Retter Sport is a local sporting goods shop situated in Spisska Nova Ves, in eastern Slovakia. It is located pretty close to more local ski resorts; therefore it is frequently visited by skiing community. It does not only focus on selling goods, but it also provides a service for the skies, snowboards and also bicycles. It is one of the first sport shops in the town, with over 15 years of experience on the market. Most of the customers of the Retter Sport shop consist of sport enthusiasts, active people that like doing sports, but also recreational sportsmen and of course casual people. Retter sport relies on its tradition and the guaranteed quality of the sporting goods. Retter sport provides specialty advisory and servicing of its products. Retter Sport would like to increase its market share by introducing an e-shop, providing a delivery service and introducing a new product line of skies for more extreme skiers.
The business in Retter is all-year round. During summer season, the main focus is on the summer goods and bicycles, while during winter, skies are the primary focus of sale. Retter sport is mostly focusing on the well known brands like Nike and Adidas in summer goods and shoes, and Rossignol and Atomic in skies.
By introducing the e-shop feature, Retter sport wants to attract new customers, and so increase its sales by 20% in the first year. The main focus of the e- shop will be the same variety of products that are offered at the shop plus the new types of skies. Also new marketing strategy will have to be launched, to introduce this new feature.
GOODS OR SERVICES
The goods provided by the e- shop will not change much compared to ones in the store, but it will mostly concentrate on these categories:
- skies, bindings, ski boots, ski poles
- snowboards, boots and bindings
- in-line skates, ice- skates
- outdoor clothing
- outdoor shoes, running shoes, recreational shoes
Services provided by the Retter Sport:
- advisory service
- warranty service
- service on skies
- service on bicycles
Retter Sport will ensure to keep only the top quality brands in its offerings, to provide the best quality current customers are used to.
The offer of the skies will also be expanded for more specialty skies like freestyle and free-ride skies. Also the new e shop will provide "tele-mark" skies, which will be suited to cover up the most recent trends in skiing. These new skies will also be of a high quality of only very well known brands.
In addition to the e- shop, a delivery service will also be provided for all the products bought online, with a customers' choice whether the product should be shipped to them or it will be picked up in the store. As a shipping method, commercial shipping services will be used or just Slovak post. After a year, a pick up could be bought to provide direct delivering of its products.
Retter Sport is going to cover all the expenses necessary with the developing, setting and promoting of the e- shop from its reserves. The whole investment should not be higher than 15,000. Retter Sport will outsource the creation, implementation and maintenance of the e- shop and the website to external company that specifies in such field.
The outcome of this investment should be the 20% increase in sales in the first year. The new website and the e-shop should also allure more customers in to the store. Retter Sport also expects to become the final destination of all the physically active people in the town, but also in the Spisska Nova Ves borough. Building its name will help become the leader in the local market among sporting goods shops.
Retter Sport was founded in 1995 by Valter Retter. Its main purpose is selling and servicing the skies, and also selling other sporting goods for different kinds of sports. Company is dedicated to selling only high quality products of only international brands like: Rossignol, Arena, Jasics, Adidas, Treksport, Olang, Nord Blanc, Craft, Rejoice, Olympikus, Nike, Freedry and Atomic. In the past its main business was selling and servicing skies, but nowadays we can find a variety of other sporting goods for many different sport activities.
Retter Sport could be defined as a "specialty store", "[carrying] narrow product line with deep assortments" (Kotler &Armstrong, 2008). Retter Sport has built quite a good brand name in the local community, so tradition is its main advantage. The quality of products and services and its location are the biggest strengths.
Currently the owner sees a chance to open an e- shop, to secure the position on the local market, since there have been quite a few new sporting goods stores opened in the town.
STRATEGIC FOCUS AND PLAN
The mission of the Retter Sport is to provide world-class products and services to local people at affordable prices.
The vision of the Retter sport:
Retter Sport is dedicated to provide first- class services in selling sporting goods. Its main goal is to satisfy all its customers' needs and wants with the emphasis on after purchase service and advisory, as well as building personal relationships with its customers on a local basis, providing comfort, reliability and quality.
The main values are fairness, loyalty, respecting the customer, fast response and care.
