Swire Resources, Hong Kong's largest sport retailer, plans to increase its retail outlets to nearly 100 this year in the hope that the 2006 World Cup will take sales to new heights. Janis Tam, Swire Resources director, said the sector would benefit from major upcoming sport events such as Manchester United's visit to Hong Kong next week and the 2006 World Cup. 'The market will be swamped with a series of specially-designed sports products, such as soccer jerseys and shoes. Sport fans will snap up products with logos of their favourite teams as a way to show their support.' She believed the 2006 World Cup would boost sales of football-related goods by up to 30 per cent. Sales of this segment in the first quarter have grown in double digits, she said. In response to the strong buying trend for sport products, the group will expand its retail network by adding four to five new stores this year. Swire Resources, which carries more than 30 sport brands, has more than 90 outlets in Hong Kong and two in the mainland. While its 33 Marathon Sports stores cater for the mass market, six GigaSports outlets offer professional sport products targeting athletes. It also has 15 Catalog shops selling trendy lifestyle sports fashions. The remainder are stand-alone concept stores of brands such as Puma, Columbia and Reebok, which use Swire Resources as their exclusive agents. In the mainland, Puma has 400 point-of-sales retailers while Columbia has 100 outlets. GigaSports has achieved average annual sales of more than $100 million.