Retailer Contact: [email protected]
Marc Vitelli, Brand Manager:
What are the biggest trends shaping the hardgoods market for next year?
Alternative camber constructions, sustainable materials and processes, multiple printing techniques and women’s specific shapes, constructions and materials.
How has the market evolved over the last year and how do you see things changing for next?
Online sales of snowboards continue to increase as well as sales of alternative camber constructions. The market will continue to evolve next year as we address innovative technologies focused on ergonomics and product functionality/ performance.
What lessons have you learned with bookings for this season and how will you apply those to next?
There is a higher demand for alternative camber constructions and performance based stories. We will continue to expand our camber offering in the line moving forward while also educating the consumer.
How are you working with retailers to help ensure strong margins and the right amount of product in the marketplace?
Factory direct helps retailers hold strong margins all season and supporting specific products through marketing initiatives helps retailers increase sales.
How big are your lines going to be compared to years past? Have you seen customers being confused by too many different stories?
The snowboard line has increased by two styles; one men’s and one girl’s. Boots and bindings are maintaining at the same style count. We do not think multiple product stories are confusing for the consumer because each story addresses a relevant technology and/or trend to cater to specific consumers. Clearly communicating the advantages of different product stories helps to cut down on confusion and make the decision easier on the consumer.
Are you rethinking where you make product with the current difficulties in China?
Yes, we are currently exploring different options. This is a conversation that is in heavy rotation.
What opportunities do you see for growing hardgoods sales? (are you focusing more on kids, women, rentals, core retailers, chains, Internet, entry level product, high end, split boards, etc., etc.)Please explain.
Sims is focused on a continued push of hardgood sales via the internet and a continued exploration of camber constructions and stories. The focus is definitely on growing sales in chains, independents and core. We also see an opportunity in growing women’s specific initiatives as well as increasing kid’s hardgoods sales. Competitive and better pricing will also help to increase sales.
Where do you honestly foresee prices heading for next season?
With all the things going on in China we forsee our prices staying the same moving into next season.
We have been hearing a lot of green stories in all product categories. Is this something you are focusing on for hardgoods?
We are telling multiple green stories through our board line utilizing sustainable materials and environmentally friendly processes.
What are the biggest forces shaping the changes and developments you’ve made to your boards?
The continued consumer interest and popularity in alternative camber boards has allowed us to further develop our alternative camber constructions and stories. Sustainability conversations and awareness are encouraging us to produce environmentally friendly product to help improve the brands eco footprint.
What themes are you seeing for graphics?
The main graphical themes we are seeing are photoprint, classic/authentic interpretations, comic horror, minimal and graphic overload.