Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Philster, Mar 31, 2011.
Word around the campfire is pretty much the above quote.
Simms bought back every pair at costco's price. They didnt know about it, and were shocked. Not sure about sage. I assume the same for them.
I worked at a fly shop here in Spokane in 1991. At the time REI was starting to expand and wishing they could get Sage and Simms. Cabelas wanted them too. The rep said then that would never happen. Famous last words.
What I don't get , and never will, is how indignant the average angler gets over this.
If you really believe that this quantity of product was distributed without the knowledge of Simms and Sage then there is a level of naivete here that is unimaginable.
"Oh, you want to order 10,000 Z-Axis rods? Sounds cool, nah, I don't care where they're going..."
I saw that stuff today. 3/31/2011
My take on this is this:
The issue is not who sells the product, we are not going to control that. The issue is that authorized dealers are required by contract not to sell current merchandise below MSRP. Offers for free product if you buy at retail are still not alloowed as it is just another way of lowering the overall price of MSRP items.
As a fly shop we can compete with the big box stores and internet stores by offering expertise, service and knowledgeable staff if the prices are the same on the big ticket items. What will damage the fly shop's business is if there are lines of distribution that will allow the sale of product at less than MSRP. If Costco wants to sell at MSRP and agree to all of the terms that we as a Fly Shop agreed to so be it.
On the basis of service we will win that war.
You might want to look at this through the other end of the telescope - it's entirely likely that Simms and Sage changed their own rules and approached Costco about carrying their stuff on a trial basis. Since spending on recreational gear is in the shitter right now while Costco sales and shares are spiking, it's probable that Sage and Simms need Costco a LOT more than Costco needs them.
I can't belive that they would've changed their distribution rules for big-box stores - that would change their image and brand perception too much. They probably want to be seen as the type of brand you wouldn't find at Costco/Walmart/K Mart, but only at specialty fly shops. My guess is that they made a sale to someone slightly shady who turned around and sold everything to Costco.
While I don't own a <s>Kirkland</s> Sage rod, I would equate this with new Porshes being sold at the local Kia dealer. I don't think it's necessarily wrong but it devalues the brand. The ensuing, somewhat negative jibes from the Costco, Simms, and Sage relationship is probably not something that Simms and Sage welcome and probably not something that elevates their brand's reputation.
I wonder why Sage doesn't sell directly to Fly Shops and cut out the additional "middle" cost that is passed on to the customer.
We're talking flyrods here, not some sort of high performance supercomputer integrated into a total solution designed by Raytheon for the DoD.
I'm pretty sure fly shop owners are or can be pretty adept as to what and how to order merchandise directly from the manufacturer. In fact, I bet they (fly shop owners) would prefer to call manufacturer direct anyway....
As an aside, other 'small business' owners form or join purchasing co-ops to make their annual orders after attending CES or similar shows. They are competitive with larger stores and can pass savings onto their customers.
Some years back, one of my clients had succeeded in getting a 'let's try it' commitment from Costco to test market their flagship child travel safety product (a seat belt tensioner for child car seats). My client's first response was 'Whoopee!', quickly followed by 'Oh shit, now what?' when Costco told them the minimum they'd need was 5,000 units, which hadn't yet been manufactured.
I'm not buying the companies' denials either. Quoth Shakespear: "The lady doth protest too much methinks."
Intersting comments here. I blame Simms and Sage for this, having said that, it is their right to sell to anyone of their choosing. When distribution is regulated, it is regulated by the manufacturer in just about every case. It is very naive to think that Costco purchased from someone other than the factory.
Sadly, I have seen the manufacturers of other items that were previously only sold in specialty stores, go to the big box stores with the same or "slightly modified" product only to realize what a huge mistake it was. The result was a pissed off distribution chain and some very agitated dealers. Ultimately, the manufacturer ended up out of business with pretty much no place to sell his goods.
It is unlikley we will see these products in Wal-Mart and it is highly unlikley they will be in Costco for very long.
Does it matter, should we care? Absolutely, support the local fly shop, they have the expertise, the most important commodity, knowledge, and they are doing the fishing community a service by being there. Every time some local shop closes up we lose an expert or a group of them. These guys work hard and are passionate about the sport, they love what they do and more often than not are a involved in the community promoting the sport and the steward ship of the resource.
When the local guy is gone you get Cabela's and Wally World? Is that wat this will come to?
No, not for me, this matters, it is a big deal, a very big deal.
Support your local fly shop, forget Cabela's and Costco and reward the guy who helped you get where you are today.
Seems like 3 pages of speculation with zero substance. If I didn't already own too much gear this price point might be just enough to get me into their store.
That look like speculation to you?
Look at what happened to The North Face. They used to be the premier outdoor gear company and their products were the only ones going to the top of Everest. They were great. They kept weakening their brand and making the products worse until now when you can buy them anywhere but no one wants to. Others have stepped into their place to fill the need for high end performance based products.