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WALMART?

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THE SECOND BIGGEST HOAX TO BE PLAYED ON THE UNSUSPECTING CONSUMER, GORETEX WAS THE FIRST.

The following article is being reprinted from SNEWS the online publication serving the outdoor industry, although I saw it in a previous online publication the day before.

“Walmart made big news in the outdoor industry three years ago when it snapped up the cult-favorite specialty gear chain Moosejaw for $51 million. Back then, speculation abounded as to what the world's largest retailer was planning. A year later, in August 2018, industry prognosticators and head scratchers alike got their answer when Walmart launched its infamous Premium Outdoor Store on Walmart.com, a collection of specialty gear handpicked by the experts at Moosejaw and sold at full price. The move involved no foul play—no deep discounts, no imitation products—but the Premium Store fell apart in spectacular fashion anyway, swiftly and unexpectedly, after Black Diamond demanded its products be taken down and a parade of other brands followed suit.

Everyone wondered what exactly had happened. The answer apparently had to do, in a complicated way, with brand identity and perhaps an aversion to the Walmart name, though some were quicker to call it elitism. The saga went down as an interesting, if brief, chapter in the annals of the outdoor industry.”

I guess the well-known brands did not want to ultimately find out that Walmart would discount the products if they were allowed to sell them.

anks for watching!

“Now, two years later, Walmart and Moosejaw are making another play—from a different angle. The companies announced today the release of two new product lines, Lithic and Allforth, to be sold on Walmart.com, Moosejaw.com, in Moosejaw stores, and in 50 Walmart pilot stores. The lines will offer "enthusiast-grade" products for customers who are, as the companies outlined in a release, not traditional campers.”

It looks like they are going for strike 3 but this time they want to take the un-educated with them. you will see what I mean soon.

“It's an interesting idea. "The average sleeping bag sold on Walmart.com is $23. On Moosejaw.com it’s $181. That’s a pretty big step for people to take—especially those new to the outdoors," Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford wrote in a letter to industry colleagues, titled "Diversifying the Outdoor Pie," this week. "Both lines are designed to draw new participants into the fun, community, and health benefits of hiking and backpacking." The Walmart/Moosejaw decision makers seem finally to have understood that their best bet for selling specialty gear isn't to bring diehard outdoor customers to Walmart, it's the reverse: bringing diehard Walmart customers to the outdoors in a gradual, stepwise fashion.”

Eoin wrote his letter to the Moosejaw vendors in hopes they will not pull out of Moose Jaw a second time. This guy has not done his market research with respect to the retail costs for sleeping bags. I do not know about the other products they will be offering but I suspect the other products are also available at moderate prices as well. The Walmart diehard customers are just that because of the prices. So, Walmart will be selling a bill of goods that does not perform as advertised when it comes to sleeping bags and that is for sure. That suggests to me the other gear products they will be offering will fare any better.

Sales strategy aside, it's certainly a noble goal from an inclusivity standpoint. "We have to address the key barriers that stand in the way of more inclusive backpacking participation—price, intimidation, and exposure," Comerford wrote in his letter. "Walmart and Moosejaw are directly addressing these barriers...with very approachable pricing...and easily understood product descriptions." The products will also be available in extended sizes, a DEI barrier some brands have conspicuously struggled with.

We now know that their marketing approach is to low ball prices so people will not be intimidated and the information in the “product descriptions” will be easily understood even though when it comes to sleeping bags it will be erroneous and I suspect the same will hold true for other products. They will be selling an illusion.

“The lines will cover both apparel and gear, with Allforth offering the former and Lithic the latter. According to a press release, Lithic gear includes "lightweight tents, down and synthetic sleeping bags, all-in-one stoves and cook sets, and technical day-packs and multi-day backpacking packs" with prices from $24.96 to $148.”

Allforth is involved with the apparel and I suspect it is no different that the other brands out there. Although given the times we are living in there will probably be dozens of small companies going by the wayside who have been selling similar garments made in China. That said Walmart has any number of factories they can go to for the same garments. Its called purchasing power and longevity of a relationship in China which Walmart has.

I looked on the lithic web site having never heard of them and I saw Chinese made “no sleep sleeping bags” at very cheap prices both polyesters filled and down filled.

If you think the prices are low now wait until these bags as well as the other products are put in the stores, they will be much lower. That will be the only way they will be able to sell their merchandise.

I strongly suspect that Moosejaw is having a tough selling the well known brands of sleeping bags so they will put their own brand at the head of the list for the clerks working the floor when someone come in looking for a sleeping bag. As for Walmart do you think they will have knowledgeable people in their designated outdoor camping products area in the 50 outlet stores? I am sure Moosejaw does not. I have a friend who worked for Cabela’s for about a year. He is as knowledgeable a hunter and camper as there is and he was always being called by any of the employees to answer questions for the customer. I am sure the largest percentage of employees at REI, L.L. Bean, Dick’s, and numerous other retail outlets in the country have the same problem, hiring people with knowledge, will Walmart be successful, my opinion; NO!

It is my opinion that people who are not knowledgeable of camping and camping products are very wise and go to the internet and do research about the products they will need in order to have a successful camping experience. I get numerous calls and a suspect these people calling me call the other companies who make products they will be needing. I do not believe these people new to camping will go to Walmart for their camping gear.

STRIKE THREE AND YOU ARE OUT!!!  

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