BAUER MEETING Q&A
Regarding the opening of its “Own The Moment” Retail Experiences
Date: June 25, 2015
Time: 7 a.m.-9 a.m.
Place: Hilton Hotel, Rosemont, IL
Attendees: Matt Carlson (National Sporting Goods Association President & CEO), Marty Maciaszek (Hockey Dealers Association Managing Director), Rich Wuerthele (Executive Vice President of Hockey, Performance Sports Group), Matt Smith (Global Vice President of Marketing, Performance Sports Group), John Mullins (Head of Retail, Bauer’s “Own The Moment” in Burlington, Mass.)
How will Bauer support dealers within the immediate vicinity of the retail centers?
Bauer has produced an “Own the Moment Program” that became effective Sept. 1, 2015 for dealers within a 20-mile driving distance of the “Own The Moment” locations. Attached is how the program will work for affected dealers as of the summer of 2015 and how it will maintain current discount structures, stock balancing procedures and incremental co-marketing funds. If this is wildly successful the 10 Own The Moment stores across the landscape will comprise 10 percent of the hockey business. Local retailers can use the facility as learning labs to educate consumers about Bauer.
Dialogue supporting local retailers is built into the business plan. Bauer views its retail partners as partners and not competition. First 3 to 4 months at each location will be focused on areas that weren’t thought of. After an initial period of time a couple of staffers will serve as resources to retailers in the immediate area.
What criteria did the company use in selecting specific locations for the Bauer retail experiences? Will this criteria apply to future site selections?
Looking for existing box structures to move into – which Bauer did in suburban Boston and will be doing in Bloomington, Minn. Well-trafficked locations with a significant hockey playing population (used a USA Hockey member map). Looking for 20,000-25,000 square feet to put in an ice rink. Bauer said it had 3 locations in mind in the Boston area and Burlington was the best fit.
What is the expected daily traffic in the stores, the number of visits and the number of vehicles?
Bauer has modeled it but said it would not share this information publicly. Bauer plans to hire a full-time retail advisor with the job of delivering the “All Ships Rise With the Tide” strategy.
Bauer expressed that its retail experiences are not: Discount Pricing, Closeout Outlets, Direct to Team Outlets, or offering SMUs. Is the company willing to enter into enforceable agreements with its retailers and dealers to ensure those statements remain true?
Bauer will not enter into enforceable agreements with retailers and dealers and will not sign that control over. Said it is critical for local retailers to build a strong relationship with the leadership of the Bauer store.
Bauer reiterated it is not doing discounts, closeouts, selling direct to teams or offering SMUs. Bauer will not offer limited edition products and will have signage that tells visitors to see their local dealers. There will be access on bauer.com to a full dealer locator.
Bauer will not do team sales or sell to associations but it will have a team room where other retailers can bring in associations and sell them in the Bauer store. Bauer will hand off team sales to the local retailers.
Will skates be sharpened and baked at Bauer retail centers or will customers be referred to the nearest Bauer dealer for these services?
Skates will definitely be sharpened and baked as part of the retail experience – but those services will be premium priced in the marketplace. Bauer will use the Blackstone sharpening system, which has a pretty detailed sharpening protocol that will be shared with local retailers.
Will Bauer commit to including sales at its retail centers to be credited to the nearest dealer to the customer’s address (the location they send the customer in order to sharpen and bake skates), so dealers can meet their Bauer targets to leverage premium product and discounts?
No, however dealer requirements to achieve these premium products and discounts will take “Experience” store sales into account.
Will the Bauer retail stores still have sheets of ice, as originally proposed, for visitors to try out skates and other products? If so, what size will those sheets be?
Bauer will have ice the size of one-fifth to one-fourth a normal sheet of ice. In Burlington, Mass., it will be 78x34. It will be a mini-rink with boards and Plexiglas and a mini-Zamboni machine.
Will a Bauer dealer be able to pull from the inventory of the Bauer retail center if the dealer has the customer and can complete the sale?
Bauer will have to coordinate that with local dealers as the need arises. Bauer does not have the systems linkage on both sides in place yet. It would probably happen occasionally but not at a high volume. Bauer is not planning to be a warehouse for local retailers. Bauer will purposefully create relationships at the local level to swap inventory, and as a result, it is important for the area Bauer dealers to build relationships with the “Experience” store leadership, and, vice versa.
Will products at the Bauer retail centers be sold for the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)?
“Yes, 100 percent.” Products at the end of their life cycle (2 years) will be taken off MAP. When that happens in the marketplace the “Own The Moment” locations will follow the prices of the local retailers. “Own The Moment” will never “lead” in price reduction.
Will Bauer retail centers sell licensed apparel?
The retail centers will sell Bauer-branded apparel. Reebok owns NHL property currently – never say never, but right now no intention of selling NHL licensed apparel.
Will the company make the same products available in the retail centers available through dealers, or will there be exclusive products only available at an experience store?
“With hockey gear and equipment there will be no exclusives. We won’t be reselling.”
Will Bauer retail centers have appearances by professional athletes? Would they also provide the opportunity for those athletes to appear at stores in the immediate vicinity of the retail experiences?
“We only have athlete appearances a couple of times a year. We may have athlete appearances at our locations but we barely do it at all right now.”
Would Bauer share responsibility for lost sales at their dealer partner locations? NSGA research shows a significant opportunity to upsell or add-on sell when customers are in their store.
Bauer’s “Own The Moment Program” provides concessions related to sales volume during the first 2 1-2 years after the Bauer retail center opens. Dealers should discuss that program directly with their Bauer representative.
Does the company have an exit strategy if the Bauer retail center plan doesn’t work? Will Bauer then discount products and compete head-to-head with its retailers and dealers?
“If this is not successful we won’t be flooding the market with closeouts. That’s not in our interest as a company or for our brand.” Ultimately if the program does not work we will be exiting the stores or have far fewer than the proposed 8 to 10 stores.
What is the time frame for analysis of the first two retail experience locations before decisions are made on expansion to the other Original Six cities and other locations?
Bauer’s plan is to have all 10 of its locations up and running in the next three years.
How will the Bauer retail experiences fit with the company’s objective to increase hockey participation?
Bauer currently has a 55% market share globally. What Nike is in basketball, Bauer wants to do in hockey and the impetus is to have a 70% share down the road; to create Bauer brand disciples, loyalists and zealots. Those disciples would then go back to local markets with more Bauer product in their bag. This will enable all retailers to gain from what they learn in the “Own The Moment” retail experiences and get more people excited about the brand.
Bauer has now agreed to provide a discount and special makeup program for U.S. dealers – how similar will it be to what is in place for Canadian dealers? Who are the Bauer staff members coordinating these programs?
Bryan McDermott, the Directory of Specialty Accounts for North America, will coordinate the program. You can contact Bryan via email at Bryan.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Davis mentioned in a conversation with Matt Carlson that there are 2,100 hockey retailers in the United States. What type of retailer does this figure include?
This number includes big-box retailers such as Dick’s and Sports Authority, specialty hockey retailers and rink pro shops.
Where does e-commerce (Amazon) fit into Bauer’s overall strategy?
Bauer said it does not plan to sell on-line at this point. They will continually evaluate e-commerce through talking with customers and what is important to them. They currently sell some rec and pro product directly to Amazon.