- Within a year after implementation, to increase sales by 20%
- Acquire bigger storing possibilities for more inventory
- Set up a functioning and customer friendly e- shop
- Secure the position on the local market
- Attract out-of town customers
- Gain more customers
- Provide variety of skies (freestyle, free ride, tele-mark)
- Provide a delivery service on purchased items
- To keep up with the technology trends in servicing
Retter Sport, after introducing the e-shop feature wants to attract new customers but also provide existing customers with additional feature that will satisfy their needs. In addition to this approach, Retter Sport will also introduce a new product; specialized skies for more demanding customers, following the latest trends, in order to sustain competitive advantage.
By introducing the e- shop, Retter Sport will be a step ahead from its competitors at the local market. Besides that, Retter Sport will try to keep up with the latest technology to provide best quality for its valued customers.
For Retter Sport, it is essential to focus on the strengths of the store and possible opportunities, so it will try to minimize its weaknesses. It is also beneficial to know the opportunities a company may encounter, as well as threats it may face when failing to follow its vision.
As a main strength of the Retter Sport is its tradition. It has been satisfying its customers' needs for over 15 years, and customers can see that it is a solvent company. Tradition of quality is also another benefit. Retter sport claims to be selling only high quality products of world- class brands. Customers can expect only good quality products when buying there.
Its location is also very advantageous. It is located directly in the middle of the town centre, with easy access. Nearby, there are quite a lot of ski resorts; Rittenberg directly in the town, Ski Centre Levoce, Ski Plejsi, Ski Mlynky and Ski Hnilcik. Also the High Tatras resorts are not far away. Therefore it serves not only to the local customers, but also to the visitors of these ski resorts. In summer on the other hand, there is also many tourists visiting Spisska Nova Ves, so these are also potential customers.
Retter Sport also provides the latest technology in ski servicing. Together with the product offer, it provides a complete service for recreational skiers or tourists visiting the region. Besides ski servicing, Retter Sport also provides bike servicing. So also summer tourists are provided with this package where they can buy new things, while their bike is being repaired.
The employee turn-over is also very low. Customers appreciate when same faces are being around. This also guarantees that the employees have a good knowledge about the products and are ready to provide customer with a valuable advice.
Besides only professional sporting goods for adults, child's clothes are also provided. So if a whole family wants to buy sporting goods, they can do it in one place. Retter Sport is therefore family oriented as well.
After the e-shop is released, there will be an advantage to shop from a comfort of customers' homes, without any need to visit the shop. Another feature of the e-shop, the customer will be able to book a product that is available in the store, and then just come and pick it up. This may also speed up a process of buying.
One major disadvantage Retter Sport has to face is that during "deaf" period in the fall and after the winter, there are fewer tourists visiting this region, so also sales decrease. Overall, the shop is profitable, but there are certain periods when it has to reduce the number of full time employees to earn profit.
Also the climate change has caused shortage of customers. Recently, the period of winter when there is enough snow for skiing has a decreasing potential. If there is no snow, there is less skiers around, and so this means decrease in sales, not only from selling, but also from servicing.
Financial crisis has also caused the decline in number of skiers. Today, the ski tickets are quite expensive, not talking about skies themselves, so for a family to afford skiing can be a serious problem.
Retter Sport has an opportunity to be the first brick store in the town to offer an e-shop. This can give it an advantage to gain dedicated customers until the competition catches up. Nowadays most of the sporting goods stores do not even consider creating such a feature, but as initial and maintenance costs decrease, others may repeat this action.
If successful, Retter sport may also be the first in the town to offer specialized skies such as free ride, freestyle and tele-mark. This could attract more customers that are willing to pay more money for specialized equipment. Such people mostly demand quality and are prepared to buy stuff that is more expensive. These customers could also become seasonal customers, buying new stuff for every season.
The main threat of this plan is that if the e-shop will not attract many customers, and the costs will not pay back within a few years, the company could experience survival difficulties.
Also it takes a high risk to introduce specialized skies to mostly local customers. This also bares a risk of financial difficulties.
Also there is a threat that in 5 or 10 years, there might be no snow around, and there will be no skiing around. Then the whole system of selling skies and servicing may collapse.
Skiing industry has also been affected by the financial crises. While in 2009, the winter season was the worst in High Tatras since 1989, last season was an improvement. There were about 15% more of the Russian and Polish skiers, compared to the 2009 season (Zimn sezna sa zacala opatrne, 2010). According to the Slovak Paradise National Park's report, the yearly visit rate in 2007 was a little over 500,000. In 2008 it was only 356,000, but in 2009, the estimate yearly visit rate is about 700,000 visitors (Boldi, Pavelekov, Malatinsk, &Soltszov, 2009). So it seems to be improving after the crisis. The situation in ski resorts around Spisska Nova Ves is also quite positive. Most of them have artificial snow, so there is bigger probability that they have snow and so the skiers can ski there.
