Chad Perrin, axe swinger:
What are the biggest trends shaping the hardgoods market for next year?
Camber stories that utilize both Camber and reverse camber as well as shapes that work in concordance to the camber stories.
How have you responded to the industry-wide oversupply of last season?
We kept our distribution tight as it was our first season and keeping in line with the economy we felt it best to approach this season with caution in terms of retail inventory. Or orders were small which has allowed us to achieve 60-100% sell through early in the season.
How are you working with retailers to help ensure strong margins?
By supporting each retailer with solid marketing support on the floor as well as creating the demand with the consumer to draw them into our retailers and buy our products early.
How do you see the hardgoods marketplace evolving next year?
By end of this season I think we will see retailers finally move the old product that they were holding onto from this economic downturn. They may have a little bit of this season product left, but not much only due to reduced prebook buys and or reorders. I am hopeful that retailers will be more confident in the economy and will have more open to buy for hadrgoods, that is of course by the time this article comes out, that most places have received good snow fall. I do think retailers are going to cautiously approach their buys next season, and leave some padding in their OTB budgets.
What are the biggest changes you've made to your hardgoods business model in the last year?
We added four models in various pricepoints to address different rider types and budgets. We created a simple yet sweet line of boards that are not over the top – they are just what people want and need to have a great time on the hill.
What opportunities do you see for hardgoods sales?
For us the emphasis will be on our core retailers and online as we are building visibility of the YES brand still. So we are getting in the trenches with the core retailers to support the brand based on the core values as to what the brand was started on.
What are price points doing?
We have increased our price point range. Last year our boards were $399 and only available in limited quantities, this year we will be offering a price point rage of $359-$499.
Must have, new technologies have been about the only things selling at full ticket. What are you introducing that shop staff can demonstrate to customers and convince them that they have to have?
We utilize welded wood cores, an innovation the has been perfected at the factory (Nidecker) that bonds wood through a friction and vibration process, as well we offer Ultimate Grip technology which is built into the actual edge between the binding zone. This gives riders greater edgehold at higher speeds on hard and our icier snowpack.
What's your philosophy on camber these days?
We believe in both reverse camber and regular camber. In fact our Camrock combines the best of both worlds – regular camber between the bindings and reversed camber outside the bindings in the tip and tail.
Any new materials or construction technologies?
We are utilizing a 7-ply maple sidewall technology that reinforces our edge and provides more pop. We integrate a layer of elastomer rubber to absorb shock as well.
What themes are you seeing for graphics?
Vibrant colors with the word YES being the focal point to build awareness. We also think people like looking at the word YES, it is a powerful word with a lot of meaning behind it, both as a word and for the brand.
What market segment are you focusing on? How and why?
We are focusing on the the all mountain freestyle market, which sounds vague, but for the people who are in the know about YES and know who DCP, Romain, JP and Tadashi are, they are the ones we are targeting. I am sure we will adopt some new fans and followers too as time goes on. We are more like a skate company so those who follow our team will be the early adopters to the brand.