Dwight

Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Posts
4,033
Location
Central Wisconsin
You have an opportunity to sell brand new skis and ski boots to the beginner market. In the past you have sold Elan, Fischer and Alpina. Going forward Elan probably still makes good business sense, maybe even Fischer of skis too.

What would you do for boots? How many brands would you carry? Need to look at the new Atomic Savor line. Might even look at Rossi. Price points for new boots will be around $200.
 

AngryAnalyst

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
May 31, 2018
Posts
325
I’m interested in the topic but know very little about managing a sporting goods retailer. So, I doubt I know enough to estimate market demand for purchases of beginner gear.

Do you know rough breakdown of existing equipment sales (especially boots) by ability level? How do existing light flex boots sell relative to stiffer options? Do you get wholesale discounts for higher volumes with the same brands such that ordering some stock from Atomic and some from Fischer is less profitable than all one or the other per unit? Do you project enough promotional activity behind the new lines that it will create demand specific to the models?

I would think information like that would be important to making an intelligent decision here. If you can give more details in some form I’m interested.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Dwight

Dwight

Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Posts
4,033
Location
Central Wisconsin
For the current business, it is primarily youth and beginners. Higher end equipment is not sold here. Used market is main inventory with some new gear every few years. Some bad decision in past, plus not stellar snow years have left some "new" inventory still around on year 3. I don't profit margin info and that will certainly come into play. Though there are some coops that a business can be part of to get brand new inventory from a few years ago, which helps in the profit margin.

Even the full scale ski shops, rarely sell flexes over 100. I had to order my 120s from the dealer.

A few things I thought were beneficial on the Women lines of Fischer and Elan are the colors are more unisex, which allows easier selling for light males.

Advertising isn't much of an issue.
 

raytseng

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Posts
1,227
Location
SF Bay Area
for the boots if its not high end then its just about having enough to satisfy choice.

If you follow the 3 bears model, you should try to have 3 choices available, with a higher end and lower end choice, even though you expect most to pick the middle choice. Having much more than 3 choices has diminishing returns.

As far as choosing which boots or carrying multiple lines, I think this is where you start getting into the nittygritty of bootfitting because then you may need to determine if 2 choices of similar specced boots are for different feet type, or if they are pretty much intetchangable in terms of foot fitment, and just about the style or graphics.
 

AngryAnalyst

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
May 31, 2018
Posts
325
Sounds like this business is different from the shops I usually visit then. That means my experience as a customer is even less useful than I had guessed.

All I can really offer then is some advice around how to structure the decision. Here it is:

1. What fraction of your overall inventory budget do you want to spend on boots?

2. What fraction of your boot inventory budget do you want to spend on beginner boots?

3. What fraction of your beginner boot budget do you want to spend on a specific line of boots?

4. Are there costs to ordering different lines of boots from an inventory management or procurement stand point (i.e. volume based brand discounts, too many SKUs if you order too many lines)? Do these costs affect the answer to number 3?

5. Will you miss out on sales you could have gotten by restricting SKUs you carry (ex: someone calls saying they want Fischer Vacuum boots. You only carry Atomic Hawx boots)? Alternately, do you often run out of popular SKUs and miss sales because you carry too little stock of the lines you sell?

I would think that if you have historical inventory data using it as a starting point would be helpful to calibrate the answers to these questions. Another approach entirely would be to look at what other retailers in your area are doing and what rental stock the local hills carry as this probably influences brand demand in beginners.
 
Top