The larger picture behind Sport Chalet's dishonorable actions

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Posted by MHK on June 27, 2007 at 13:09:14:

The impetus behind Sport Chalet's ill-advised attempt at squeezing the local boat owners goes well beyond the fact that they missed their projected profit margins for this fiscal quarter. Predicatably, Sport Chalet missed the forrest from the tree and misdiagnosed the problem and then applied a band aid to resolve the issue. Chris Robinson left PADI about a year ago to help Sport Chalet turn around it's failing dive department. Sadly, Chris applied a PADI mentality towards corporate America and the results are manifest. Ideas like offering 2 for 1 classes do little to build value, and do less to build a brand. While at PADI he didn't necessarily care about education inasmuch as he cared about how to sell additional C-cards, so from a PADI point of view, 2 for 1 makes sense, since it's the shops that undertake the risk and the agency simply gets an additional fee. The theory is that by offering 2 for 1 classes, presumably the shop then gets to sell additional equipment since the size of the class doubles. Obviously, even with these type of marketing gimmicks, Sport Chalet is still missing it's target numbers so they are going after the boats. Ideas like on-line classes and 2 for 1 classes may help the agencies, but they seem to being proving the point that the customer ( a.k.a. students ) are rejecting the watered-down approach.

The larger picture at Sport Chalet is that they are dilluting training, they are dilluting their brand and the consumers notice the difference. Rather then focusing in on increasing the value of their brand, Sport Chalet has chosen the quick fix approach and are attempting to fix their short-comings off of the backs of the local boat owners. I hope everyone boycotts everything that has anything to do with Sport Chalet, whether that is fitness equipment, camping gear, sneakers and most certainly the scuba department. It's a shame what they are trying to do and they should feel the pain in the checkbook as a result. I hope you will all join me in boycotting Sport Chalet.


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