Discontinuing Entry Bib Shorts & 3/4 Summer Bib Tights are on the Chopping Block
RedWhite Apparel has had a history of discontinuing products that don't sell well. In 2019, I discontinued The RACE bibshort and followed soon after with a discontinuation of a wide variety of products.
Every year, I review sales data and look for products to trim and remove from the product line. The reason I do this is because inventory of underperforming products cost a lot of money to maintain. I explain more in this blog post.
RedWhite is a small company with limited capital. Every dollar has to be spent as efficiently as possible. This means every dollar has to be allocated to products that earn a rate of return that justifies investing in it. In the past, i've been ill-disciplined and hung onto products that should have been discontinued. The result of that was a lack of capital to invest in products that customers actually want to purchase.
Every year, I develop new products and launch a few. The goal of every new product is to meet a certain demand and ultimately grow revenue. If customers don't purchase enough of a certain product, the business suffers long term since that capital could be deployed elsewhere.
For 2023, I will be discontinuing 1 product and putting 1 more on the chopping block. Products that are "on the chopping block" are new products that have disappointing sales volume and will be prematurely discontinued if customers don't vote to keep them with their wallets.
My motivation for announcing a "Chopping Block" is to give you, the customer, a chance to vote to keep a product with your wallet.
1) Being Discontinued on June 1st : The Entry Bib Short
The Entry Bib Short was introduced in 2019. The strategic purpose of this was to replace the old RACE Bibshort and offer customers a short-distance bibshort at a lower price point.
The ambition / hope for this bibshort was to attract price conscious customers to try a pair of RedWhites and hopefully upgrade to The BIB in future. After 4 years, this did not happen unfortunately.
What I learnt over 4 years was the following :
- US$ 85 is still too high for price-conscious customers.
- Most customers want The BIB and are willing to pay more for it because it has a much better pad and better fabrics. This is proven by the fact that Entry Bibs only sold 6% of the volume of The BIB.
- Customers who buy the Entry Bib Short often don't purchase it again and instead end up purchasing the superior BIB.
There are customers who love Entry Bib Shorts, but unfortunately there are too few of them. After 4 years of watching sales data and talking to customers, i've finally realised that Entry Bib Shorts don't fit in RedWhite's product line.
For this reason, they will not be re-stocked and will be discontinued on June 1st, 2023.
There's limited inventory available now if you wish to purchase it.
2) On the Chopping Block : 3/4 Summer Bib Tights with Pad
I developed the 3/4 Summer Bib Tights with Pad to cater to :
- Customers who need extra sun protection on their legs. For years, these customers have been using leg coolers with their RW bibs. A 1-piece 3/4 bib tight would be a better solution.
- Early Autumn/Late Spring riding. Customers who wear summer tights with knee covers during early autumn & late spring and want a full 3/4 version of their summer bibshorts for these mild weather days. The additional piece of lycra over the knees help keep them a touch warmer.
- Mountain Bikers & Gravel Racers. Several customers have said that 3/4 tights would be nice to do trail & dirt track riding in. The lycra over the knees help keep mud & dirt away from skin and also provide a location for knee guards.
- Wet Weather Riders. Some customers have said that having fabric coverage on their calves would keep road grime off their skin.
- Muslim Customers in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei & United Arab Emirates who want summer tights that cover their knees. This for modesty reasons.
Unfortunately, after a mere 6 months, only 8% of customers bought one and that number has been trending down. On launch, there was a spike in purchases and that quickly (and unnaturally) tapered off.
It appears that the 3/4 Summer Bib Tight does not have a sizeable market. For this reason, I am now moving it to the "Chopping Block".
The Chopping Block is something i've had for a long time. It is reserved for products that are fairly new but have disappointing sales volumes. Putting a product on the Chopping Block means it will be scrutinised for a potential Discontinuation if sales don't pick up in the next year.
The product previously on the Chopping Block was The Entry Bib Short.
In the past, I don't publicly tell customers that a product is on the Chopping Block because I didn't want customers to purchase it out of FOMO - causing my demand data to be skewed. However, I am now doing this to give customers a chance to purchase it and also argue the merits of keeping it in stock.
I welcome comments as always. Please leave them below 👇
@PETER : You nailed a critical point I had in mind. The Entry was never a great bibshort to begin with. It was good, but not special enough (and certainly not great) to let it stand apart from other entry level shorts. I was thinking about “The Innovator’s Dilemma” a lot when I developed it, but consumers just didn’t respond to it the way I thought they would. Also, there’s no actual innovation in it other than making parts of it worse and making it cheaper. I’d probably need to manufacture it without EU made fabrics / make it a lot less good in order to drive pricing lower. Not really a game I am well equipped to play unfortunately.
