Support your local Kayak shop

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paddletastic2
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by paddletastic2 »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
DaveBland wrote:There used to be a retailer near Stratford-upon-Avon that had premises in a building on a farm in the middle of no-where. ....................I don't think it worked out for them in the end [?]
You'll be thinking of Brookbank Warwick previously called Paddlesport at Compton Verney
In my humble opinion the Compton Verney operation failed because of poor service. Myself and a number of friends had really poor experiences in the days of Paddlesport that lead me to actively seek out other retailers.
buck197 wrote:On the Go Outdoors sign outside the store they don't list Go Canoeing or Go Kayaking, should they which will help to promote the sport?
I think Kayak Trader had space in Go Outdoors Coventry for a while and it didn't work out.

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by DaveBland »

paddletastic2 wrote:In my humble opinion the Compton Verney operation failed because of poor service.
100% agree.
dave

chris leesmith
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by chris leesmith »

Performance Kayaks wrote:
Kev W wrote:Paddleworks at Mile end mill in Llangollen is to close shortly as well and go online.
That won't happen from our experience.
Tom_Laws wrote:Struggling to find a new favourite paddle shop in the absence of Rich and Dizz. Pete at Summit to Sea has been fantastic, and the Surflines fellas came up with goods today, but neither of them have taken me for dinner yet. I miss PK. Come and visit you big bunch of softies.
Thanks Tom, we miss you too. We will come and visit, but we are struggling to work out how we managed to open the shop on a Saturday as our weekends are so full now!!!
What was your experience Rich? You seem to be pretty adamant that online companies cannot work and yet in virtually all other aspects of life online is growing and online only stores thrive.

Cheers

Chris
Paddleworks

chris leesmith
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by chris leesmith »

Kev W wrote:Interesting thoughts. Personally I would have thought paddle works at Llangollen was in the perfect place but again it will close shortly. I'm sure the access wrangling on site haven't helped but to be honest I always found the shop a little sterile. I've rarely seen people buying when I've been in there. I always thought Eddylines was much more vibrant and busy, but again that didn't last.
I think the closure of shops will affect potential new paddlers entering the sport as when you start you want to look at all the gear before buying
Sorry your experience in Paddleworks was sterile. We went to a fair bit of trouble to create a nice shopping environment for paddlers post Eddylines. The overwhelming majority of customers I believe appreciated it. If that in some way made the shop sterile then sorry but I disagree.
As for how many folk where buying on the occasions you where in the shop....well I'm scratching my head about that too. Its a really odd and picky observation if i'm honest.

Chris
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chris leesmith
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by chris leesmith »

ChrisE wrote:I've got a feeling that partially paddleworks might be being kicked out by nomad, who own the site.
Although I can't remember any basis for this other than a strange feeling I have...
Is this a feeling in fingers your fingers, a feeling in your toes? Partially???

Your statement seems unnecessarily nasty and shows that you don't know the individuals involved and as such are not qualified to make these comments.

The closure of the shop is based purely on economics as has been illustrated by the closure of Performance kayaks, Cheltenham Canoes, Berkshire canoes, Swansea Canoes, Reed of Cambridge, our Bala shop, Dragon River Supplies, The Brookbank chain and others besides. At least a dozen in the past 18 mths.

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by chris leesmith »

Sorry folks but felt I had to answer some of those comments and I came to the thread quite late.

Chris
Paddleworks

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morsey
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by morsey »

chris leesmith wrote:You seem to be pretty adamant that online companies cannot work and yet in virtually all other aspects of life online is growing and online only stores thrive.
Think it might be a restriction by suppliers wanting shops to have a physical presence as well as online, rather than the model not being a workable concept. I'd guess it would be because after sales will go straight to the supplier and they are not set up for that, and would consider that aspect to be the role of shops! And then they might as well sell direct, and that then puts pressure on other shops!

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janet brown
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by janet brown »

Chris, I always found Paddleworks an enjoyable visit, and rarely went through Llangollen without popping in to look at what was there. Last time I was swayed by a PeakUK semidry cag at a great price. Didn't really need it, but the colour matched my boat! Proved absolutely ideal in the Alps, so certainly not regretted getting it. Unfortunately, impulse buys not so likely to happen online :-)

Good luck with your online shop: will certainly add it to my favourites on laptop. I don't have a local shop as such, with Brighton Canoes an hour in the wrong direction. Tend to use AS Watersports on my way to Devon to visit family/paddle and the shop at CIWW.
Brookbank London was extremely useful for kayak demo's (1 for me, 3 for Dave) at Lee Valley, but eventually we both bought different boats elsewhere, so perhaps their outlay in demo boats wasn't successful in creating a sale to us at least.

