Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dealers are slowly loosing value as Apparel Centers

Dealers are slowly loosing value as Apparel Centers

Most shops these days are quickly loosing the fight as a source of apparel.

If all you have on display is a Tucker or Parts catalog what's to keep a consumer from visiting Dennis Kirk, Motorcycle Superstore, or CycleGear to order something for less?

The biggest issue I have discovered is the lack of focus on building a display area.

Let's go down the list.

Biggest mistake in scooter industry is selling wrong product.
Scooter people don't wear Harley Jackets or sportbike wear. Most middle aged men and women that drive a scooter aren't wearing a Hell's Angels type jacket or a Joe Rocket superbike mesh why display this next to a Vespa?

Make sure the staff knows the product.
You can't tell me private label X is the same as this Armadillo Jacket I'm wearing. Don't have staff that sells the Chinese $30 helmet in the same context as the $200 helmet. Train them. Have them read on the features. Anyone can sell on price, train them to sell on features.

Build the store experience.
Part of the store fun is seeing yourself in the gear. Put up some displays. A $50 mannequin will do the trick. If the lady can see herself in the jacket she will buy it. Don't dream it, be it Janet.

Show what happens when you crash.
Yes, don't hide away from it. People say things like "Oh I dont need a helmet, or a jacket" show them what it looks like when they don't wear one. On South Beach Florida people loose toes all the time. Show them what happens when you wear flip flops. All of a sudden that $200 jacket seems inexpensive.

Show crash tested gear.
Showing gear or a helmet that saved someone's life can make them want a helmet.

Being an online affiliate does not make you an apparel store.
The new trend now is for dealers to put up a "link" on their website, a brochure on the counter, and to let the consumer use a "special code" for a discount on the manufacturers site. Then the dealer gets a rebate or 4% back from the sale. I'm going to call SHENANIGANS for use of a nicer word. You're not supposed to be a sales agent, you're a shop. Display product.

Stores need to stock quality gear.
Don't compare apples and oranges. I love it when someone tells me on the phone that they have $30 Chinese helmets. Maybe I just care about my brain so I wear a $400 Suomy, but why would anyone sell something they wouldn't use themselves. I understand there are some people that just want the cheapest gear possible, but if you don't display a quality helmet they don't have the option. GIVE THE CONSUMER OPTIONS.

Stock Something New.
If all you have is the same Fox racing apparel the guy down the street has and an open Parts catalog how do you expect to make the sale. Stock brands the competition doesn't have.

Stock what riders need.
You can't just sell helmets. That's not an apparel section. You also need gloves, jackets, bags, helmet bags, and accessories. If someone tells me they have an apparel section and I see three helmets on the wall I call it like I see it. A good store has variety.

Providing safety and protective apparel can make your store shine. Make it count. Anyone can sell a cheap scooter, this is part of building the scooter experience.

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