The effects of COVID-19 are too numerous to fully comprehend. Despite the stress and uncertainty, we are seeing extraordinary examples of generosity, kindness, and a positive outlook for the future.
It is in this spirit that Salomon, Baffin, SPY, ENDVR.io, and many more in the retail industry have come together to support independent sporting goods retailers through a not-for-profit initiative, The Shop Local Project.
This incredible collaboration aims to help local retailers weather this storm by providing an online platform to sell discounted gift cards, giving consumers a simple and direct way to support their favorite stores that may not have a well-developed online storefront.
“ENDVR has always been focused on building community – bringing together brands, stores, and frontline employees together to help drive sales on the store floor. The Shop Local Project is a great opportunity to build an even bigger community by giving consumers the chance to support their favourite local stores during these tough times, so that these businesses can continue to grow in the future.” Steve Gendron, Co-CEO at ENDVR.io
Through the Shop Local Project, retailers receive the proceeds from the sales daily, helping to keep stores afloat now so they continue to serve you in the future.
It is a simple solution to help support vulnerable members of our industry, as Virginie Murdison, Senior Marketing Manager from Salomon Canada explains,
“At Salomon we continue to explore ways that we can support those affected by the crisis, including our local specialty retailers. TSLP is making it easy for consumers to shop local from the comfort of their home, support their local gear shop today and buy that new product to reach the mountain tops or the city streets when the time is right.”
The Shop Local Project is not one person or one company — it’s the collective effort of a whole industry.
Its members share the common belief that the resilience of retail during this time requires a coordinated effort to support all stakeholders. Our goal for the future is to see a vibrant, thriving retail network ready to serve their community.
The Shop Local Project is focused on the lifeblood of our industry— the local stores and retail staff working directly with customers.
“Board Retailers Association endorses this worthwhile initiative. It is a great way to help all specialty retailers including those who are about to reopen or have already reopened to increase much needed cash flow immediately by incentivizing customers to purchase discounted Shop Gift Cards now before they are ready to actually step foot in the store. We like the way that this program is designed and feel good about backing it,” says BRA Executive Director Doug Works
This crisis has hit the entire retail sector very hard, and the sporting goods industry was not spared. With nowhere to play, sporting goods stores are closed, employees are laid-off, and in some cases sales have dropped to zero overnight.
Specialty retailers are valuable to the communities they serve, and they need help. Currently, over 75% of core shops are still closed, and about 50% of them do not have an e-commerce site that would help them maintain sales.
The Shop Local Project provides a solution with its online platform. There is no cost for brands or retailers who participate in this initiative.
It is an opportunity for brands to support their retail partners by using their marketing muscle to draw attention to local retailers, giving consumers the opportunity to lend support through their purchasing power.
As Mark Hubner, VP of Brand & Strategy at Baffin Footwear, explains, “The Shop Local Project is a shining example of how we rally together in times of crisis. When the team at ENDVR shared this idea, we didn’t think twice about jumping in to help out. It’s a refreshing opportunity, to help your community while maintaining safe-physical distance in a time when it can be challenging to do so.”
The end of this lockdown will be a gradual emergence back to ‘a new normal’. We know it’s a long road ahead but through collaboration, support, and vision we will be able to bounce back.
If you’re a brand or retailer who wants to get involved, get in touch.
Learn more at TheShopLocalProject.com