Update on RIA Initiatives
It’s certainly been busy for the RIA. We’ve launched a robust new Freight Discount Program, and our partners at Parcel Management Group are transitioning our member stores to the new platform that includes higher discounts, detailed reporting, and incredible levels of service. And for the first time, our member brands can take advantage of the program. If you haven’t checked into it, do yourself a favor and ask for a freight review. I promise, it’s painless! And why wouldn’t you want to find out where you can save on freight?!! These guys are the best, and it’s worth taking a look if you haven’t yet explored the program.
Runchella is less than a week away, and we’re looking forward to an incredible event. We had a record number of retailers sign up to attend, and the new format allows retailers to connect with their top brands and associate partners in multiple ways. There are 95 unique brand and associate sessions offered, so when we promote our “Your Show, Your Way” theme, we mean it!
Runchella will also feature the reboot of the Running Specialty Hall of Fame, and this year’s honorees are retailers Jan and Pat Sweeney from Fleet Feet Sacramento, long-time brand sales manager Ted Goodlake, and Mark Sullivan, founder of TRE. We’re also clearing everyone’s schedules for a panel discussion in support of the Running Industry Diversity Coalition, and this year’s Runchella Party will happen 95 floors up, in the highest cocktail lounge in Chicago. If you’re joining us this year, we’re excited to see you! And for the rest, we’ll let you know how it goes, and we’ll look forward to having you join next year.
Last, I’d like to provide an update on the largest initiative undertaken by the RIA, the Product Data Collaborative. We’ve completed the discovery phase of the project that included workshops with stakeholders from our retailers, brands, and associate partners. Each category of members have their unique challenges and needs, but all see the value in what we’re building. And build it we will! Next steps include building the tools to ensure a simple, yet robust interface that allows brands to easily upload product data in all of its forms, provides easy access and manageability for retailers, and connects with POS and other third-party platforms.
We’ll not only keep you posted on our progress, we’ll be reaching out so you can see what it looks like and give us feedback. We’re excited by what this can do to make everyone’s product data management easier, and we hope you are too. Bottom line: Stay tuned!
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