Industry News 11/16/2006

Pharmacy and Becker Join ActionWatch Retail Panel

Pharmacy and Becker Join ActionWatch Retail Panel
Loma Linda, CA – November 16, 2006 – Pharmacy Board Shop and Becker are two of the most recent additions to the growing ActionWatch Retail Panel. The panel is comprised of surf and skate shops across the U.S. and is a free program for all participating retailers.
“ActionWatch gives us additional insight into the market and the health of brands beyond our stores,” states Dave Hollander, owner of the Becker retail and online stores. Retailers usually have access only to their own store’s sales and inventory information unless they participate in a market research program like ActionWatch. While their own store’s information and local market conditions are the main guide for retailers’ buying decisions, ActionWatch provides broad-market information that can confirm or sometimes introduce potential trends that can affect an individual retailer.
“I scan through the ActionWatch reports every month to get an update on what’s happening in other stores like mine,” says Mikke Pierson, co-owner of ZJ Boarding House and one of the first ActionWatch members. Cary Allington, co-founder of ActionWatch, believes it is important for this industry to have a POS-tracking program because “it is the best way to see certain trends and understand product life cycles. Participating retailers get great benchmarking information while industry suppliers can see what is really going on in the market once their products leave their warehouses.”
“This is a great service for our industry,” adds Donny Damron, owner of the Pharmacy Board Shops. POS-tracking services, which already exist in many industries, are popular market tracking tools because they offer very detailed and robust information. Sales and inventory levels are tracked down to the model level using electronic reports that come directly from retailers’ POS systems every month.
Commenting on the complexity of POS tracking in this industry, Allington states, “Our industry does not have a standard coding or categorization system, so our biggest task in processing the data is translating every retailer’s report into a common language. We had to develop a lot of custom software so that we can translate the data efficiently.”
AA Data Company started developing the ActionWatch program in 2004 with the sole purpose of developing a POS-tracking service for the action sports industry. Their goal is to substantially increase the amount of accurate and timely market information for retailers and manufacturers in the industry, thereby improving the industry’s ability to provide the right products at the right time to consumers.