“We’d go out and deliver the spare parts to those dealers,” she explained. “We still have what we call the van run, which goes out every day to certain dealerships who have historically done business with us. Once a week, these particular dealers have our van go out to them with their orders.”
Weise proving popular in PA
Stoltzfus Moto Co., a nonfranchised service/retail store in Leola, Pa., is one of the first dealers in the Fowler network. Karl Stoltzfus brought on Weise Tex windproof base layers and some glove models (like the Daytona glove above), and set up one of the Weise displays. The items started moving right away.
“We’re just kind of dabbling in it right now,” Stoltzfus said. “We’re a small independent shop so we don’t have a whole lot of cash flow for a lot of inventory.”
Even so, he said he plans to stock more Weise products alongside the gear he carries from AGV Sport and Sidi. “It’s high-tech, high-quality products and it’s very well-packaged, which is important,” he says. “It comes across as a notch or two above Scorpion or Firstgear.”
U.S. strategy. For the kickoff, the company brought over four of its top-selling brands. These include Weise apparel; Scottoiler chain lubrication devices; Ugly Fish, an Australian manufacturer of motorcycle safety eyewear; and an in-house brand of add-on accessories called Gear Gremlin. “It’s a compact range, but I think we’ve got pretty good products in that range,” Fowler says.
Fowlers plans to set up five dealers per state, with about 30 states covered within the next three years. The long-term plan includes possibly setting up new warehouses and distribution points to keep delivery times tight.
Each dealer will be given its own territory, Fowler said, to avoid infighting or price slashing to sell product. The distributor reportedly has a strong MAP policy for online sales. Fowler says that she’s already had to turn down inquiring dealers because they’re too close to the small number of stores the company has already established. “We don’t want to devalue the brands,” she noted. “If you cut down on the amount of dealers, it’s less likely that will happen.”
Fowler told Dealernews she believes strong dealer margins are a boon for a retail sector that might not be used to consistently getting good points.
For the brands being introduced (save for Scottoiler), margins begin at 40 percent and grow to 50 percent based on buy-in, she said. The company does not require a minimum order value to open an account; however, it does offer the higher level margins as well as in-store POP for dealers who make a commitment to the range. For example, base margin for the Gear Gremlin line is 40 percent, but if a dealer commits to a $1,000 initial order, it will hit the upper limit and receive the brand’s unique displays.
“If a product isn’t working for a particular dealer, we’re quite happy to pull them out and put in products of like-value,” she said. “We don’t like our stuff to hang around like that.”
Press images courtesy Fowlers Distribution Inc.