In an effort to open our product to more people in need of good pants, we reduced the retail price of our Flex Canvas Pants from $129 to $99. This is something we had planned for this Summer, but we decided to go ahead and make the change now.
How can we do it?
We negotiated a better price with our manufacturer and we feel the fairest thing to do is pass that on to you. On our third run of producing these pants, we have achieved the volume necessary to get our costs down.
It's very important to emphasize that we have not made any compromises in quality to achieve savings. On the contrary, we are implementing a new QC step and adding even more small refinements to the construction - in line with our design principle of continuous improvement. We're out to make the best pants possible and won't do anything to sacrifice that. I cannot sell a product I don't believe in - and won't ever compromise on quality.
With the current pandemic wreaking havoc on people's lives and the economy at large, the future is hard to plan. Our growth this year revolved around debuting at a handful of national trade shows that are now canceled. Many of our retail partners are struggling and their future is in question. These last weeks were supposed to represent our ramp-up in marketing activity and sales, but we've pumped the brakes to see how this pans out.
We didn't feel right about doing a "COVID sale" or something like that, but we do need to sell pants. We thought it would be best to go ahead with our plans to reduce the price now rather than later. We'll lose some margin in the short term, but we'll make it up in the future. It seems like a win-win to me; you get a lower price and we increase sales. This will earn us valuable cash in a time where we are playing the long game of survival.
What is it about $100?
The $100 mark is a weird one psychologically. It's polarizing. Items go from an easy purchase to a hard one after a $1 cliff. While we like the idea of our goods occupying a premium place in people's minds, we also want to stay accessible to the broader outdoor community. Gear is expensive, and all too often the price doesn't correlate with value.
During our recent push to open partnerships with premier outdoor retailers, it became clear we needed to be under this benchmark to achieve adoption - so with that goal in mind, we started negotiations with our manufacturers to achieve volume discounts. Because we've been a good customer who pays on time and our orders are growing, our factory agreed. We thought we were still at least a year off from achieving those numbers, but with your help, it's happened faster than we expected.
Most companies take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to pricing and keep any cost reduction as extra profit. Most companies also make a lot more products! We're so focused on these pants (and a couple of others in the works) that we can get granular on every detail.
Could the price change again?
We've been in this business long enough to know that as we grow, so does our reporting and oversight. We feel we can support this new price, but we'll be monitoring our company's financial health over the coming quarters and will make more adjustments if necessary. This business hasn't been built the old-fashioned way, and we won't let traditional processes hold us back from making changes for the better. After all, an unprofitable business is unsustainable both financially and environmentally.
We're here to make great clothing for you for decades, and with your help we'll get it done. Thank you so much for your support in building this brand. It means the world to me to be able to make a good product and sell it to good people. I think the future is bright for us. If anything good comes of this crisis, it's that people seem to be realizing what is important in life. We hope more people come around to the value of buying once, buying right, and taking care of their things. If this sounds like you, you're in the right place.
Andrew Gibbs-Dabney - Founder