We unfortunately start the year with sad news: after 42 years Sports Trader will cease publication as a B2B magazine. But, we shall continue to report on news important for lifestyle, sport and outdoor retailers in this blog.

Although there had been a long silence from Sports Trader after we suspended publication in the lockdown last year,  there had  been a lot happening behind the scenes. We had, for example, been talking to various publishers about buying Sports Trader and its spin-offs for some time.

This was prompted by Nicol du Toit turning 70, Trudi du Toit having a health scare and our daughter Carin Hardisty joining her fiancé in the UK. We therefore decided that Sports Trader deserved the attention and resources of a new, energetic, team that could take it to the next level.

Covid and the lockdown put an end to these discussions. But, a few months into lockdown, we were again approached by one of the publishers with a big stable of business-to-business magazines, who suggested an unique online model that also appealed to us.

We couldn’t resume publication while we were in the midst of serious discussions with them during the past few months. Even though we were on tenterhooks to make the announcement about the designated new editor, new advertising team and the new format for Sports Trader. After numerous delays of what we believed was an imminent announcement of the new way forward, it transpired that they are unfortunately not able to make a commitment that will work for both parties.

It is, however, not the end of the road. We remain passionate about the lifestyle, sport and outdoor retail industry and decided that we’ll continue to report on any main news developments in this Sports Trader blog (click to follow) and post alerts to Facebook and in our Sports Trader newsletter – as and when it happens.

Sports Trader has undergoneseveral changes over the more than four decades since novelist Marjorie Swindells founded the magazine, which then only covered sport. The Du Toit family bought it at the end of 1997 and subsequently added more outdoor and lifestyle footwear and clothing features. Currently, lifestyle and outdoor (including fishing) retailers form the biggest categories of our readers. We also added publications like the Retail Directory, Team Sport Directory and for some time, Tackle Trader, for the fishing trade.

Now, circumstances again dictated a change of direction – partly driven by Covid, the high cost of printing and mailing and the collapse of magazine deliveries by the post office. We shall now only share news online online (hint: coming soon is news about retailers reporting a major brand to the Competition Commission; as well as various items about how the industry was affected by lockdown, etc.).

Thank you very, very much for your valuable support for our family business over the past 23 years. It really meant a lot to us that you were prepared to undertake the journey with us and supported us with advertising and by providing information.

We therefore hope we’ll be able to keep contact. Please feel free to let us know on 082 572 6127 (Trudi) or trudi@sportstrader.co.za  or  nicol@sportstrader.co.za or 082 377 8285 (Nicol)  if you have news to share.

Or simply feel like a chat. We’d love to hear from you!