According to the Slovak Paradise National Park's report, when writing about the potential in the Spis Region, the potential in both cycling tourism and downhill skiing is good, second best on the scale high, good, average, basic. So the forecast in this industry looks reasonable.
Directly in the town of Spisska Nova Ves, there are three direct competitors to Retter Sport. One called Presport, is a younger company, offering more clothes that skies, not providing servicing of the skies. This company is not a threat to the Retter Sport, because the products it offers are of worse quality, and it also does not offer bicycles or their service.
Intersport is a newly opened franchise of the European sporting goods stores with high variety of products, offering even more than Retter sport, also providing bigger store, but it does not have an e- shop, nor it has the specialty skies and service on skies and bicycles. The sales in Intersport are higher than in Retter but it does not offer any additional value for the customers.
Kelly's is third competitor in the town, having been on the market for longer period than Retter Sport but it only focuses on bicycles, bike accessories and clothes. It does not have an e-shop, but it also provides bike servicing. All of these competitors are prosperous, having their loyal customers from the local community. Retter sport has the advantage of introducing the e-shop along with the specialty skies.
The owner of the store has personal experience with skiing industry, he was a professional skier. In the past, he personally helped in the store, advising his customers about their purchases. He is experienced in this sporting goods industry. Some of his employees are professional ski instructors, so they can provide a valuable advice to their customers.
Retter Sport is operating on the local market only. By introducing the e-shop, it could gain new customers from the entire country.
The majority of the Retter Sport customers are very sport oriented. They demand the quality products, because they buy sporting goods or clothes for a longer period. Most of these customers are prepared to pay higher prices for better brands.
However, there are also customers who come to our sport only occasionally, and if there is a good price, they will buy.
Most of the customers can afford top of the market brands, because they earn above the average, or are dedicated sportsmen.
In the area of Retter Sport, there are four major areas of winter and summer sports. In winter and summer, it is the High Tatras, which has many sporting goods shop, the Low Tatras, which is a favorite place for skiing in the winter and trekking during summer. Then there is the Slovak paradise National Park, mostly being visited during summer, and Ski Plejsi, which is the biggest ski resort around this area.
Most of our customers, either skiers, bikers or snowboarders are very fond of their sport, and love the feeling of being in the nature. These are kind of adrenaline skiers that spend skiing or biking most of their free time.
MARKET - PRODUCT FOCUS
MARKETING AND PRODUCT OBJECTIVES
Retter Sport wants to attract new customers within the region by offering specialty skies. This may attract new and dedicated customers, but it will not make the sales grow rapidly. So far, it is only functioning on a local market, but the introduction of the e-shop could help it expand to a broader region. Nowadays, as more and more people start buying things online, and Retter Sport as the only one it the town, it may impress new customers.
The most targeted group in Retter Sport are people with average to high income, or people that are very dedicated to sport and spend most of their savings on sporting goods, skies and accessories.
Also almost all skiers fall within the targeted group, since they all need their skies to get repaired.
As mentioned before, Retter sport also offers clothes and goods for kids, so families are also targeted.
Retter sport uses "differentiated marketing", because it divides the market into different segments, and provides different offers. For example, free ride skies for extreme skiers, children apparel for entire families.
It also uses "local marketing", which is "tailoring...to the needs of local customer groups".
Demographic segmentation is mostly being used for income segmentation and psychographic segmentation. Psychographic segmentation of the market is "based on social class, lifestyle or personality characteristics" (Kotler &Armstrong, 2008). Retter sport is focusing on active people, people that like adrenaline sports, or just like trekking, or spending time in the countryside.
POINTS OF DIFFERENCE
Retter Sport is dedicated to providing top quality products of well known sporting brands. It has always been known for offering just the top of the market brands, for competitive prices. It also offers a few middle priced items for customers that do not demand the top quality. Besides selling clothes, shoes, skies, and another sporting goods and accessories, it also provides a service on the skies. The service is very professional with the latest technology, allowing the skies to be repaired, or just waxed in a few minutes. In the town, Retter Sport is the only one offering such professional ski repair services. Also Retter sport provides bike servicing, with experienced technicians.
