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So Cal Rep Group Opens Brand Showroom

Published January 13, 2011

SOLANA BEACH, CA (BRAIN)—Southern California rep agency Axis Sports Group has opened a showroom in North County San Diego.

Axis Sports Group spent three months renovating a narrow 1,250-square-foot space with wood flooring, slatwall and sophisticated lighting to spotlight products. The showroom has five flat screen TVs, including a 46-inch flat screen on a swivel mount for visual presentations to retailers. The space will allow it to present a full range of inline product for its brands such as Easton Bell Sports and Camelbak.

“We’re happy with the way it turned out and we’re ready to put it to work,” said Chuck Gerst, a partner in Axis Sports Group with Tony Coyne and Gary Kropp.

The permanent showroom is a big step beyond the temporary hotel showrooms that outside reps frequently use to present lines in-season. Gerst said the ability to display an entire line, not just a selection of product, was a strong motivation.

“Things will fall through the cracks if you can’t show it and give it its chance to shine. Because we’re a large agency, and Easton Bell Sports alone is so big, we want to show everything,” he said. “To have a permanent showroom that we can constantly manipulate and enhance what we sell in a professional layout will increase sales.”

The showroom is strategically located in Solana Beach off Pacific Coast Highway, a popular cycling route, and across the street from an Amtrak station. Axis Sports Group hopes to use the commuter rail to transport retailers from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara down to San Diego for a full day of presentations and an overnight stay. The idea, Gerst said, is to draw owners away from the shop and capture their undivided attention.

“The elimination of distraction is the big thing. I joke I’m going to have a basket at the door for their keys and mobile phone,” said Gerst. “This is the best chance to get their most focused attention by physically removing them from the store.”

Gerst hopes that in addition to increasing business, concentrating presentations in the showroom will save time and speed up the preseason sales cycle.

“My ultimate goal,” said Gerst, “is to say, ‘why didn’t we do this sooner.’”

(Photo: Tony Coyne and Chuck Gerst of Axis Sports Group.)

—Megan Tompkins

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