Janet

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Rdscott »

Luckily my local kayak shop isn't closing down, and i will always support it,i have had nothing but impecable service from them, and they even managed to sort out warranty on an item bought else where. (france).

Unfortunatly i cannot say the same about other shops i have been in and have regular been disappointed by the service and the capabilities of some of them.

Not All, but in one case it doesn't supprise me that they are in difficulty if they treat all there customers the way they treated me the last few times i have been in.

I disagree with the phrase support your local shop i feel you should support the shop that you feel is worth your buisness.

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morsey
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by morsey »

:-( I miss PK :-(

Sadness for the other shop closures too :-(


Buying fake copies off the internet! Bad.

chris leesmith
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by chris leesmith »

morsey wrote:
chris leesmith wrote:You seem to be pretty adamant that online companies cannot work and yet in virtually all other aspects of life online is growing and online only stores thrive.
Think it might be a restriction by suppliers wanting shops to have a physical presence as well as online, rather than the model not being a workable concept. I'd guess it would be because after sales will go straight to the supplier and they are not set up for that, and would consider that aspect to be the role of shops! And then they might as well sell direct, and that then puts pressure on other shops!
Some suppliers may not wish to sell to online only stores but that shouldn't detract from those that will. Perhaps PK only wished to sell SX and Palm sourced gear, in which case there would have been a problem. Plenty of other brands and great products around.

As for the warranty issue you raise, I don't think that's the case. There is currently a massive online shopping culture.....its not a new thing. Plus ALL kayak retailers are selling online and doing mail order and will naturally be dealing with warranties regularly.

Lastly plenty of suppliers already sell direct in one guise or other, but thats not the problem, its the price they sell for or in other words if they actively and aggressively undercut their dealers. I could name one that can't help themselves....

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Simon Westgarth »

SPL wrote:In the time that I have known of performance kayaks the shop has gone from thriving to impossible and therefore sadly closed.
In the same time Palm has grown from a small unit with few staff to a very large brand new unit and an established national/international company.
The two businesses are 10 miles apart and although I appreciate there are many other factors involved I would expect to see a stronger correlation in their success and failure seeing as they "should", "might have" or "used to" rely upon one another.

Let me be clear that in no way do I mean to lay blame on Palm for the demise of PK but the industry as a whole needs to be concerned if as well as the independent shops being unable to survive but neither can the chains.

(Sorry to go on about it Rich..x)
The are more factors are play, than outlined here. The previous owner of PK, started the business and told it to a point where it was sold to Richard and Dizzy. Rich purchased the business, and made a great stab at it, with Palm close by, could go and collect gear easily and promptly get orders that he had no stock of, but Palm did, so its an advantage. At the time PK changed hands, Palm had already been for 10 years or more at their current site. PK was always only ever a small specialist shop, and never employed more than a single person, so any changes in the market or business plan could and clearly did have an impact on venue. Rich and Dizzy got out with all their money which is a good thing, and for the year's they ran it, it produced an income for Rich, but they struggled to build value in the business, which for any retailer is very difficult indeed. This is not at all a criticism but simply an observation.

Palm on the over hand, after the move in 2000 to a purpose built unit and as the licensee for Dagger in Europe, have gone on to strengthen their export market considerably, in addition to being able to offer value products across paddlesports to their home market too, with the launch and development of several new brands. The question of direct sales, is often posed, yet the dealer network is what built their business, and as such its the backbone of the supply side of the industry. Direct online sales, is only ever likely to erode over the longer term the dealer network and possible a prime way people come into the sport. Direct sales are unlikely to aid growth in participation. We are at a cross roads there is little doubt, with the closure of 12 stores in the UK in the past year a lone, yet is this simply down to the lack of money available in the economy at this time. Retail outlets that offer a wider set of services are probably the way forward. The likes of in house introduction to paddlesports, along the lines of AS on the Water have proved highly successful, plus sudo-club style paddling generated by a store, is likely to build on customer relations. Making and developing events to strengthen & drive local participation is much needed, across Europe where I see this happening are the most successful stores. Box shops, have their place offering efficient value based services, but I sincerely hope these are the exemption and not the norm, paddling and the culture of paddling has substance and a depth to it, and a generic approach to sales, is unlikely to drive paddling on, beyond the simple sale of gear.

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by quicky »

One of the main problems with online shops is you cannot compare and try boats. Paddles days are good for this but you don't always get all the manufacturers there and sometimes the big events like at the NEC cost too much to travel down and get into.

It is a shame that there are a lot of paddle stores closing down. With a niche market like this is will always be tricky business to be in. There will be a situation soon where you may have to travel a long way to try a boat that you cannot get locally. It is a real shame.

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by jmmoxon »

Boats, which are generally the highest priced items, have the smallest margins for retailers...

