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World Industries sent me an interesting press release about new vans it has turned into mobile warehouses and offices so sales reps can bring goods directly to retailers.
The vans are stocked with the company's best selling hardgoods, apparel and accessories. In addition to being convenient for retailers, shops save on shipping costs.
I asked World Industries Director of Marketing R.P. Bess some follow up questions about the program.
How many vans do you have for this purpose?
Currently we have two vans on the road in our test region of San Luis Obispo south to the boarder and over to Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ. We took the typical Southern California rep territories and put the two vehicles in place there, with hopes of seeing success with the program and moving it across the U.S.
You mention it will save the retailer money in the release. Is that on shipping costs? Are there other costs they or World Industries will save on?
Savings is easiest to see in the shipping costs. But it's more than just the savings. It's the convenience to the retailer by bringing the product to them. Allowing them to restock at a higher frequency than they might if they took the, "I need to wait to order a handful of boards at once to make it cost effective." Instead, we'll leave the retailer the product and print them an invoice right there. The van is wireless, too.
If retailers are in between visits and they have a product that is performing well they can always call their rep and have him bring it by if the rep is in the area.
This program also gives the retailers a hands on purchase opportunity for hardgoods. They can look at the product, check the shape and the width and then decide.
The vans also have promo materials to leave for events or marketing purposes, and footwear samples so they can take at once or future orders as needed. However, footwear is not stocked in the vans due to the large amount you'd need and space available.
Will the vans be used be inside sales reps or outside sales reps?
This is another area that we have invested in. The reps are employees of the company. We have taken the outside rep positions and made them company employees. Their titles are Territory Managers. They should be making the rounds in their territories and seeing the same shop every couple weeks if not sooner.
What kind of investment did World make to buy the Vans?
There's a lot to take into consideration. I'm just going to say that it was an investment. An investment we are willing to take to build better relationships with our core skateboard retailers.
Here is the press release:
World Industries Hits the Road with Hardgoods
COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA - (September 19, 2009) World Industries announces they will be hitting the road in Southern California, Arizona, and Southern Nevada with a mobile warehouse program. World has customized new vehicles and plans to have company sales representatives and products in front of the skate retailers on a more routine basis in the selected territories. The vehicles are set up as a mobile office and warehouse with an assortment of World's best selling hardgoods, apparel and accessories available for at once sales and fulfilled right out of the van. The vehicle is stocked with a large assortment and will be able to handle single board to multiple board or larger purchases. This program gives the retailers an easier way to restock their hardgoods area at a higher frequency with no minimum order at a savings to them. Keeping the board wall looking well stocked with fresh new product. Pricing will remain at the regular wholesale cost.
"We're really looking forward to using Southern California and the other select territories to test this concept. The hope is to be able to build this program into a great benefit for our skate retailers and move it into all territories across the U.S. By bringing the product to the shops we hope to add a little more savings to the retailer, help them increase the frequency in which they update their product offerings, and give them better margins on hardgoods. This is one way that World Industries is helping out our skate retailers" -John Dickinson, President
"Sales reps are on the road constantly, we think this is a great opportunity to create more brand awareness. The fully wrapped vehicles act as mobile marketing tools. Simultaneously, it gives World Industries a chance to build better relationships with our skate accounts by bringing World's best selling products right to their front doors. Saving them time and money on shipping" - R.P. Bess, Director of Marketing