STORES Magazine - October 2008 - (Page 82)

NUTS AND BOLTS / SELLING TOOLS 7,500-sq.-ft. store have been eclipsed by the e-commerce volume at, despite the fact that it is one of the bestknown destination stores for skiers and snowboarders in the Midwest. It is famous for its broad assortment of skis, snowboards, accessories and apparel and an “unsurpassed” commitment to customer service and satisfaction. Ski Sales Lift Staff-generated product reviews drive sales, in-store and online BY MICHAEL HARTNETT W hen passionate skier Steve Kopitz realized his dream of embarking on a second career on the retail side, pure chance dropped an ideal website address into his lap and his love for the sport led to his own chance discovery of a tool ideally suited for marketing, merchandising and sales. For years, sales associates at the Don Thomas Sporthaus in Birmingham, Mich., had been invited to an annual “Test Fest” to familiarize themselves with the latest skis and snowboards. But it was in 2007, two years after Kopitz had purchased parent company Summit Sports, that he stood with vice president of operations Andy Schepper watching the Use of product sales associates ski down the slopes and observed, “Why reviews are having are we not sitting at the bottom of this hill and videotapa positive impact ing this?” on store traffic Those tapes, and accompanying interviews with the and sales at testers, were turned into hundreds of product reviews on Don Thomas and via a kiosk in that Don Thomas Sporthaus Sporthaus. location. – Andy Shepper The results have been remarkable. Strong sales at the 82 STORES / OCTOBER 2008 Kopitz also owns four other multi-category stores offering ski, snowboard and hockey equipment, inline skates, kayak and water sports, along with three stores positioned as hockey pro shops under the Summit Sports banner. The company is headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The “Test Fest” coincides with the Ski Industry Association (SIA) show each January. Kopitz, Schepper and store associates review all the products being presented at the event, then determine which should be tested. (Products not being exhibited at the show may also be added to the list for testing.) continued on page 87 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - October 2008

STORES Magazine - October 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Force of a Different Collar
What Shoppers Think
Bagging the Competition
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Favorite 50
Sticky Strategies for Retention
Business Intelligence
NRFtech Wrap-up
Warehouse Systems
Selling Tools
Supply Chain
LOEB Retail Letter
Arts Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - October 2008