ANN ARBOR, MI (BRAIN)—Triathlon e-commerce retailer www.TheTriShop.com went live this week.
Founded by Scott Parr, former pro team mechanic and sales executive for a number of specialty sports companies, most recently Sugoi, TheTrishop.com is a response to huge growth in the triathlon category.
“This is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It’s doubled in the past four years in the U.S. in terms of events and participants,” Parr said.
Parr has teamed up with Michigan’s Two Wheel Tango, a Top 100 retailer, in an effort to reach both online and traditional brick and mortar consumers.
The two businesses have set up shop together in a new 11,000 square foot building in Canton, Michigan, which is comprised of traditional retail space and a distribution and service center. The Canton store is Two Wheel Tango’s third location and is set to open this spring.
TheTriShop.com will showcase triathlon bikes from Two Wheel Tango on its site to help drive more consumers into the store, particularly for professional bike fits. In turn, Two Wheel Tango will offer and sell product from the TheTriShop.com to local customers.
“Having worked with so many retailers over the years I understand how difficult it can be for a retailer to be strong both online and within brick and mortar. The beauty of this relationship is that it allows us to work together with greater focus and talent on each segment of the business allowing us to better serve the customer,” Parr said.
TheTriShop.com stocks about 2,000 SKUs with apparel and accessories from brands like 2XU, TYR, Zoot, Zipp, Louis Garneau, Sugoi and Hed. Parr estimates apparel and soft goods sales will make up about 70 percent of the online business, with equipment sales coming largely through brick and mortar.
Parr aims to differentiate his site from the competition with value added services like its Just Tri Fit program that allows consumers to order two sizes of any product and return the option that doesn’t fit for free.
He acknowledged the stiff competition from three major players in the online triathlon arena, led by trisports.com, but believes his new venture will measure up.
“As good as they are, there’s more demand than there is supply and there’s room for another player particularly one as good as we hope to be,” he said.