Well said, Graeme.GraemeF wrote: ↑Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:47 amI'll try to be serious here for the moment and explain why it is important for there still to be kite stores, apart from the obvious convenience for kiters wanting kit, spares, & advice especially in their early years, the most important thing is visibility that the sport can support such a device. It gives potential newcomers confidence as well as all the other stuff, it shows it's not some mickey mouse sport of the margins likely as not to vanish as another fad.grigorib wrote: ↑Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:59 pmBesides secretly competing in giving a break on price below MSRP, what added value exactly a remote kite shop provides by selling someone a kite in a box which could be bought from another dozen places?
We need instructors, rental shops, repair shops, clearance sales, gear immediate available locally when needed. But I'm not sure what value shops adds when selling/shipping you a kite by mail.
Speaking of bragging with the KOA jump record - you paid a prorider not to ride anything else, how do we know he's not going to perform better on gear from competing brands (which struts don't explode mid-air, bars don't snap in half, low-V allows self-landing on either side, which gets on sale for 50% off following year, etc...). It's not the horse which won the race, it's the athlete who used great gear.
This very day there is a new customer who's just started, picking up some new XR5s as it happens at a shop that has only just opened in a small town here on the south coast of England, this area lost two of its last kite stores in the banking crash and one switched from watersports to being a bike store, after all who in their right mind would attempt to earn a living from a bunch of internet savvy kite purchasers with the world of web deals at their disposal?
My job as a distributor when I'm not acting as a sales prevention internet troll has always been to encourage enthusiasts to open shops & schools preferably the one attached to the other, but these days here in the UK it is very tough, we have a 20% sales tax, we have absurd business rates, high insurance, all manner of bureaucrasy as well as competition from internet discount operations. To be honest I'd all but given up on it and view this recent venture using Core as a Premium brand to have one last go at rebuilding a network of independant dealers here in the UK with some protection from the big discount houses, sure they will inevitably do their own local deals, but at least they can offer a demo without the dude wandering off and buying online and the opening price is the RRP.
I still believe it is important for all of you that stores exists, without them inevitably volumes drop, when volumes drop prices increase, we've had enough issues with the currency fluctations between the dollar (material costs) the Euro (brand holder purchasing currency) and for us the £ (lame government who's only method of competition is devaluation). If you want to see what happens without stores check out the cost of a windsurfing board, they aint that much different to a kite surf style board yet they are double the price now.
We need newcomers, constantly, we need boots on the ground advertising for new people to take up the sport, we need as much visibility as we can keep out there and we need brands that support a market structure to continue to do so and seriously we don't really need parasitic operations right now, it's still a pretty tenuous moment financially, the world is only just recovering from the shafting it got at the hands of banks, so, that's my position on the subject and of course everyone is free to disagree buy direct if they will and boast about their joy in reduced prices, just don't expect me not to be sarcastic about it.
I pity the newcomer who, right now, is browsing all the fancy sites using ridiculous online “kite-finder” tools and having their heads spun between 7-8 different kites and 3-4 different bars per manufacturer. Don’t even get me started on boards. People are being fleeced to tune of thousands of €$£’s because they arrive naively to this sport and don’t know where to turn. It will hurt the industry in the long run. I try my best to leave confirmation bias at home, but Core’s approach will only benefit them. Simple, straightforward offerings with minimalist design and absolutely no quality compromise. Long may it last!