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Assos sets up new online dealer network

Published August 1, 2012

SAN PIETRO di STABIO, Switzerland (BRAIN)Assos is restructuring its global online retailers to form a new network called AID, short for Assos Internet Dealer.

The new streamlined network will help convey a uniform brand story with all online retailers using images and copy aligned with Assos’ corporate strategy, said John Lindstrom, sales manager for Assos North America. The Swiss apparel manufacturer will also list authorized online retailers in its advertisements and on its home page as preferred dealers.

The authorized online retailers were selected by Assos and its distributors based on their level of commitment to the brand, the presentation of their websites and the quality of their online sales functions. In North America, Above Category and Excel Sports Boulder have been accredited as Internet dealers, and Lindstrom said three or four others are in the process of being approved.

There are 10 accredited retailers in Europe; three in South America; seven in Asia; two in Australia; and three in Africa. Retailers who are not up to speed with the AID requirements can still sell the brand in the short-term, but they won’t be promoted as approved dealers. Assos will continue adding certified online retailers in the future as it deems appropriate.

“Right now it’s just in its infancy. It’s a structure that we’ll be able to use as a tool going forward,” Lindstrom said.

The AID network plays into Assos’ overall goal of narrowing the number of retailers—online and brick and mortar—and selling through fewer, better quality shops. It also helps protect pricing and cut back on the proliferation of counterfeit Assos apparel.

On the product side, Assos has simplified its line with fewer colors choices and SKUs to help manage some of the challenges with selling apparel, such as the short sales season and the deep inventory requirements to satisfy consumer demand. That makes purchasing and inventory management easier for dealers, and hopefully, improves sell through. Its dealer program encourages sustainable growth by not offering discounts for large one-time buys, Lindstrom said.

“We just want good retailers, people who understand the product, sell through, and at the end of the day it’s all wrapped up into a good customer experience,” he said.

Topics associated with this article: Web/Internet

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