Kayaks & Paddles seem to have a robust business model:
https://www.duedil.com/company/03293845 ... th-limited

Mike
http://kayakworldguide.forums-free.com Links to websites with info on white water, touring, sea & surf.

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Jonny Briggs
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Jonny Briggs »

This post has been interesting, it got me thinking about my kayak related purchases. When I bought my first new boat (Dagger G Force) It was at good price, I got to demo it in the pool (heated) plus I was shown how to double pump, bow stall in it. Amazing service, I then bought my creek boat 6 months later. Unfortunately for the shop the G Force is everything I need in a play boat and my Diesel has lasted for 5 years! But I know where I will be spending my money if it ever breaks.

This goes back to what I was saying earlier about destination retailing. The boat purchase wasn't just a simple transaction, it was an investment, event and exciting day, an experience.

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Performance Kayaks
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Performance Kayaks »

I do feel that Destination Stoores are the way forward, but until someone has the investment funds to have Bikes, Outdoor Kit and Kayaking Kit all under the same roof they are a long way off.

Saying that, I think that Ro-Ho and Up and Under are that way inclined.

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Summit to Sea »

Rich, have you seen our shop/site (still stacking the virtual shelves)? But exactly that combination you've mentioned, with live online stock levels.

http://www.summittosea.co.uk

Here are our two latest you tube adverts as well:

A Christmas Appeal from Pete's kids

The "£1,000 Giveaway"

Happy Christmas

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by up and under »

Performance Kayaks wrote:I do feel that Destination Stoores are the way forward, but until someone has the investment funds to have Bikes, Outdoor Kit and Kayaking Kit all under the same roof they are a long way off.

Saying that, I think that Ro-Ho and Up and Under are that way inclined.
Rich

I am able to confirm that Up and Under has been a destination shop for the best part of 30 years. We are able to offer a wide range of watersports equipment that are all paddle related. In the summer we also supply a selection of body boards and snorkelling gear.

Due to Up and Under being located in a large 2 storey shop, we also carry a wide range of rock climbing kit, high altitude mountaineering, fell running, hill walking and caving equipment.

In addtion to this we also have a "Professional" section that deals with industrial rope access gear, equipment that is ideal for high ropes courses, gear for tree surgery and much much more.

For further information on what Up and Under (outdoor gear) Can offer check out our website:-

Up and Under - Outdoor Gear - http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Outdoor/
Up and Under - Watersports - http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Watersports/
Up and Under - Professional - http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Professional/

Cheers

James

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up and under
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by up and under »

Performance Kayaks wrote:I do feel that Destination Stoores are the way forward, but until someone has the investment funds to have Bikes, Outdoor Kit and Kayaking Kit all under the same roof they are a long way off.

Saying that, I think that Ro-Ho and Up and Under are that way inclined.
Rich,

Thanks very much for the plug, it's much appreciated.

It's true Up and Under has been a destination shop for the best part of 30 years offering a wide range of watersports equipment that are all paddle related. In the summer we also supply a selection of body boards and snorkelling gear.

Due to Up and Under being located in a large 2 storey shop, we also carry a wide range of clothing and equipment for climbing and Alpinism, high altitude mountaineering, big walling, fell running, hill walking and caving.

In addtion to this we also have a "Professional" section that deals with gear for industrial rope access, rescue, high ropes courses and tree surgery.

We are an also active B2B company supplying; outdoor centres, access companies, schools, youth groups and emergency services.

For further information on what Up and Under (outdoor gear) can offer check out our website:-

Up and Under - Outdoor Gear - http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Outdoor/
Up and Under - Watersports - http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Watersports/
Up and Under - Professional - http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Professional/

or contact contract@upandunder.co.uk for any B2B enquiries.

Cheers

James

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

Performance Kayaks wrote:I do feel that Destination Stoores are the way forward, but until someone has the investment funds to have Bikes, Outdoor Kit and Kayaking Kit all under the same roof they are a long way off.

Saying that, I think that Ro-Ho and Up and Under are that way inclined.
Destination Store = Decathlon

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by ruralweb »

Performance Kayaks wrote:
I do feel that Destination Stoores are the way forward, but until someone has the investment funds to have Bikes, Outdoor Kit and Kayaking Kit all under the same roof they are a long way off.

Saying that, I think that Ro-Ho and Up and Under are that way inclined.
But is this not what Go Outdoors is except for the canoe bit - I was in cotswold camping newcastle last week and they have white water kayaks and kit upstairs now
Mal

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by tambakosi »

[/quote]
But is this not what Go Outdoors is except for the canoe bit - I was in cotswold camping newcastle last week and they have white water kayaks and kit upstairs now[/quote]

Cotswold have been selling kayaking gear for years, I brought my first kayak (Dagger Freefall LT) from them in about 1998. They don't seem to advertise it much, my local store doesn't carry any kayaking products.

