How would you describe the current state of the snowboard market? What big developments, changes, challenges, and/or opportunities are you seeing and how is your brand navigating them?
This Winter season will be a reset year for the snowboard industry. Shops hopefully sold through all of their excess summer inventory that they have been dealing with since Covid. There were definitley decreases in buys in pre-books for 23/24. It didn’t help either that there was basically no snow in the Northeast of the USA and also in Europe. I am optimistic that 24/25 will be the start of some new growth with Kemper. We are working on some new bindings that might make the 24/25 cut. If not, definitely for 25/26.
Are there any examples you can share of how your business pivoted effectively? What developments are you seeing with regards to product pricing?
Pricing in China has increased every single year since we relaunched Kemper in 2018. It’s a smaller increase with bindings, but snowboards have been out of control. That is why we have switched to producing the snowboards ourselves in our Heber City, Utah USA facility. I think down the road we might be able to pull off bindings from the USA as well.
Is e-commerce sales still strong since most brands have been put a lot of effort in physical retail?
eCommerce for snowboards I’m guessing for most brands is 10-30% of their business depending on the brand. With snowboarding equipment, consumers want to touch and feel. Obviously brands want to capture as many direct sales as possible to take advantage of the higher margins, but ultimately the backbone of the snowboard industry is core and specialty snowboard shops.
After last winter and the lack of snow in Europe, what’s your overall sales and production/inventory strategy for 24/25?
We are running as lean and conservative as possible. We are just getting started with Europe, so we have plenty of opportunity to grow as long as it snows in the winter.
Are you introducing any new innovations in buckles, straps, highbacks, bases baseplates, heelcups, etc.?
We are using the same binding design for 24/25 and carrying over the Carolina Blue and Eggplant colorways from 23/24.
Are you using any new materials in your bindings for 24/25?
Any quick entry bindings in your collection for 24/25?
Any new design or pattern approaches in your 24/25 gear? Any collabs on the line?
Not for 24/25
Are you planning to focus on a special product range or type of customers?
Our bindings are middle of the road that cover all freestyle/freeride for men and women.
What are your top product marketing stories for next season?Fun colors at an affordable price.