Added: (Mon Nov 27 2000)

Pressbox (Press Release) - * Sports gear Buying Club opens online store
* 5 membership gives access to best deals anywhere in UK
* 6000 existing Buying Club members

London, 21 November 2000 Today sees the opening of the cheapest place to buy branded sports products on the Internet. Sports Trade Centre Limited (STC), owned by the Sweatband Group, has launched www.sportstradecentre.co.uk. Sports Trade Centre is a retailer that provides deeply-discounted branded equipment and clothing to the active sports enthusiast both over the Internet and through its Ruislip store, at the lowest prices in the UK.

Sports Trade Centre operates on the 'Buying Club' principle whereby a paid-for membership gives members exclusive access to the deeply-discounted products that are sold at extremely low prices. For example, one of the featured products on the sportstradecentre.co.uk web site is a pair of 'Nike Cortez' running shoes for 35 as opposed to the recommended retail value of 55, and a Head Jacket has been reduced from 120 to 30. These and other price reductions are typical of the types of savings that can be made. On some sports goods, there are savings of over 70%, furthering the claim to be the cheapest place to buy sports gear on the Internet.

Sportstradecentre.co.uk is a complementary sales channel for STC's offline business operation based in Ruislip, which has successfully been in business for a number of years with over 6000 registered members. The online business is a channel to take the success of the Sports Trade Centre on to a national scale. Like the offline operation, sportstradecentre.co.uk operates a members-only purchasing scheme, whereby anyone wanting to enter the online store pays a 5 annual membership fee that entitles that person to visit the shop and take advantage of the huge savings on offer.

In addition to the shop access, each member will receive regular email updates from STC advising them of the offers available on the web site. Robert Porter-Smith, Managing Director of Sweatband Group, said, 'new products will be introduced into the STC shop and it will be a case of 'first-come-first-served' with demand being high due to the unique pricing structure of the shop. This email service will be extremely useful for our members who will be alerted when new product lines are introduced to the store."

The site will feature the biggest reductions in its 'Mega Deals' and 'What's Hot' sections and will be regularly updated as new products arrive.

Commenting on the launch of the site, Porter-Smith said: "We recognised that the consumer is being forced into spending huge amounts of money on branded sports goods in the UK high street. Sportstradecentre.co.uk gives people the opportunity to obtain these goods over the Internet, at a massively reduced cost."


Notes to editors
Sweatband Group plc
The active sports clicks and mortar retailer specialises in on and offline sales and marketing of sporting goods. Other sites within the group include the Lawn Tennis Association online shop, racketclub.com and Sweatband.com all with a specialist appeal to the active sports participant. Sportstradecentre.co.uk concentrates on the non-active sports person offering branded product for everyday use.

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