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Summit to Sea »

ruralweb wrote:
Performance Kayaks wrote:
I do feel that Destination Stoores are the way forward, but until someone has the investment funds to have Bikes, Outdoor Kit and Kayaking Kit all under the same roof they are a long way off.

Saying that, I think that Ro-Ho and Up and Under are that way inclined.
But is this not what Go Outdoors is except for the canoe bit - I was in cotswold camping newcastle last week and they have white water kayaks and kit upstairs now
It is, and that's part of the problem, they take the volume sales that are totally price oriented from the specialist retailers who offer advice & service and have invested in demo fleets and stocking the higher end product. Those entry level sales are necessary to prop up a specialist retailer. Our SOT sales this year are almost equal to our composite boat sales. I've heard that in some other "specialist" stores (as opposed to the generalist GO & Decathlon) SOT outsell composite 100:1, that's not a huge problem for us, we haven't tried to position ourselves at that end of the market. It does however mean that the investment made in a large demo fleet & stock takes much more time to see a return on and the constant pressure to discount means that it's harder to see this being a sustainable business in the current economic climate if we attempt to maintain the level of service we've offered to date. Something has to give, maybe the changes in the market over the last few weeks will help, maybe they won't certainly 2012 has been a difficult year to be a kayak retailer (our diversification into the bike market came at just the right time), 2013 looks like it might be an interesting year for the specialist.

I wish all my peers within the industry the very best of luck and a prosperous 2103.

Happy Christmas,
Pete

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Bryn_420 »

I thought that I would add another opinion to this which hasn't seemed to come up yet. Second hand kit, I've been paddling for 5 years(ish) now and have never bought any new kit.

With everything being so well made and lasting the test of time I swear that a lot of especially younger paddlers (and students like me) buy some second hand which could be a contributing factor?

As now getting access to second hand kit is now so much easier, through forums and sites like ebay, perhaps more people are buying/selling second hand kit more? Also getting advice on Forums like this seems to be growing so perhaps that means that some people will buy without trialing and not from a shop.

Just my opinion.

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Performance Kayaks
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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Performance Kayaks »

Scots_Charles_River wrote:Destination Store = Decathlon
Really???? For Kayaking?
ruralweb wrote:But is this not what Go Outdoors is except for the canoe bit
Therefore, obviously, not for canoeing and kayaking.
ruralweb wrote:I was in cotswold camping newcastle last week and they have white water kayaks and kit upstairs now
I bought my RPM from them in 1997, but they have only dabbled in our sport.

I mean Destination Stores that have all that the specialists have, otherwise it is not a destination.

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by Performance Kayaks »

Summit to Sea wrote:Rich, have you seen our shop/site (still stacking the virtual shelves)? But exactly that combination you've mentioned, with live online stock levels.

http://www.summittosea.co.uk
Hi Pete. I'm sorry, but I had not seen this but good work in progress.

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by ruralweb »

Therefore, obviously, not for canoeing and kayaking.
But they have this summer at the Penrith store.
Mal

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by quicky »

The other option is a shared cost store. Some of the local garden centers do it round here. Individual stores, each under one roof offering different services or products but sharing the cost of the rent.

so maybe near a river for kayaking, and a small climbing wall as well as a climbing shop. Kite surfing, bike shop, surfing, diving etc etc. Each might not be able to run a big rented area alone but together they might be able to cover the bases.

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by BaldockBabe »

Stores like the Sweatshop get people back time and time again by running a running club. The number of times I went and saw members of the club buying new kit before the club session and proudly running around town with their Sweatshop free running top (earned after 5 club sessions). With so much competition in the running clothing world (particularly online) it seems this has been a cheap and cheerful way of getting customers to return for the "specialist advice" and kit that they offer even if it is slightly more pricey.

Unfortunately anyone can run so coaching is not really a requirement and it can be done in any town centre (though they were great at helping the less fit get into running by having someone coaching and motivating them).

I don't have the answers (as to how it could work) but maybe a similar model could be used by those paddling shops near water?

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Re: Support your local Kayak shop

Post by ruralweb »

I think most people are put off kayaking at an early age TBH - their introduction to the sport is normally putting on a clammy wetsuit on a cold day on cold water then they practice capsizing. The rest of the day is spent shivering and making a mental note never to do it again!

Most people I speak to have this memory and they pass it on so people keep away from trying it. There are very few days in this country where it's perfect conditions ( certainly in the lakes) and most of the lakes are cold all year round. People are scared about falling in and being trapped in a kayak - this is why SOTs are so popular.

If introductions to the sport were in a dry suit then things may be different and more people would take up the sport. I'm always amazed at the lack of kayaker/canoeist I see out and about even in the susmmer holidays. Which there are millions of walkers, cyclists etc in the lakes.
Mal

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