It seems to me that Vestis Retail Group may have realized that it could not easily appreciate, measure and thus manage a store that offered technical customer service in addition to everyday fitness and sports product. Vestis typically offers product only and may have come to realize that Sports Chalet had technical services that were not high enough profit makers or enticements or they could not understand what value those services added to the store.
Here is an example of a Sports Chalet Store in Brea, California’s specialized services:
• Scuba certification
• Tennis racket restringing.
• Bicycle repair and tune up. (About 2 miles to nearest bicycle repair shop).
Another factor that VC’s seem to not understand is if there are community ties to a store. This factor typically is important if the store has resided in the same location and local community comes to depend upon it over other retail stores.
Another driving concept is that Vestis and Versa may be married too is a concept called retail compliance. Retail compliance is ensuring that you have the right stock in the right place at the right time and, at the right price to maximize sales. This is in line with the KISS idea of “keep it simple stupid” which may indicate some lack of sophistication of Vestis. A clothing store comes close to being married to the retail compliance concept. Once you start adding specialized skills, that concept is only partly correct.
I detected an apparent Vestis using the KISS (keep it simple stupid) top management approach where old ideas such as sales vs expense type analysis is valued, maybe because it is more easily understood. Business that must survive in the United States today and in the future may find this KISS mode more complex to the degree when they offer varied product beyond clothing and sports gear. Many brick and mortar stores have failed to adjust to the biggest elephant in the room, the Internet. Almost every store I visit, to varying degree, including Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, Sports Chalet, COSTCO fail the retail compliance because their buyers fail to stock what the customers want.
Summary: The stores that Versa did accept to keep running was EMS and Bobs, both are product only stores which adds nothing unique to the ocean of retail stores. It does diminish the sports technical services for the local community and a chance to use these services to attract customers and be known as a unique store. Vestis may have lost a good chance to leverage some of the Sports Chalet stores into a full service community sporting goods store chain and thus dumb down further the brick and mortar landscape.