Industry News 5/17/2006

Smith Optics’ Retail Advisory Board Provides Key Insight for Smith’s Future

Smith Optics’ Retail Advisory Board Provides Key Insight for Smith’s Future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. KETCHUM, Idaho, May 10, 2006 – Last month, Smith Optics held its annual Dealer Advisory Board Meeting with key retailers from different channels of trade.  The Dealer Advisory Board provided strategic input to all aspects of the company then enjoyed a day of snowboarding/skiing in Sun Valley.  The retail board offered direction on Smith’s marketing, advertising, promotions and sunglass, goggle and helmet product lines. 

“The input we received from the previous Dealer Advisory Board meetings directed us to provide a lifetime warranty for our products, expand our polarized offering and improve our dealer communication,” said Blair Clark, Smith Optics’ Senior VP of Sales and Marketing.  “This year, we brought together vastly different retailers from each of our channels of trade. For some of the retailers, Smith Optics is the market leader in their store and for others we’re more challenged, but it was enlightening for the dealers and Smith employees alike to hear the unique challenges we face in different segments of the market.”

With a diverse group that included snowboard shops, surf specialty dealers, resort businesses, outdoor shops, sunglass specialty and optical retailers the dialogue was very lively and the comments from the group will help Smith Optics pave its path toward the future.

“Having had the privilege to attend both dealer advisory meetings has been an extremely valuable experience,” said George Lesure of EMS.  “The opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions about the state of the sunglass business in general and Smith specifically is tremendous.  To be empowered to review and comment upon future product and direction of the Smith brand is a path that would serve many companies well.  I applaud the Smith team for having the foresight and courage to bring such a diverse retail group together, and even more so for listening, considering and acting upon all that was thrown at them from sources all over the specialty retail spectrum.”

“I feel the meetings were very beneficial for Smith and for Milo,” commented Josh Roberts from Milosport.  “I look forward to seeing many of the items we discussed be implemented by Smith. I was also able to learn from the other business on what is working for them in their respective markets. I had a great time and learned a lot.”

“The take away was learning from other dealers, in different markets, what specific needs their customers are requesting,” added Roberta Johnson from sportsvisionbend.  “Now we have a greater appreciation of how hard the task at Smith Optics is to be all things to all channels of retail.  It is great to know someone is listening to the dealer base.”

With an incredible base of strong retail partners, top-tier athletes and an amazing sales reps Smith Optics will continue to solicit comments and advice to help grow the Smith brand and keep ahead of future trends and market needs.

Based in Sun Valley, Idaho, with a Southern California office located in San Clemente, Smith Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 with the creation of the first goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. Today, Smith is as well known for its diverse line of fashion and performance sunglasses as it is for its goggles. From Smith’s distortion-free Tapered Lens Technology to the versatility of the Slider Series, with its patented, interchangeable lens system, the devotion to excellence, innovation and style is what has made Smith goggles and sunglasses the choice of action-sport athletes worldwide. Smith products are sold in more than 50 countries through sporting goods and specialty stores. For more information visit www.smithoptics.com.