Bauer Retail Stores

Yesterday, Bauer announced that they would open hockey retail stores across the U.S. and Canada. They will begin with two Bauer retail stores (located in Minneapolis, MN and Burlington, MA) and eventually have up to eight stores in North America. This is the first hockey equipment manufacturer to go direct-to-consumer with physical retail stores. It is undoubtedly a game-changer.

With a large Pure Hockey store also located in Burlington, MA, we are certainly getting a lot of questions about this and the story is generating a lot of chatter in social media and on the forums. Our intent is always to be as open as possible with our customers, so we thought we’d put down some thoughts here about it and share them with you.

This does not come as any major surprise to us. We’ve been talking internally here about this happening for quite some time and it was never IF, it was always WHEN. You can be sure that while we are not overly enthusiastic with the Massachusetts location that Bauer has chosen, this is the U.S.A. This is capitalism. It’s a free market. Bauer is a public company who is always under the gun to grow revenue streams and show gains each and every quarter. That is what it’s all about for Bauer now. If Bauer thinks it makes sense for their business, then so be it.

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We’re on the left.

There are no sirens going off, no panic or bedlam in our offices. We have very good competition in almost every market we are in. That will continue – and likely only get tougher. To coin the most overused phrase of all time, it is what it is. The direct to consumer approach is happening in many other retail sectors (hello, Apple) and it will continue to happen.

That said, we will continue to do what we do – offer a wide range of products, continue to open new stores in new convenient locations and most importantly, go 150% out of our way to serve our customers, unbeholden to shareholders.

So welcome to retail, Bauer. This s*&t ain’t easy!

In a letter yesterday to their retail partners who have supported them, Bauer said all the right things, as most companies do when announcing major initiatives that could impact companies who have long supported them. For example, this

“For both our retail partners and consumers, our retail experiences will serve as living representations of the BAUER brand.  We can now fully showcase at retail our technological advancements, as well as how BAUER products work together.  As a result, we will equip hockey players with in-depth product knowledge so they can confidently purchase BAUER wherever they shop.  A more informed and inspired consumer will benefit our retail partners and ultimately the athletes on the ice.”

….and this:

“Historically, the introduction of manufacturer-owned retail in other industries has supported premium pricing and brand positioning, and local retailers’ profitability has increased as a result.  Similarly, we expect the BAUER brand experiences, with their premium service, development of new customers, lack of close-out product, and first class showcasing of the BAUER brand, to create more demand for BAUER product, incentivize trading up by consumers and bolster a premium brand experience. It is our expectation that our retailers will share in this healthier and more profitable market for BAUER products.”

While actions always speak louder than words, credit to Bauer for the approach on paper.

That said, let’s be honest – this changes the relationship between Bauer and not just Pure Hockey, but between Bauer and ALL of the retailers who have put Bauer in the position they are today. How all that turns out remains to be seen and should be very interesting.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

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12 Things Hockey Players Say

Hockey Players Say

Hockey players are never afraid to show off a shiner.

NHL legend Gordie Howe was popular for coining the quote, “Hockey players only speak two languages – English and profanity.”

While ole’ No. 9’s quote can be taken in fun, it’s just one example of things that a hockey player might commonly say, both on and off the ice. Yes, hockey players are a colorful bunch and they’re often recognized as some of the most personable, funny and enjoyable athletes to be around. These traits are evidenced by some of the things they say. With that being said, we present to you 12 family-friendly things that hockey players often say:

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The 3 Worst Meals to Eat Before A Skate

Worst Things To Eat Before Hockey

Think McDonald’s Is The Worst Thing To Eat Before A Game? Think again…

The 3 Worst Things to Eat Before A Skate

Sometimes it can be tough to sneak in a proper meal before a skate. Whether you are rushing from school, work or are just running late, there comes a time in every player’s life where you make a poor food decision prior to a skate. If you are like me, you know that this can backfire, and the results can be rather ugly.

I am willing to admit that I have desperately whipped through the McDonald’s drive through for a Big Mac and Fries, popped into Taco Bell for a Chalupa, or even eaten half of a large extra-cheese pizza prior to a game or practice. The experiences with those meals have nothing on what I am about to discuss. Let’s start with #3 and work our way to the top of the list…

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7 Things Hockey Moms Need on Hand

Things Every Hockey Mom Needs

Be Prepared For Every Situation With These 7 Items

7 Things Hockey Moms Need on Hand

From 6 a.m. Saturday morning practices to getting their kids to the rink in the snow, sleet and hail, hockey moms are superheroes to their kids in many ways. But being a hockey mom isn’t just all about making sure that their kids are at the rink on time and that they’re fed and ready to go for puck drop. No, being a hockey mom also means that you’ll have to tend to several hockey-related emergencies every now and then. The good news is that many of these emergencies can be planned for ahead of time. With that being said, however, here’s a look at 7 things all hockey moms should always have on hand.

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