How can brands support shuttered independent retailers?
Brands in the active lifestyle space have been rolling out support programs to help their independent specialty store partners weather the COVID-19 storm.
The programs come in addition to any payment extensions or order cancellations. Many are only available as stores remain closed.
In many cases, independent retailers help generate leads to a brand’s own website and take a cut of resulting sales.
For instance, Rumpl, the Portland, OR-based technical blanket brand, is providing unique discount codes to individual stores that can be offered to customers for a 15 percent discount on Rumpl.com across the brand’s full online inventory. When customers enter a store-specific code upon checkout, Rumpl sends 30 percent of any sale directly to the retailer.
Mountain Hardwear, Chaco Footwear, Garneau and EcoVessel have also introduced commission-type programs to support independents.
Other retail support programs are taking different approaches:
- Osprey is encouraging customers who purchase qualifying backpacking styles on Osprey.com to visit their local participating retailers to receive a professional fit. Once the customer comes in, the retailer receives 15 percent of the pack’s purchase price as a credit on their Osprey account.
- Vans is selling a special Vans Customs range online with all proceeds supporting local and community-driven skate shops, restaurants, art galleries and music venues.
- Alta Cycling Group, the owner of the Diamondback and iZip bike brands, is offering bike shops free enrollment in Promoboxx, a digital communications platform designed to increase online awareness, engagement and help generate sales.
- Toad&Co, the outdoor apparel brand, is sharing 10 percent of all new customer e-commerce revenue with independents. Allocation is based on sales territory.
- Mons Royale, the New Zealand-based merino apparel company, is allowing customers at checkout on monsroyale.com to dedicate 25 percent of their purchases to a local Mons Royale retailer.
- Brooks Running on an Instagram post said it will be covering any fees for curbside pickup or same-day delivery at a local store. The running brand is also encouraging Instagram fans to give five-star reviews to a nearby store and purchase gift certificates to use at later dates.
- Osprey Launches “Buy Online, Fit In-Store Program” to Support Independent Specialty Retailers – Osprey/Outdoor Sportswire
- Toad&Co Announces New Ecomm Revenue Sharing Program Aimed at Independent Specialty Retailers – Toad&Co/Adventure Travel News
- Alta Cycling Group Provides Support for Retail Partners – Alta Cycling Group/Outdoor Sportswire
- Chaco Footwear Launches “Stay Home. Shop Local” Program to Support Retailers – Chaco Footwear/Backbone Media
- EcoVessel Announces Retail Partnership Program – EcoVessel/Outdoor Sportswire
- Garneau Announces New Initiative to Support Bike Shops Impacted by COVID-19 – Garneau/Bicycle Retailer
- Mons Royale Announces COVID-19 Response #SupportYourLocalRetailer Initiative – Mons Royale
- Rumpl Supports Local Retail Partners During COVID-19 Store Closures – Rumpl/SGB Media
- Foot The Bill – Vans
- Mountain Hardwear Supports Retail Partners With Commission Program – Mountain Hardwear
- 3 Ways To Support Your Local Running Store – Brooks
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of independent retailers earning a commission on sales directed to their brand partners’ websites? Are any of the other retail-support programs mentioned in the article likely keepers after the pandemic threat ends?