Saturday, February 23, 2013

Gardiner Pole Systems goes Direct?!

Gardiner Poles have been available in the US for a number of years now via Reach Higher Ground, Inc. (RHG Products Company).  Most of the time these poles were sold in the US they were offered by window cleaning supply houses via RHG Products, but at one time they were sold directly by Reach Higher Ground.

Well, the time has come for Gardiner to make a move in the US and sell their poles direct via a distributor and an E-commerce style website.

When the decision was made by Gardiner, we at RHG thought long and hard about how we would handle the situation as our products in the US and around the world are sold through dealers and this would obviously disrupt some things.  In the end we decided that we would step in and handle the distribution of the poles in the US as we have been working with Gardiner since before they even had their own pole brand!

Here is the link to the storefront.

Below is a statement from Alex Gardiner, the Director at Gardiner Pole Systems as to why they made the decision to sell direct in the USA.

It has always been Gardiner Pole System’s marketing policy to have a direct retailing presence in each country that we sell into. When we introduced the Gardiner range of poles to the US market with RHG it was on this basis that RHG sold these items directly to the US consumers. Just as General Motors dealers are not best suited to selling Ford products we felt that a single dedicated outlet would be best suited to our unique products rather than a retailer who had split loyalties.
At no time did we want RHG to act as a wholesaler to other distributors. It was against our better judgement that we allowed a wholesaling structure to come into existence in the US market alone. This was done at the bequest of other US based distributors who wanted to be able to offer all pole ranges in their catalogues and websites. We have not allowed this to happen in any other market including the UK, where we still have just one retailer for the entire range within England (currently the worlds largest WFP market). The benefits of this ‘single retail outlet’ approach for the end user have been many – dedicated service from the manufacturer, lower pricing to reflect the true value of the item and full range availability rather than just the few items that other distributors want to offer.
We put up with this ‘less than ideal’ arrangement for several years and finally towards the end of 2012 decided that we wanted to take back control of the Gardiner range and return to our original and preferred retailing model. It had become apparent from the incredibly slow sales in the US that the current distribution model was not working for us or our products. Sales of Gardiner products in the US had virtually stalled with no real volume being achieved throughout the whole of the 2012 sales year. We also saw our products being offered by most US retailers as a way of attracting clients who were then being sold other more profitable (for the retailer) lines. The reason for manufacturing, designing & promoting our products is not to then have this impetus used to make sales of other ‘me-also’ & ‘copy-cat’ products.
In January 2013 we announced the decision to withdraw from the previous wholesale distribution arrangement and gave notice to RHG that we would  no longer be supplying them with our range on this basis. RHG at this point would cease to be our distributor from the 1st of April 2013. Due to our long working relationship with RHG, Gardiner Pole Systems then offered RHG the first chance to be Gardiner Pole Systems in the US with a new direct retailing opportunity. We already had in place several other options for providing this arrangement within the US market if RHG decided not to continue with us. RHG after some thought decided to take up our new retailing offer.
Gardiner Pole Systems was started to help window cleaners carry out WFP window cleaning as simply, easily and most cost-effectively as possible. Whichever country the window cleaner is in we still are passionate that this should be the case. We firmly believe that reverting to our original retail arrangement in the US will ultimately benefit those that really matter in our industry – the Window Cleaner.

-Alex Gardiner