UK supplier goes direct with initiative to help retailers
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Fox International and its sister brand, Matrix, have launched a direct-to-consumer scheme aimed at supporting its retailers during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Fox Retail Support Programme will, says the company, enable consumers to help the brands’ stockists with immediate effect.
In short, consumers can order tackle directly from the Fox and Matrix websites and the brands will make commission payments to retailers nominated by the purchaser.
“Fox International is opening up an opportunity for all its stockists to earn commission on the sale of Fox and Matrix products without lifting a finger,” says a statement from the company.
“The news will hopefully be welcomed by all retailers, especially those whose outlets are currently closed and those who do not currently have a website/mail order facility.”
The statement adds that it is a temporary measure and will be reviewed on May 7th when the next Government announcement about trading restrictions is due.
Angling International contacted the man who came up with the idea, Fox Group Marketing Manager Lewis Porter, who believes it could help well over 300 tackle shops across the UK ‘during their biggest hour of need’.
“With around 90% of tackle shops in the UK closed for business, I believed we had the ability to help them all make money while being closed,” says Porter. “It also means the other 10% who are still open could make extra money too.
“All we are saying is that if you normally buy your Fox items from Joe Bloggs Tackle, but that shop is shut at the moment, then you can buy via us and we will give Joe Bloggs Tackle a commission so they can earn money.
“The scheme not only benefits shops, it also benefits manufacturers, including our competitors, as it means that when shops reopen they will have more money to re-invest into stock, paying bills etc.
“It is a shame that one competitor has tried to talk us down; a little short-sighted from an individual who has used the opportunity to try and strengthen his own business rather than thinking of the bigger picture and supporting hundreds of business and thousands of jobs.”
One competitor who is not enamoured by the move is Kevin Nash, owner of Nash Tackle. Writing on Tackle & Guns magazine’s Facebook page, Nash questioned how the scheme would help dealers.
“They’re loaded with stock because their shops are shut and their suppliers are going to start selling to the shops’ customers directly,” said Nash. “Kick back or not, it’s a real insult.”
Nash also warned that if dealers accept the situation, more manufacturers will do the same thing. But not all responders were negative, with another post arguing that suppliers should sell direct to keep their businesses going.
Under the new scheme, Fox/Matrix will take payment and then pick, pack and send their order directly to the consumer, who will be asked to nominate his preferred retailer to receive the commission on the sale.
All products will be sold at full RRP plus carriage, which is £6.99 or free on orders over £50. Fox/Matrix will handle all after-sales enquiries. Deliveries will be to UK mainland addresses only.
To maximise sales and commission, both brands are encouraging dealers to use their own social media accounts to raise awareness of the scheme and to drive traffic to their websites. They are also encouraging shops to tell friends and followers to select their shops during the check-out process.