Reef recently invested in a new program to create sustainable in-store buildouts and fixtures. I talked to Reef Marketing Director PJ Connell to find out more about the program, how much it costs and how if it he thinks it will help Reef sell more products.
Why is it important for Reef to have sustainable buildouts?
At Reef, sustainability is a part of everyday business practices. It's our duty as passionate surfers and business people that we do whatever we can to improve the future state of our environment.
Retail marketing is only one facet of our overall sustainability efforts, however, it's an important one because of the amount of material that goes into the production of our retail environments. We want to ensure that when the lifespan of our retail space has reached its end that it can either be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way.
We're also really happy with the visual look and feel of the recycled materials, and how it helps to tell our brand story amongst a sea of competitors.
Where will we see them? What stores? Just in the U.S. or internationally as well?
We finalized the current sustainable retail look and feel toward the end of 2012 and have just now began to roll it out globally in Q1 and Q2 of 2013.
Within the U.S., we've overhauled our entire 2013 fixture production and installed custom buildouts within HSS, ET Surfboards, and Curl. Anyone with a strong account base knows that 'cleansing' the market of old fixtures is daunting.
However, we've put a multi-year mandate on this fixture program so all of our in-store environments, regardless of the account size, share a consistent look and feel.
Again, this is an ongoing process but we're committed to achieving consistency across all channels of distribution over the next three to five years.
See Page 2 for more information
What are the fixtures made from and what makes them sustainable?
The wood is mostly from Blue Pine, the cause of a bark beetle infestation throughout the Pacific Northwest. The bark beetle spreads its tree-killing disease by laying eggs in the tree sap. This is what turns the sap blue, thus you get a very rare type of wood look called Blue Pine. The bark beetle spreads fast thus massive amounts of trees have been cut down allowing us to divert the lumber from landfills.
At the moment, there is more supply then demand so we're in luck from a production standpoint. The metals used in our fixtures are repurposed/recycled metals that get re-welded back to life. The graphics on our fixtures are made from post consumer paper materials.
Does it cost more to make?
That's the epic part - no, it doesn't. We are able to repurpose materials while maintaining a premium look and feel that's in line with our visual merchandising standards. It’s honestly a win-win. By partnering with Evocal Design and Pacific Panel we're able to source design and production all within California to service the entire U.S., Canada, Central and South American account fixture and buildout needs.
Our overseas offices have the option to either source through the California-based U.S. production or work with local suppliers in their region to implement the same principle of fixture production but using locally-sourced materials. If our overseas offices decide to work off our production, then yes, they obviously pay an additional shipping premium to distribute them within their regions.
Will it help sell more Reef product?
The overall process of evolving our fixtures to be more sustainable helped us to improve functionality, which we hope will create a pleasurable shopping experience and thus, fuel sell through. The redevelopment process also proved to be an opportunity for us to further tell the Reef brand story, communicate our values and set ourselves apart from our competition on the retail floor.