Sunday, September 20, 2009

Burning Question

What does it mean when more vendors than dealers show up at PB Extravaganza? PB Not-So-Extravaganza? Maybe it ought to have a different name. How 'bout PB Flopapalooza? It has a Z too.

(Disclaimer: I hear that Extravaganza wasn't anything like the commercial success industry was surely hoping for although DYE made the biggest splash. But was that because of Extravaganza or because of the concerted media effort?)


Don Saavedra said...

I wonder if maybe the sport just isn't ready for something like this at a time and place where the industry isn't already coming together, like at a World Cup.

anonachris said...

It would seem dealers already made their decision regarding Cup v. Extravganza


There will be even less dealers coming to Cup (who aren't already there playing).

It could be likely the dealers pretty much have no money to sink into new inventory and are waiting for most of the old stuff to sell. If that is the case, the dealers are either shooting themselves in the foot by not bringing in new products (and thus losing future sales opportunities) or they are a really good judge on the buying habits of consumers, who might be sitting on the sidelines for another season as they avoid any "unnecessary" purchases. Could be another terrible years for both stores and manufacturers.

If that's the case, who's the next big dog to go? KEE, Draxxus, Dye, or JT?

Mark790.06 said...

They were hoping for success?!?!? Well wonders never cease.

Missy Q said...

The Extravaganza was such a success in february that this 2nd was added. I think dealers are basically saying that they only wan this once per year. I hope they restrict to one per year and keep it busy. Also, I wouldn't call it a flopalooza for the organisers - They were having to call vendors and talk them into smaller booths so thay could fit more people in, so it was deflinitely a success for them at least.

Interestingly Smart parts were not there, which I did find surprising.

Baca Loco said...

Okay, maybe I oversold the success angle. It could be the vendors (industry) showed up out of fear of the other guy getting an edge if they didn't.

Anonymous said...

They showed up because they did well there in Feb (everyone did, the place was packed with store-owners).
This one was a flop, but I bet they all those vendors book in for the next one just the same.

The industry needs something like this. We should not be looking at the range of products we have to sell to make money next season in a field, sweaty, surrounded by kids, and with vendors unable to talk pricing in case someone overhears. WC should be the public launch for 2010 products. Extravaganza shou8ld be the industry launch. It will take a few years but it will further professionalise the way we do business.

Reiner Schafer said...

There were several things that would have contributed to low attendance by dealers.

First, we just had a trade show 7 moinths ago. Our industry is pretty samll. Do we realy need more than one trade show a year? Most dealers (store owners) are small potatoes in the business world. Who can afford to go to two trade shows a year?

Second, it's September. September is much busier month for field owners (many store owners are also field owners) than February for the majority. Do you really need to see the newest loader or marker in person to be able to sell it for Christmas, ow will pictures, reviews, manufacturer information provide you with enough information on whether or mnot you want it in your inventory?

Third, between the economy and dwindling numbers over the past years, field sand stores are closing. Many of the ones that are still open are struggling. I know several field/store owners that said they were thinking of going, but ended up with a sizeable group coming to play that they felt they needed to stay and make money rather than spend it on airfare, hotels and restaurant food.

Fourth, some are probably gong to World Cup anyway and figured they would get to see enough there, as they have in previous years.

I think the organizers of the event got a little too excited about the success of the February event and shot for the stars when they maybe should have kept their feet grounded and taken baby steps instead. But that's a common mistake in our industry though, isn't it? Thinking we are big fish, when in reality, we are just little fish.

One of the common reviews that I have heard is that vendors were flogging last years wares at good deals, meaning (hopefully) good margins for store keepers. The new wares however still have the same crappy margins as always for the most part, meanning that vendors haven't fully realized the value and their need of their distributors (store owners). The industry is not where it needs to be yet (and may never get there).

Missy Q said...

I thnk you're right Reiner, but my real question is, how come people now have little pics next to their names? How do I get one of those?

Reiner Schafer said...

Missy Q, there was a contest. Only the top ten in the beauty contest got to get their pictures beside their names. Sorry.

raehl said...

You guys have missed the scariest of the alternatives.

Most of the dealers WERE there.

Reiner Schafer said...

Ohhhh..., I get what your saying Raehl. There were not that many dealers there, because there are not that many dealers left. Hmmm. That is a scary thought.

Missy Q said...

There are certainly less dealers than there were before, but thats not necessarily a bad thing...

I hope the industry loses the bottom 10% of its dealers, to be honest. That would stabilise things as that bottom 10% would be the guys ensuring no-one else earns any margin. With them gone there might be room for stores to invest again.

Reiner Schafer said...

I agree that the industry could stand to lose a pile of store and field ownres and it would actually be for the good. However, I have a feeling that many of those leaving are the ones we would really like to keep. Real business people won't stick around if the industry doesn't provide a real ROI. So the people leaving are probably a cross section of store keepers; those that CAN'T make it with low margins and drop in customers and those that DON'T WANT to deal with the industry anymore.

Missy Q said...

I disagree Reiner, real business owners know what to do in a recession, and know that there will be weakened competition at the end of it. I think those guys will stick around.

raehl said...

Here's the thing I'm not so sure about though Missy.

It's not just the recession. The world is different than it was 15 or 10 or even 5 years ago.

On the low-margin, high-volume products, dealer's can't compete with big-box retailers - even on service. For the price it costs to fix a low-margin gun, you can almost buy a new one.

On high-margin, low-volume products, dealer's can't compete with the internet. The internet can get you EXACTLY what you want delivered to your door in a day or two tops, for delivery charges that are less than the sales tax saved.

Stand-alone dealers are an expensive way to move product. What is the value they add that justifies the additional costs?

Either the customer has to feel like there is value worth paying more at the store for than on the internet, or the manufacturer has to feel like there is value selling through the store that is worth paying the store more per gun to get the guns sold. And right now, I just don't see that value.