Happy to clear a few things up for you guys..
"I'm guessing that you might be putting out a lot of fires at the moment."
Well, yes, the internet spreads mis-information fast and wide..
"You should understand that a lot of us grew up, or at least started in the bush, using Macpac (and Kathmandu gear for that matter) It comes as a bit of a shock to suddenly have all that change."
As did I. My back ground is as a climber and walker..I studied outdoor education...but there are not the major changes that people are fearing..
"So can you clue us in about what we can expect to see over the next 12-24 mths?" I'll be mindful here, as I want to ease the minds our the loyal customer, but don't forget it is a business, and no point having all the other retailers not guessing is there? Suffice to say we have great confidence that we can open stores that will offer product range and pricing that Macpac customers , and Fairydown customers, have not been able to experience under the wholesale model. The speed of a store appearing in each town is difficult, as sites and staff take time to find the standard we seek, but they'll come.
"I'm happy to assume that quality will stay the same? " I have no intention of changing the development/ design/testing or manufacturing process unless we can see a way of improving the outcome.
"Can you give us some idea about availability outside NZ? (I'm mostly interested in Oz, but I expect most people here will be interested in the US market) Where and when can we buy, or are you looking at a Bivouac or Ground Effect model?"
As above, we are looking for staff and locations, and can service via websales in the interim. We have kept some key Macpac staff already familiar with Aussie, US, EU and Asia markets and they are keeping those businesses progressing- we only plan to direct retail in NZ and Aus.
"What can we expect on cost? Will your increased margin translate to lower costs to us?" Yes. It will.
"Are you looking to maintain, shrink or expand the range? And what the hell, I'm sure someone here want's to know if you're looking at increasing your range of lightweight gear?" You can tell Roger that I like lightweight gear too :) There are opportunities and directions that Macpac team have been working on previously that are easier to implement now with a retail model. Previously these were difficult to commercialise as retailers sometimes don't have the share view of the possibility a brand has. We do.
"Thanks in advance for your answers, and once again, thanks for dropping by.