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Snow & Rock Owner Announces CVA In Attempt To Combat Falling Profits

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
http://www.boardsportsource.com/2019/04/26/snow-rock-owner-announces-cva-in-attempt-to-combat-falling-profits/
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Explains the firesale of ski stock this spring...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Terrible shop.
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skitech wrote:
Terrible shop.


Really? It is a shop? When ever I used to go in I found most of the staff couldnt be arsed to serve, so I always thought they were static art installations.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Rent has got to be horrific for the S&R sites..
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Cotswold Outdoors is part of the same group and while it doesn't do ski equipment I think many Snowheads would miss it more.
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In their defence the S&R in Exeter service was always pretty good with friendly, approachable staff. Boot fitting service was decent as well.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
When I first started skiing 30 years ago S&R on Kensington High Street was one of the best ski shops around, and no trip to London was complete without a visit. But I can't remember buying anything from S&R in the last 10 years. Ellis Brigham are now much more like what S&R used to be like.

Seems to be a classic case of over expansion too much competition.
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beenative wrote:
In their defence the S&R in Exeter service was always pretty good with friendly, approachable staff. Boot fitting service was decent as well.


No too bad in Chertsey either.
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I've found S+R staff pretty good the last couple of times I've been in. But their biz model is essentially fecked - a store at Monument with high footfall but no staff to actually serve and work tills at same time, a huge shed at Chertsey deserted 60+% of the week. Far too much soft goods still on the floor in Chertsey when I stopped in week before Easter and a poor range in the bike shop which should have been punting e bikes and full bouncers like crazy.

The internet has fecked the big box specialised retail model.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Dave of the Marmottes, I'd say 80% of the time. Their £1k Kjus jackets look meh.

And sports direct!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Haven’t been in S&R for years, sorry to see them struggle but whoever was doing their buying (based on their website I very occasionally viewed) was stuck in the 90’s. I hope they don’t drag Cotswold down with them, that used to be a good shop but again I’ve not been in for a long time....I tend to buy gear abroad where there is greater choice.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
beenative wrote:
In their defence the S&R in Exeter service was always pretty good with friendly, approachable staff. Boot fitting service was decent as well.


My old man went there to buy a helmet a couple months back and basically got ignored. The guy with the one arm upstairs in Cycle Surgery is much better at speaking to you.

Personally I prefer not to be bother with the "everything okay, sir" thing, I'd far rather just find someone when I've got a question.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
...Personally I prefer not to be bother with the "everything okay, sir" thing, I'd far rather just find someone when I've got a question.
+1

And it gets really irritating in the big shops like Chertsey, where you can be approached half a dozen times by different employees.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I callled into Snow and Rock today looking for a waterproof jacket. The Rab downpour that caught my eye was £130. The same jacket in GoOutdoors was £90. Joe Brown's had it at £59. At those prices it is hardly suprising that no one uses Snow and Rock anymore. I left. All the shops give a 15% BMC discount or just knock 15% off if you ask.

Quote:

Personally I prefer not to be bother with the "everything okay, sir" thing, I'd far rather just find someone when I've got a question.

I think this is the shop assistants teling you that they are watching you and you shouldn't think about shop lifting.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Agree with JohnE. I hate being followed round shops and made to feel like a spiv
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@johnE, yeah, because it’s easy to stick a pair of skis up your jumper.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@johnE, yeah, because it’s easy to stick a pair of skis up your jumper.


I find the brakes can be a bit painful and dig into you if you don't make sure they are retracted first...... Toofy Grin
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In the Port Solent shop a few weeks ago, reasonably in the mood to spend money, but the prices were just daft.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I bought some snowboard boots in one when I was in the UK a couple of years ago. crazy cheap compared to NZ and decent boots too. The guy spent a couple of hours with me on fitting them all and sorting some footbeds out. I was well impressed.

