“Today is ya-ya day,” said Palmer President Jury Kunz of the final meeting of the Palmer Retailer trip. For the finale the staff spent three hours tying all the pieces of the week together and then asked the attending retailers to give direct feedback on whether Palmer was going in the right direction or not.

“You don’t need us, but we can’t live without you,” Kunz said honestly to the retailers to sum up his introduction, then passed the meeting over to Sales Managers Bob Klein and Marty Carrigan who introduced what the company hopes to be a great sales tool in these chosen shops: the Palmer Profit Center.

This display is specifically stocked with boards, boots, bindings, clothing, and accessories from Palmer and a group of partners it has lined up including companies like Dainese. The display is about four feet long and stands six feet high.

“Merchandising is the future,” said Carrigan. “As a small brand we can get lost in the crowd.” He hoped the display will help the retailers promote and move Palmer product in their stores.

The Palmer staff also announced that the company was teaming up with the American Skiing Company to build Palmer-X (boardercross) parks at all of its resorts for the coming season.

With the exposure Palmer hopes to get with the ASC resorts, the Swatch tour, and by sponsoring both national and international boardercross teams, the company believes there will be a lot of energy directed its way.

“We want to give you an opportunity to capitalize on a new trend” said Carrigan to the retailers. Of course, the company also realizes that it needs to expand out of the boardercross niche, and pointed out that it makes boards for all styles of riding. It asked the retailers for their opinions on how it should approach marketing to the bigger market.

Throughout the meeting, the retailers asked insightful questions and commented on things such as quality, price, and distribution of the products.

On that point, it was officially announced that Klein and Carrigan were dividing the country between themselves to act as sales managers/reps. In addition, the company is hiring new service reps who will be based in-house, but will travel to the shops frequently and help restock, merchandise, and clinic the shops.

Following the five days of factory tours, eating local meals, and a lot of bonding with the Palmer staff on several long bus rides across Europe, the group of retailers scattered. Some like Todd Roberts and Mikke Pierson from ZJ Boarding House in Santa Monica, California, headed to Prague for a couple of days of sightseeing. Others like Thom Forster of Gravity in Virginia Beach and Richmond, Virginia, charged Octoberfest in Munich, Germany. And a few others, like Chris Bachman of The Shred Shop, spent a day or two in Amsterdam.

All in all, every retailer who attended appreciated the magnitude of the undertaking that the Palmer staff attempted by showing off three factories in three different countries across Europe. Surely this effort will be rewarded in the upcoming buying season.

-John Stouffer