Mathews Inc.
First Lite direct to consumer
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
No Mercy 06-Dec-17
No Mercy 06-Dec-17
Bullhound 06-Dec-17
Brotsky 06-Dec-17
Copperman 06-Dec-17
No Mercy 06-Dec-17
Grubby 06-Dec-17
yooper89 06-Dec-17
elkstabber 06-Dec-17
caribou77 06-Dec-17
Trial153 06-Dec-17
76aggie 06-Dec-17
Griz34 06-Dec-17
Bullhound 06-Dec-17
elk yinzer 06-Dec-17
caribou77 06-Dec-17
Deertick 06-Dec-17
WV Mountaineer 06-Dec-17
arctichill 07-Dec-17
Guardian Hunter 07-Dec-17
No Mercy 07-Dec-17
No Mercy 07-Dec-17
From: No Mercy
06-Dec-17

No Mercy's Link
This is an interesting deal....

From: No Mercy
06-Dec-17
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 First Lite Restructures Distribution Model

Ketchum, ID- First Lite, a brand synonymous with premium gear, design innovation, and active conservation announced its shift towards a direct-to-consumer sales model. Beginning with the 2018 season, First Lite products will be available exclusively at firstlite.com and select third party marketplaces including Amazon.com and others.

"After careful consideration, thorough analysis and a great deal of discussion we've decided to restructure our distribution model to position the company to best serve our customers and distribute our premium product where and how they--the end customer--want," said Kenton Carruth, First Lite Co-CEO. "This move will allow First Lite to continue to innovate new technologies and support our conservation efforts while also directly serving the customer exactly how they want to be served. Ultimately, we are letting our customers dictate the direction of the brand instead of the other way around."

"We understand that this will impact many long-standing partners and we are committed to taking the appropriate steps to help ease the transition for our current dealers," explains Carruth. "We could not be more thankful and appreciative to the retail partners who have supported and believed in us over the past ten years."

Established in 2007, First Lite has grown a direct relationship with consumers since its inception and has seen its business move organically in that direction more and more every year. As the company completes this transition, First Lite will work directly with effected partners on tailor made business solutions, while continuing to focus on its value equation for consumers; the best gear on the market at the best possible price, unparalleled customer service and an industry leading warranty.

For more information please contact info@firstlite.com.

About First Lite Born in the Rockies, at First Lite our mission is to create simple, proven, versatile gear that provides comfort and performance in any situation, while working to promote the pursuit of ethical hunting and stewardship. For more information visit https://www.firstlite.com.

From: Bullhound
06-Dec-17
that is interesting.

From: Brotsky
06-Dec-17
Looks like First Lite is moving toward the Kuiu business model. Proprietary camo and removing the retail chain. Good for them. I like First Lite gear and hope they continue to see prosperity.

From: Copperman
06-Dec-17
wonder how this will affect pricing

From: No Mercy
06-Dec-17
I'll bet you a $10 bill that pricing will not be affected one bit Copperman.

From: Grubby
06-Dec-17
I think we will see more companies going this route. Why wouldn’t they?

From: yooper89
06-Dec-17
Great model - would love to see if decrease the prices even just a little bit. Big fan of First Lite and Ryan Callaghan.

From: elkstabber
06-Dec-17
Following the lead of Kuiu? Weird. But it will be happening more in the future. Now the sizing will really be a problem.

From: caribou77
06-Dec-17
Explains why they dropped realtree and asat. Hope their prices do as well. Happy with the products that I have from them now though. And always got them at a good price on sales.

From: Trial153
06-Dec-17
Bend or break. Retail is evolving.

From: 76aggie
06-Dec-17
I like their products very much. I was disappointed when they dropped Realtree Max 1 though. I have bought directly from First Lite and from retailers in the past. I found the retailer pricing to be less expensive than buying direct from First Lite and you know the retailer has to make some profit. Considering the following First Lite has, they will probably be able to maintain their direct sales at MSRP as opposed to selling to retailers at a reduced price. Smart business move I think.

From: Griz34
06-Dec-17
Love First Lite, I'm really excited about this too. I think this is where a lot of outdoor related companies will move.

From: Bullhound
06-Dec-17
I have a lot of First Lite gear presently and am happy with every single piece. While I don't see myself buying much in the near future, I'll likely buy looking at their clothing for any needs that come up. They leave the door open a little in that release regarding other "third parties".

From: elk yinzer
06-Dec-17
Definitely where the retail business is headed. Interesting that First Lite stuck around just long enough to gain the exposure of being in the big stores with national reach then bailed...almost seems like a move that was calculated from the beginning in that respect?

From: caribou77
06-Dec-17
.

From: Deertick
06-Dec-17
I'm a fan of DTC marketing. It just makes sense. Will prices drop? If I were in the boardroom, I'd say that would be one of the main reasons for this. Our profits go up, while dropping prices will increase the overall market.

The company doesn't want to keep being #3 of the big high-end companies, and keeping prices the same wouldn't increase their market.

At least that's my analysis. But my business experience is about as successful as my elk hunting, so what do I know?!

Regardless, I think the days of retailers adding value are over except where they can be small enough, and skilled enough, to form relationships with individual consumers, or supply additional expertise (such as an archery pro shop). Otherwise, they're just Amazon with higher overhead.

06-Dec-17
Trail got it. With on line sales becoming a larger sector of consumer goods every year, it only makes sense to allow the consumer to buy directly.

From: arctichill
07-Dec-17
Considering everything First Lite does for conservation, I am happy to buy direct without any expectation of a price decrease. Their gear is exceptional, but their commitment to public lands and our hubting heritage is second-to-none!

07-Dec-17
I feel for the stores in this equation. We love our small town shops but as a hunting company owner we enjoy the direct to consumer, Amazon, eBay approach much more. Add that most bowhunter do not have strong disposable income, we can offer 25% off on the website and do better than wholesaling to stores and the hunters gets a better price by far. Tough ball game lately!

From: No Mercy
07-Dec-17
Honestly, I feel this has more to do with $ than quality or anything else.

Carrying accounts receivable is a huge headache. Having enough working capital year in and year out to invest in R & D, and the next years inventory is also a constant pain. It's a vicious circle. Sitka started this exact way. Remember when they were out of everything by August in their first years? First Lite is a little better, but not a lot. I think their plan is to sell everything at their set retail vs. the discounts given to dealers. This may or may not work well for them-as others have stated. Their sizes throughout their catalog are not consistent. They need to fix this. It hurts to not be able to try these items on before buying. The dealers they are leaving hanging are not going to be much help as their is a sour taste by helping a company build, then get hung out to dry.

I wish them all the luck in the world-they're great guys with great product.

From: No Mercy
07-Dec-17
AND-the market price for the raw materials they use (Merino Wool) has gone up substantially.

  • Sitka Gear