Specialty Sports Ventures LLC (SSV) will close its primary e-commerce site – O2gearshop.com – Jan. 6 to make way for new e-commerce platforms, The B.O.S.S. Report has learned.
“We are re-imagining our e-commerce strategy to meet the needs of Vail Resorts’ growing retail division,” SSV CEO Kat Jobanputra wrote in an email to The B.O.S.S. Report Tuesday. “Unfortunately, O2gearshop.com, in its current form, is not providing a customer experience to make it a sustainable, long-term business model. We therefore plan to close the O2gearshop.com site on January 5, 2014, and until then will provide full service to everyone who uses the site, including all return and refund policies. We will be re-launching new e-commerce platforms for our retail division that better meets the needs and desires of today’s online shopper.”
SSV and its parent company Vail Resorts Inc. were coming off their most successful winter season in years when SSV announced in July, 2011 that it had acquired the assets of Wisconsin-based Outdoor Outlet, LLC and hired its founder. In addition to experiencing the best snow conditions in decades, SSV had acquired another 18 bricks-and-mortar specialty stores, including several picked up through Vail Resorts acquisition of the Northstar-at-Tahoe resort in October 2010. Jobanputra said he planned to leverage SSV’s supplier and customer relationships to accelerate growth at O2gearshop.com.
While Vail Resorts does not break out 02gearshop.com’s revenues in its financial results, it did disclose that its sales increased by $2.8 million in the fiscal year ended July 31, 2013.
SSV sells snowsports, bicycle, racquet and golf gear as well as outdoor furniture through 181 bricks-and-mortar stores, which are located at each of its ski resorts as well as throughout the Colorado Front Range and at other Colorado, California and Utah ski resorts, the San Francisco Bay Area, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Appleton, Wisconsin. Like Hoigaard’s, a Minneapolis snowsports dealer acquired in April, 2013, most SSV stores continue to operate under the original banners and do not have significant online sales. SSV’s sales, which include revenues from four rental only shops, reached $199.4 million in fiscal 2013.
“It’s too premature to speculate what our e-commerce strategy will look like moving forward,” said Jobanputra. “We have only just begun to explore options and will be taking our time to develop the right strategy.”