But I probably have low expectations being from NZ Very Happy
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They will price match. I assume the shopfloor prices are for people who haven't heard of the internet, are wealthy enough that they don't care or are too embarassed to ask.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:


My old man went there to buy a helmet a couple months back and basically got ignored.


Helmet and pricey goggles for me (in Bristol). Bought 'em online in the end.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Dave of the Marmottes, I’m amazed that people don’t ask the “do you price match” question more often. When dad was buying his helmet he was worried about getting one online in case it didn’t fit properly, which is why I told him to go to S&R, try some on and then ask the question. Most big retailers have some sort of price match.

If shops don’t price match then I’ll just google the item and see what it’s abailable for.
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I'm sure when I worked in Addlestone, I used to drop by the Chertsey store, check stuff out, then go buy it elsewhere.
When I worked in Filton (Bristol), the store there opened while I was there, and was so convenient, I could buy whatever during lunch break (in the pub opposite). And was far more convenient than driving out to the parcelfarce depot.
There was a better store Clifton way though.

Must be hard to compete with Go Outdoors etc. though. Specially some of the bikes, which get some pretty decent reviews, and cost peanuts. And probably get a further discount by having the card?
Although I was not particularly impressed with my one and only Go Outdoors visit.

Do they still send out a free catalogue every 6 months?
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Their marketing is laughable. 0-3 likes per Facebook post...
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Most of the staff in the S&R in the Chillfactore are ok. One or two need an injection of enthusiasm. But that’s probably the same in most shops. However, their prices are crazy. Hence why I buy most of my stuff on line, with obvious exception of boots. I dread to think what the rent is for S&R in the CFe. Costa Coffee in the CFe closed about a month ago. Don’t know the reason.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I'm amazed that things like this (and airport shopping chicanes) work at all - it's no longer 1982, they've been dis-intermediated.
I would not invest in chain retail - they offer nothing you can't get online cheaper and better.

The South Ken shop was, as described, pretty much the only place you could get decent gear in London when it started.
Wasn't the founder a guy who was a skier who ended up in a wheelchair following some crash?

johnE wrote:
... I think this is the shop assistants telling you that they are watching you and you shouldn't think about shop lifting.

I hate being hassled as much as ignored. "assistants" (!) are generally easy to politely get rid of though.
I'm sure they only do what they're instructed to do. I think if I felt they were observing me that I'd challenge them about that directly. Just ask them "can I help you?", perhaps. I'm sure they'd get out of the way.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I seem to be on their mailing list, but apart from a couple of pairs of sunnies off the rack in Covent Garden, I struggle to think if I've ever bought anything from them Confused Their stores are all huge, fancy pieces of prime real estate – it was quite exciting when they moved into the old River Island unit in Leeds only a few years ago, but I always felt disappointed by their range of overpriced stock. Once, I was looking for a hard shell jacket to ski in but they didn't stock a single one Shocked

Are there really enough people willing to clad themselves head to toe in £1500 worth of over insulated Kjus gear to keep them in business? I wouldn't especially like to see them go, but they never seemed to stock much "for me".
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Countless store browsing days but never managed to buy anything significant from them except ski service, even with 15% off from gb ski club their price range is above my spending targets for skiing stuff
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I have actually bought stuff from Snow and Rock. I bought my first pair of ski boots from them. I knew the assistant as a climbing partner (he actually climbed the North Face of the Eiger). At the time they were the only place that would actually sell you the classic 4 buckle boot. All the other places seemed to only stock those terrible rear entry boots. I even bought my latest ski jacket from them when I found just the right jacket at half price in an end of season sale. But they have downhill since.

I suspect going into selling up market bikes has been a big mistake with places such as Evans cycles also in trouble.

Has anyone been into Blacks recently. I stopped going when the assistant proudly announced they didn't sell boots in 1/2 sizes, so effectivly saying they didn't cater for 1/2 the population.

