websites with specific domains for each country, Risueño explains that in the short term it penalizes, since they do not benefit from the ranking of the main website with the longest history. However, he adds that, in the long run, it allows progress in a more consolidated way because they appear as local websites for search engines and users in each country, which improves visibility. The manager expects to obtain positive results a year from the launches.
TEAM OF 6 OWN PROGRAMMERS
Padel Zone has a computer department made up of six programmers and SEO specialists, dedicated exclusively to the online project. They have been in charge of developing their own tools, such as an automatic translation system that they learn based on the searches made by users. This system “is capable of reproducing the native target language, from Spanish, without the problems that translators usually give.”
Risueño also highlights that they have automated recommendations by email, using specific customer preferences instead of acting globally. In other words, “when a newsletter is sent, it is usually the same for all customers, but we are trying to personalize them based on individual preferences”.