All of the competitors focus more on prices that on quality, therefore even though they offer cheaper prices; the quality cannot be compared to what the Retter Sport offers.
Another difference, Retter Sport is launching the sell through internet, an e-shop feature which none of the competitors currently offers.
Retter Sport has always ensured to act as a loyal store offering well known brands that are of high quality. Along with quality of products comes the quality of services. This was also deliberately aimed in Retter Sport to offer first class ski and bike servicing, along with experienced and sport educated employees that can provide the customers with valuable advice.
By introducing the new skies to the store's offer, Retter Sport will have to ensure the quality of these new products, to keep the created image of quality products offering store.
By creating the e-shop, it will be more difficult to communicate their values, but the site could have an option where a customer could talk to an employee online to get advice about the products.
PRODUCT AND PRODUCT STRATEGY
In order to increase the variety of offered products, Retter Sport will include set of specialty skies for more advanced and dedicated users. Along with the regular skies, these will also be offered through the internet shop.
For the new skies offered, Retter Sport will decide to use market-penetration pricing. This pricing strategy is about setting the prices low, in order to attract new customers and gain market share (Kotler &Armstrong, 2008). Retter Sport could also set the prices high at the beginning and then lowering them according to the demand, but the strategy is to gain more customers, not only in the town, but also from the region.
In order to make these new skies more available to their customers, Retter Sport can also use "product bundle pricing" as a product mix pricing strategy. Product bundle pricing means "combining several products and offering bundle at a reduced price" (Kotler &Armstrong, 2008). The new skies will be offered with bindings for a reduced price, in order to persuade the customer to buy more. This bundle could even include a ski boots and poles for additional discount.
Retter Sport must select correct promotion mix, in order to introduce the new products, and let the customers know about the e-shop. Since the company is not a big corporate business but with only one store, it must use the "affordable method" while setting the total promotion budget. Since to total budget on the whole project is 15,000, on the promotion of the new products and e-shop, only half of it can be spent.
In deciding which promotion strategy to choose, definitely the pull strategy must be used. The goal of the promotion is to induce the customers to buy our products and shop through our internet shop. Retter Sport, in order to promote its services and products will use advertising, sales promotion and public relations.
The advertising will be divided into following parts.
- The new e-shop along with the new product line must be advertised in the town. Retter Sport will create a big poster on their building saying that the e- shop is soon to be introduced to their website and that there will be new products part of.
- Also at least one billboard about the e-shop will be placed by the most frequent road in the Spisska Nova Ves. Making sure that also people coming to the town and passing through it know about it.
- Retter sport will also create a face book profile, to inform the face book community about the upcoming e- shop, and price discounts.
- Internet advertising could also be launched, but it would cost more, and the outcome would be questionable.
- Television advertising will be used as well, in the local TV Reduta. It would not be as costly as advertising in the commercial media.
- Little leaflets informing people about the news and changes coming up in the shop will be created and distributed throughout the town, to the mailboxes of people. Direct mail would probably be more effective, but it would be very expensive.
Sales promotion will also be used to attract customers to 1). Come to the shop to buy new products, 2). Receive an incentive to use internet shop.
- On the leaflets, it will inform that first 100 customers of the e-shop will receive a T- shirt for free, or will get additional 10% discount.
- Also in the shop directly, and in front of the shop, there will be signs offering new exclusive products with discounts.
- On the billboards, it will also inform that new products have special discount
Public relations are very important for Retter Sport. It is essential for a company to build a good image among public. In winter, Retter Sport will organize free testing of some of its new provided skies in different ski resorts around. Customers will be provided skies for testing and will also be informed about the possibility to buy them online. Also ski servicing could be done on such occasions, providing free and fast ski servicing form customers to experience the difference when they have their skies prepared by professionals. Such experience could certainly lure customers to come to the store and have their skies checked out.
Besides selling their products from existing brick store, the shipping options on products bought from e-shop will be provided. Retter Sport will provide the cheapest form of shipping through the Slovak post delivery services, but also through commercial delivery services like UPS or DHL, to provide fast and convenient delivery for their customers.
DATA AND PROJECTIONS
Retter Sport intends to increase its sales by at least 20% from introducing the e-shop and the new products within one year, in the next year the goal is 30%. To help achieve this goal, also new marketing strategy will be introduced.
