The Thomas & Thomas fly rod company — now back among the living after its near-death experience — is also going to sell direct to consumers via their website, though in an interesting attempt to protect their dealer network, they also plan to credit online sales from within a dealer’s geographic area to that dealer:
Tell us more about the T&T dealer protection plan. How will it work?
Dealers that truly support Thomas & Thomas by placing pre-season orders and educating their staff about the feature benefits of our products will be assigned a geographical territory. If we receive an online order where the billing address falls within that territory, the dealer will be credited for the sale. In effect the margin they make on such a sale will be comparable with what they would make had they of made the sale through their shop.
Obviously, a just-reborn T&T isn’t Simms, so the industry waves will be tiny by comparison. Still, the response to the Simms news wasn’t all that positive; will T&T’s attempt to cut dealers into their piece of the online pie help?
After all, we’re talking about a geographic dealer radius of approximately 50 miles; outside that distance, T&T will be essentially competing with their dealers’ own online sales efforts (along with everyone else).
In truth, this seems like an interesting compromise. Undergrounders?