Seems like a good decision.
I considered the entry level short but went with the bib. I have been riding for many years and reasoned that comfort is the key to enjoying my bike. The bib was priced just at the top of my range and the price difference between the two was not that great. I also factored in that an entry level from another brand is quite a bit less.
I know that if I had tried the entry level short and wound up being uncomfortable, there is no way I would have come back and purchased the bib. So there is that to consider as well.
@JAMES KIM : Thank you for the kind words James :)
@GREGG : Hopefully more customers see similar uses for the 3/4 as yourself. Thank you for purchasing a pair :)
@GEORGE D. BUSSEY : Leg sleeves (and arm sleeves) are not RW’s specialty unfortunately. Many companies make them and they aren’t too expensive. It’s hard for RW to make something similar and earn a decent margin on it to make it worth the time and effort.
Thanks for the update. I have a regular BIB and a Cargo BIB – the 3/4 tights interested me but didn’t work for two reasons (right or wrong). First, I bike in Hawaii and use UV leg covers, but go with white to minimize heat absorption. Not sure you can/could do much about that. Second, I wear ankle socks so the tights need to be full length (although I suppose I could buy calf high socks). Although it would be a new product, with uncertain sales, you could offer separate WHITE light-weight leg sleeves. The color would work with your brand name, and priced correctly (like less than brand name competitors like Pearl Izumi, but more than knock-off, uncertain quality Chinese products), it might work for you.
I purchased the 3/4 when it first came out and love it. I have worn it in Moab, Utah- Austin, Texas and now in Greece where it is still in the 50/60 degree F. I have found it to be a good ride in temps between 45 degree F and 75 degree F in the places mentioned above. It is perfect when I do not wear my RW Winter full tights and hot weather “the Bib”. Sorry to hear it is in peril of going away and will make sure to purchase additional supply before they do. Thank you as always for great communication and these updates. Best wishes.
Thank you for the notice! I wish your company well and hope to see your more targeted and intentional decisions lead to more growth for the company! I’ll try to get the word out that there is likely no other cycling bib company that provides a better value for the money 👍
@STEVE : The BIB is by far the best selling product and RedWhite’s signature item. This product will never be discontinued since the whole business is built around it. Every new product is only possible because it is funded by revenue from The BIB. The 2nd engine that drives RedWhite’s revenue growth is The Cargo Bib Short with Pockets. It’s becoming popular every year and honestly surprised me. My R&D budget has increased thanks to revenue contribution from both BIB and Cargo. Having 2 popular products means RW has more free cash flow that can be reinvested in new product development.
I actually did exactly what you wanted I think I saw an add for you on facebook took a look and liked what I saw. But being cautious got the entry because it was cheaper and that most of my rides are sub 3 hours. liked them a lot so upgraded to the bib as I do do 4-5 fondos over the year and it is the best bib I have owned. Hopefully this will not impact sales of the bib for you aswell.
@JOHN : Thank you for the very kind words John :). And for continuing to be a customer.
@J : A name change likely won’t increase demand 3-4×. The bib’s name contains “Summer” and the product description explains clearly what it is for. I suspect most people just ride shorts and never actually needed the 3/4. The people who did are likely a minority unfortunately and the low sales volume reflects that.
@WILLIE HUNG LEONG : Thank you for the purchase! I really appreciate it.
On additional comment over my post earlier – on the 3/4 SUMMER BIB TIGHTS WITH PAD. I mentioned I will get 2 to stock up in case this is ‘chopped’. If there is anyone else out there like me who appreciates the 3/4 style – there is a “CLUB DEAL” – buy 4 and I noted I get an auto 20% off in price. That’s almost like 1 free (kinda).
So I just ordered 4 × 3/4 SUMMER BIB TIGHTS WITH PAD to qualify for the team 20% discount. Worth it! Wanted to share !
I appreciate the clear communication and update – I am a fan of the 3/4 Summer Bib Tight which you are letting us advance notice it is on the “chopping block”. I ride in the hot sun and like the sun protection – but I guess as an individual buyer I only can purchase 1-2 a year and can’t impact overall sales volume. However since you announced this I sincerely hope others like me me will purchase and ‘stock up’ – before it is no longer in production… or even react and increase the sales so it can not be on the “chopping block”.
Either way much appreciate the heads up and will order 2 more immediately TODAY for my personal use before it is no longer. Cheers.
Could the name be causing confusion? It was awkward for me. Just call it the 3/4 bib?
Thank you for sharing this update. I have two of the regular Bibs and love them. Padding and fit is right on par with others I have tried, but still prefer to use my regular Bib and the one with pockets. Also have one of the winter pair which I plan to add a second to when the time comes. Thank you for what you do and the quality product you put out.