SALES FORECASTING METHODS USED
In order to create a sales forecasting, Retter Sport will need to look at it previous annual and financial reports. However, it is always good to use more different methods, in order to be prepared for the worst scenario. Retter Sport should provide optimistic, pessimistic but also realistic sales forecast. It is important to forecast the sales, in order to know how much does the company needs to sell to full-fill its projections.
As mentioned above, Retter Sport is going to introduce the e-shop, as well as new product line, in order to maintain or improve the position on the local market. The new feature of internet selling will not make the Retter Sport nation-wide selling company, but it can spread more across the region.
Retter Sport has dedicated a budget of 15,000 for the entire project, including the e- shop, plus the advertising and promotion of it. Since the Retter Sport is doing pretty well, it decided to finance this project from its reserves.
This budget of 15,000 is designed for expenses concerning developing, creation and maintenance of the e- shop, also the advertising, promotion and public relations. Retter Sport does not have to pay for the creation of its website, because it already has got one. Also, the shop is equipped with information systems hardware suitable for such operations.
Retter sport has a goal to increase sales by 20% in the first year of internet selling. This will be supported by the new products introduced in the offer.
FINANCIAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS NEEDS
Retter Sport does not need any new information systems because it already has well functioning computers in the store and there will be no other needs for information systems.
In order for the business plan to be successful, a good e- shop must be developed and the promotion strategy must be executed very carefully to target the right audience and to use the correct promotion tools and marketing strategies.
E-shop feature will be outsourced to some other company specializing on the creation of sporting goods store's internet selling. The e- shop should be simple, user- friendly, easy-to-navigate through and appealing to active people.
Also the right promotion strategy must be chosen and executed. Posters for billboard and for use in town posters will have to be created with a help of local advertising agency. Leaflets for mail box use will also be created with the advertising agency.
For the TV advertising, same poster will be used as on the posters and billboard, because Retter Sport could not afford a video commercial. It will only be a poster shown in the local television
There will be no special employees required for this, except a few part timers who will be delivering the leaflets in to the mail boxes throughout the town, and also distributing the posters to surrounding towns and ski resorts.
Since the e- shop will be completely outsourced, no personnel are needed for this purpose.
FINANCIAL AND OTHER RESOURCES NEEDED
Retter Sport will provide financial resources from its own reserves, in the amount of 15,000.
The introduction of the new e- shop will be planned for the beginning of summer, when many people start going out for summer evenings walks, so that the advertising campaign is effective. Also Retter Sport wants to have the e-shop 100% ready for the winter season beginning in September, with launching of the new skies.
EVALUATION AND CONTROL
After the e- shop is in use, the sales progress will be compared with the previous results to see if any progress is encountered. According to the sales results, other adjustments will have to be made.
Also our online users will be sent emails with evaluation questions of our new e-shop, and the entire process to clean out possible errors. On their website, there will also be a place for any requests or complains. Also facebook profile will be regularly checked and updated for any suggestions and announcements.
All customers buying from the e-shop will be required to register into Retter Sport web site. They will have the choice of receiving the newsletter about the news and latest releases in the shop. These customers will be regularly sent emails with the discounts, special offers and other store's events.
The success or the failure of this movement will be visible after the first year, when the market analysis will be made, and it will be clear whether it helped Retter Sport to maintain its position of the leader on the local market.
- Boldi, M., Pavelekov, D., Malatinsk, P., &Soltszov, A. (2009, June). Stratgia rozvoja cestovnho ruchu v regine Nrodnho parku Slovensk raj [Development strategy of tourism in the Slovak Paradise National Park region]. Retrieved May 29, 2010, from http://www.vucke.sk/APIR/sk/Urad_KSK/Cinnosti_KSK/Cestovny_Ruch/Documents/Strategia_CR_NP_Slovensky_raj.pdf
- Kotler, P. &Armstrong, G. (2008). Principles of Marketing (12th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ : Pearson Education.
- Vtame Vs na strnke firmy RETTER PORT [Welcome to the Retter Sport Web site]. (2010). Retrieved May 29, 2010, from http://www.sportretter.sk/?menuId=1
- Zimn sezna sa zacala opatrne, dovolenkri viac etria[Slow start of the winter season, tourists are spending less]. (2010, January 13). Pravda. Retrieved May 29, 2010, from http://cestovanie.pravda.sk/zimna-sezona-sa-zacala-opatrne-dovolenkari-viac-setria-pg0-/sk-kcestovanie.asp?c=A100113_161955_sk-kcestovanie_p23