First - thanks for your interest in our products.

This document has been produced to help you understand Ultra Sport’s approach to online only stores.  This has not been produced to put you off your enterprising plan but it has been developed to ensure that you have thought things through carefully.

We receive a great many proposals for online stores - usually more than one a week – and have produced this document to assist you in your deliberations and to enable you to provide us with the appropriate information.

What makes a proposal stand out?
There are 4 things that really make one proposal stand out from another :-
- Does the owner (and/or staff) have expertise in the sport(s)?
- Does the proposal have serious and appropriate funding in place?
- Is there a Business Plan in place (this should cover the above two points and also cover such topics as; staff, infrastructure, website, marketing)?
- Does the owner have the time and commitment to make this work?

In this document we will cover a few of these issues and point out some pitfalls -  the last thing we want you to do is to waste your time and money.  

Please also see our Online Trading Standards Document here.  You will need to acknowledge that you have read and agree to these standards when you open an account.

a) Expertise.
It is vital to us (and all decent brands) that our products are represented in a professional way.  This is, of course, important from a safety viewpoint but it is also important to us to be certain that consumers will be sold the right products to suit their needs and that our brands are presented properly.  To achieve these goals it is therefore vital to that you have a good knowledge of the sport(s) and expertise in these sports(s).

b)  Stock Finance.
Taking up one of our sports is not cheap!  Neither is it cheap to set up as a retailer.  You should anticipate that a minimum investment of £5,000 to £10,000 in each sports category would be necessary.  This does not differ if you are purely proposing online Etailing.

Retailers are not able to simply rely on us for a stockholding and need to pre-order their stock in advance.  Of course Ultra Sport do hold stock to back up those committed retailers for in-season business.  A good retail stock level is necessary to ensure availability of a broad range of products. 

History clearly shows that stores that do not commit to stock do not survive.

c) Web expertise.
Setting up a website can be cheap and easy - but a good, efficient website, with clear and easy eCommerce capabilities together with the skills and tools to keep it fresh and up to all comes at a price.  At the same time the website has to have serious SEO investment and it needs to be advertised in the print media and other websites in order to gain the visitors and customer base.  All this does not come cheap in terms of money or time commitment.  Ultra Sport would need to have a clear understanding of how all this will be undertaken in order to be sure the business will flourish

d) Time Commitment.
If the store is to run efficiently and effectively then it is necessary that someone is available to answer queries and support customers.  Who will be handling this aspect?  Are they fully committed to this or is it a part-time venture?  Again this is seen as part of the commitment to the store and the brands and, once again, it needs to be demonstrated that consumer confidence will be maintained throughout.

e) Pricing
Many proposals appear to indicate that pricing will be one of the biggest sales advantages – ie offering discounts to win customers.  Whilst all our retailers are at liberty and free to sell stock at any price it is important to understand how our products are priced, what the objectives are both for us and for our retailers.

Discounting is only one tool in the armoury and it is a very blunt tool and certainly not panacea to success.

Our first pricing objective is to win and maintain market share – in other words to increase sales of our products whilst, at the same time, running a profitable business.  Those goals are very similar to any of our retailers who work within their own territory - whether that be local, or nationwide.  

For Ultra Sport to achieve our objectives we work hard with our suppliers to bring the products to market at the best possible retail price - we have to take into account market conditions, competitors, production and distribution costs, marketing costs etc etc.

We then need to consider the retailer margin that we offer - and again we take into account the fact that the retailer has certain costs to cover and the fact that, hopefully, at the end of the day they too will make a profit.  Those retailers who do not make a profit usually can't pay their bills and end up going out of business!  Without being too simplistic it is a fact that far too many people do not take the true costs of running a retail business into account.  Ultra Sport believe that the retail margin on our products allows for good, efficient businesses to cover their operating costs, offer their customers great service and, at the same time, end up with a profit.

We hope that this paper may help you understand our market a little better and may help you move forward with your business.  

What we require from all new businesses is a reasonable Business Plan, a demonstration of the owner’s commitment to the business and then a face to face meeting at Ultra Sport so that we can really understand the business, the goals and objectives and take things forward.

We look forward to hearing from you so that things can move forward. No doubt you will have further questions so please do not hesitate to get back to us and we will do our best to help.

Gordon Way
Managing Director
T: 01332 813 150

Ultra Sport Europe Ltd.
Carnival Way,
Castle Donington,
Derbyshire DE74 2HP

01332 813 150

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