truth-localThe wrong product, from the wrong place, at the right price is still the wrong product.

This holiday shopping season, I am asking you to consider what the image above is saying, and the positive effect that buying local has on you and your community. Big Box stores used to be the enemy, and one by one they are falling. Big store chains like The Sports Authority and Sports Chalet are but a memory. What caused these giants to fall ? There are several factors that contributed; but three main reasons that are continuing to undermine the specialty shop and the specialty shopping experience are the Internet, direct to consumer sales, and a simple lack of product knowledge.

The internet isn’t going away, but similar to what sparked the whole “Farm to Table” movement, with the food we eat, consumers are buying goods online from whoever, from wherever and killing the community relationships that are the back bone of America. This all too easy way of shopping is making it difficult for stores to stock products, keep staff employed, keep the lights on, and pay rent. The big box guys couldn’t react quickly enough and it caught up with them. Small specialty retail is next on the hit list.

Manufacturers have smelled the blood in the water and gotten greedy. Manufacturers that have had their entire brand built on the backs of retailers are now undercutting the very people who got them on the map by selling direct to the consumer. They have done this in an attempt to make their shareholders happy, and show huge profits, all at the expense of the local retailer. The manufacturer direct to consumer focus is to sell, sell, sell–not sell what is  best for the end user.

The other people who are getting shorted are the consumers. You can buy anything online, but is it the right thing ? Are the skis the right length ? Do they work for your ability ? Are the boots really the right size ? What do you do if they don’t fit ? These are all questions that can’t really be answered online. Specialty ski and board retail takes the time to test the products they sell, they have the ability to remain impartial and help you compare models and brands so that you get exactly what you need, to make your outdoor experience the best it can possibly be. The myth that everything bought online is cheaper, is simply not true. We monitor all of the BIG online retailers and 99 out of 100 times, we are the same or CHEAPER than the online guys, especially when you factor in the FREE mounting, seasonal maintenance, and our boot fit guarantee.

Let’s face it, ski and board purchases are not ones we make everyday, or every year for that matter, so when making your selection you want to be sure that you get the right product for the job. We at Zimmermanns guarantee that ANYTHING you purchase from us is going to deliver and do exactly what is intended to do. If not, we’re going to make it right. Online can’t do that.

Shop local. Shop with confidence. Shop happy.