Now, I am afraid that I buy most of my gear from Intersport, Go outdoors, Joe Brown's and Needle sport (online) but my latest pair of skis came from Ellis Brigham in Tamworth.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Someone on snowHeads flagged up the Snow & Rock sale and The Boy needed some new ski pants so I clicked through, selected a pair that looked cool and were 'massively reduced', put them in the basket and before committing did a quick Google... where I was flagged up at least 3 places doing the exact same product significantly cheaper.

Doing OktoberTest in Hemel and Chill Factore, I've tried, often, to get S&R involved - with no distance to travel and test kit on site, it seems a no-brainer that they'd want to engage with enthusiastic [potential] customers - but no, arsed is something they generally seem unable to be.

It has always struck me as a company run by accountants and investors pulling strings from on-high. I don't know how accurate this impression is.
Ellis Brigham still feels like it's run by enthusiasts - again, just an impression.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Its interesting, as commented above, maybe a lot spent on rent/fit out but I always had the impression that the staff were unmotivated to sell so perhaps too little spent on that selling mechanism? Poorly paid?

And for me a hugely important one, after all why I go into a shop is for expertise and a bit of salesmanship.

Something I have noticed in most of the high street chains.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Have normally bought my ski boots from them, only exception was buying a pair in Livigno donkeys ago!!!

Like to get them properly fitted, and last ones were a good deal as well.

All other clothing/equipment we buy online nowadays, presumably like most others as well.

The other thing that has struck me recently, has been their lack of exposure lately at the Ski show. I cannot actually remember them being there last year at all, whereas they used to have a massive presence at Olympia. Surely, as a winter sport retailer you would have thought they would have tried to make more of an effort. Maybe they tried, but were unable to, due to lack of space???
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@Scarlet, ...what do you mean head to toe in 1500 gbp worth of kjus? Are you not going to bothe mr with any ski trousers?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
valais2 wrote:
@Scarlet, ...what do you mean head to toe in 1500 gbp worth of kjus? Are you not going to bother with any ski trousers?
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@terrygasson, Ski show logic seemed to be - we can't afford a big stand to showcase all our wares so we'll put out some iPads to show customers how easy internet shopping is. Forgetting that with a huge real estate and staff portfolio they need more margin that a dodgy geezer operating out of a defunct post office etc needs.
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valais2 wrote:
valais2 wrote:
@Scarlet, ...what do you mean head to toe in 1500 gbp worth of kjus? Are you not going to bother with any ski trousers?


Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

dodgy geezer operating out of a defunct post office

@Dave of the Marmottes, all the best ski businesses operate out of ex PO premises I'll have you know!
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Few observations from my side; this is the owner of S&R, Outdoor & Cycle Concepts. Digging bit deeper found the 2017 accounts listed on companies house.

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03382348/filing-history

190m group revenue around ca. 30% S&R ca. 70% Cotswold outdoor. Loss of around 6-7m in 2017, presumably amazonification has made it for worse for 2018. With that income breakdown, I doubt S&R is the sole driver of the losses.

Digging through the composition of the costs the leases look like the obvious target coming in at 17.5m in 2017 and future years breakdown looking similar. (To think councils are buying up commercial property on buy-to-let!!!)

Appreciate above comments that the firm offers poor service & pricing and essentially is a private equity backed machine, but this is wider problem. In fact my money is on retail being the next big crisis. It's been a steady drip of weaker firms failing/seeking CVA etc for a few years now.

Our neighbourhood has deliveries arriving more or less non-stop and our office postroom had to increase the size of the holding area because everyone uses it as their online shopping depo.

If you look carefully many small retail shops are now just glorified warehouses (notice choice is less but stock deeper).

This is structural.
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LittleBullet wrote:
Our neighbourhood has deliveries arriving more or less non-stop and our office postroom had to increase the size of the holding area because everyone uses it as their online shopping depo.

.


Our work banned all personal deliveries to work after somebody ordered a kitchen to be delivered to site!!!
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