I agree that packaging maybe part of the problem and making it look like something for saltwater is a good idea. Having spent 12 years working in retail (for 1 of the companies mentioned in this forum), I would like to suggest "cross merchandising" as well as increased vendor management until this opportunity has benefited Strike King at least as much as it benefits Wal-Mart and Bass Pro. Cross merchandising your product with your other products as well as making them seen with other items that may be used with your product such as camping equipment, etc as well as working it into some of the checkout lanes. The lanes closest to each exit door are used more by people do the "in and out" which the majorities are men. The increased vendor management should not be as time consuming or costly as you may think. I would suggest having your reps make a schedule to visit the stores that carry your product paying close attention to the big 2 (Wal-Mart, Bass Pro). Instead of talking to managers or assistant managers, make your visits to the department managers controlling the different departments where you think your products would be best merchandised. I do not know about Bass Pro, but Wal-Mart has a tool that will help you keep track of the inventory of your products in each store. It is called Vendor Link. You should already be using it, but may not be taking full advantage of the valuable information contained there. Through the link you can monitor the POS (Point-of-Sale) and the On-hands (actual inventory count of your different products in each store). Since you have already made the initial meet with the department managers, you will be able to control a constant good inventory level. As you monitor the link and see a store with an unacceptable inventory level, it is as easy as a phone call to that department manager that you already have a connection with and discusses what needs to be done to get their inventory where you want it, not where they want it. Building a relationship with the Replenishment Manager and team for the areas you merchandise your products. These people are located in Bentonville, Arkansas in the main Home Office of Wal-Mart or one of the other many offices around Bentonville.
You can take all, part or none of what I have written and use it or not. I am not perfect at anything, but replenishment, merchandising and inventory control is an area I excelled at while working for the “World’s Largest Retailer”. I no long work for the company, but I do not see why someone should not benefit from knowledge it took me years to gain. I think it should be used by others and I also believe it will help the good vendors understand the workings of a company that makes more profit by not giving you the tools and information that will help those vendors will also helping them. There is no reason they should be the ones with most of the control of your product and essentially your profit margin as well. I still believe in Mr. Sam’s philosophy that things can be good for all.
Thank you for your time,