It was with real interest I read the recent story about Tesco and Unilever’s dispute over price increases and it made me think back to the pricing concerns I raised in August.
When I highlighted these concerns it was clear this sort of inevitable price increase would happen across the board, not just in golf.
Over the past few weeks I have been involved in our annual discussions with brands on terms and pricing for next year and most brands are faced with currency and manufacturing increases of anything up to 15%.
However, most will not pass all of this on to retailers. It is pretty clear they are working hard to limit the damage. Through imaginative pricing and some changes to their go-to-market terms, they will share the pain across all of their categories.
Some increases will be bigger on just a few products, some will change settlement discounts, as the cost of finance is more expensive, tagged onto exchange rates and a few, notably PowaKaddy and PING, have indicated no changes for the foreseeable future.
The message here is that retailers must be extremely clear on understanding the pricing and terms of every brand they deal with. Take an hour or two to digest the info so you know exactly how the pricing can be set for next year.
Also be sure that if the price has gone up at wholesale, that increase is passed on to the consumer. It will be happening in every sector, Tesco included, so don’t risk the stability of your business by starving it of profit for all the wrong reasons.
Avoid listening to reps and agents who continually talk of ‘street price’ – this price is of no benefit to you at all – sell products for as much as you can get for them and don’t be embarrassed about making money.
This has been a challenging year and 2017, I have no doubt, will throw up many challenges.
Remain commercially agile and react to any changes in the market forces, control inventory, buy little and often.
As ever, fingers are crossed for some decent weather, which annually is, by far, the golf retailers biggest competitor.