Bulgaria isn’t renowned for specialist sports stores, but local firm Sportrax recently announced plans to open three outlets in major cities soon. The country’s largest sports chain, Sport Depot, already has 17 stores. The news for sports-goods businesses is generally positive, given that Bulgaria is one of the poorest members of the European Union.
Specialist sports equipment is the major seller, and Sportrax’s big sales were in the capital Sofia’s Mladost 1 neighbourhood, which features several upmarket spas and fitness centres.
Some analysts expect demand for sports clothing and shoes to climb. "The global economic crisis has not yet significantly affected the sports-goods market, because when people cannot afford to buy apartments, they prefer buying goods such as trainers," said Kr Tsonov, Director of Sport Depot.