Maurice Sporting Goods, now celebrating 90 years in business, was established in 1923 by Maurice Olshansky as a sporting goods outlet in downtown Chicago. By 1958, the company had started to supply local discount stores with sporting goods and, today, it is the world’s largest distributor and manufacturer of wholesale fishing, camping, hunting, marine and athletic goods and accessories. The company’s main division, called Big Game International, imports brands of hunting, marine and athletic products.
“Our primary business has been with mass merchant discount and big box sporting goods stores,” shares Norm Pflomm, national account manager of Maurice Sporting Goods. Presently, the company is expanding into smaller retail outlets including drug, convenience and food stores. Maurice Sporting Goods’ fishing and hunting products are very SKU intensive, and the company features more than 50,000 products in its online catalog. To further complicate matters, products are regional and seasonal, Pflomm states, so what sells may differ from market to market.
To simplify things for smaller retailers, the company creates individual programs to generate sales in their specific venues. “We work with some of the larger stores that span the country, including Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sport’s Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and they don’t have enough knowledge about the seasonality and regionality of a lot of these types of products,” Pflomm points out. “They have us manage their businesses based on what is selling. We get a lot of our history off of POS sales and we apply that information to both large and small retail stores.”
Right now, the fishing season is starting, Pflomm notes, and the company’s fishing combos, which are complete rod and reel sets, are terrific sellers with good margins. A rod and reel combo from Shakespeare, for example, wholesales for $7.99 and retails for $19.99 to $21.99. For August and September sales, Pflomm suggests retailers stock up on hunting and fitness products. “Shooting sports are hot all year round, and we have shooting glasses which wholesale for $2.95 and retail for $15.99.” These plastic safety glasses are available with both clear and yellow lenses. “Exercise products sell well in the first and fourth quarters of the year,” Pflomm reveals. One hot item in this category is Maurice Sporting Goods’ four-pound strength training ball for women, which wholesales for $12.99 and retails for $39.99.
“We are committed to service and to giving our customers added value,” Pflomm continues. “We are up to speed on all the new technologies to both collect data and drive business so we can help our customers select the right products.” Maurice Sporting Goods has more than 100 sales people in the field who inventory, place orders and merchandise different products by creating displays and promotions.
The company offers several point-of-purchase displays, such as one for its “Ready to Fish” line for retailers new in the business. “Our ‘Ready to Fish’ combo is a rod and reel, with line on the reel and everything you need to go fishing in a small tackle box right on the rod and reel.” Maurice Sporting Goods’ cardboard display holds 24 of these combos. “Another great advantage we offer our customers is that we will break pack. We will ship down to a $150 order of a mix of products.” In addition, the company always has a number of items on special. Maurice Sporting Goods, with warehouses in Reno, Chicago and Atlanta, ships orders within 24 to 48 hours.
For more information:
Maurice Sporting Goods
1910 Techny Road
Northbrook, IL 60065
Toll Free: 800-477-3474