As the merchandiser for the Technical Outerwear, Golf , Swimwear, and Surf collections, my focus was twofold: increase margins substantially and reorganize the collection, including missing entry price points.
The Technical Outerwear category was growing in sales every year, due to well-designed products. However, it was losing money and suffered in volume, due to a lack of price point and SKU focus. Partnering with design and development, the material costs were decreased. Partnering with sales and regional brand management, key price points, including margin builders, were identified and built into the line. A pyramid structure in SKU and line architecture was created and adhered to with discipline. Partnering with Sports Marketing and Design, the first athlete signature series was developed for Gretchen Bleiler. Significant progress was made in one season to create a well-architected category and the groundwork laid for its future success.
The Golf collection needed to be completely overhauled. The collection saw its peak in sales in Spring 2005. Since that time, it lost its direction and lost business. Utilizing my performance background, I quickly repositioned the category from a fashion focused, non performance category to a stylish, performance enhanced collection. Price points were completely rethought, as were silhouettes and classifications. This dramatic change, along with a new, creative designer, lead to a turn around for this category and won the praises of retailers, translating into sales. The decline of the category was halted. Revenue increased 2% overall, mostly driven by a 57% increase in women’s in the first season alone.
The Surf and Swim collections required lowering price points to meet the competitive market without losing margin, in my first season at Oakley. Partnering with design and development we were able to reorganize the line to meet those targets and partnering with sales, we were able to identify and build into the strategy margin builders at entry price points to support the premium business. Revenue increased by 7% and unit volume increased by 13% in the first season, not counting at once business. Women’s Swim saw the most dramatic increases with +38% revenue and+23% unit volume.