Ladies won’t be able to find their favorite hunting gear in retail stores anymore. And that is just fine with Prois, the Gunnison, Colorado-based apparel company that caters to the females in the field.
Prois is pulling out of the big box and other retail outlets in pursuit of a direct market strategy. Now buyers will predominantely order from Prois’ website or purchase in person at the numerous consumer shows the company attends each year.
Founder and CEO, Kirstie Pike can list dozens fo reasons for the shift, most of which point back to taking more control over the product, merchandising, customer service and inventory. “This change allows Prois to do what we do best- create the best performance hunting gear on the womens market in addition to growing our grassroots following,” Pike notes.
Prois hit the market in 2008 and grew quickly, gaining a presence in big box stores across the country within a couple of years. Before the withdrawal from the retail market, Prois had an estimated 150 dealers. That particular model of sales “almost decimated this small company,” Pike reports. Inventory costs were largely out of Prois’ control. Fulfillment of large orders was capital intensive and the co-op and dealer incentives were dramatically reducing profits. Pike also mentions, “Nobody loves your product as much as you do, and nobody cares as much as you as to how it is sold.”
“We now don’t have to worry about merchandising and poor sales staff education, both of which were the bane of my existence,” Pike mentions. “Stores would merchandise my product on the same rack as camouflage lingerie and sparkly t-shirts. This really wasn’t effective merchandising for performance gear at a higher price point.”
Prois will maintain relationships with a small amount of independent dealers who accept the company’s new approach. There will no longer be payment terms and guarantees of inventory availability. Customers will continue to see Prois on some websites such as Dicks Sporting Goods and Cabelas but only as dropship items. “This allows us to control our inventory,” Pike states.
In efforts to bolster this new sales model, Prois has introduced State Coordinators in key states such as Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Montana, Texas, Wisconsin and Georgia. The goal of these positions is to help expand the grassroots awareness of the product, promote sales in regional events and function as “boots on the ground” in these key areas.
For more information, contact Kirstie Pike, CEO .
Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women
28001B US Hwy 50
Gunnison, CO 81230