Horse Tack Review





Ariat International


Stocking a complete selection of tall equestrian riding boots is a tall order for most retailers, whose merchandise availability is inevitably dictated by space constraints. Yet, buyers of equestrian riding boots need to touch, feel and try on their selected products to ensure the boots meet their demands for quality, comfort, stability and fit. And as importantly, they expect retailers to know at least as much as they do about how the boots should function and fit.

True to its reputation for innovation, Ariat has developed a program to help retailers meet the specific needs of their equestrian customer while managing their own limitations of shelf- and back-stock space. Through Ariat Rapid Select™, participating retailers can offer their discriminating customers Ariat’s complete collection of 10 different Tall Boot styles, custom-fitted and delivered direct from Ariat’s warehouse in a matter of days, without having to keep merchandise in stock. And by utilizing Ariat’s Tall Boot Specialist training materials, the retailers’ sales representatives become experts at accurately fitting customers with the proper size and style of boot they need to maximize their riding performance, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and probability for repeat business.

According to Beth Cross, founder and chief executive officer of Ariat, the Rapid Select Program is a revolutionary approach to merchandising and inventory management that improves customer satisfaction while increasing participating retailers’ profit margins.

“Most retailers aren’t in the position to carry a full selection of sizes in all 10 of the styles that comprise our popular Tall Boots collection, because doing so would constitute an enormous investment of buying dollars and limited shelf- and back-stock space they might need for apparel or other merchandise,” she says. “Yet, they don’t want to lose customers because they don’t have the Ariat boots in stock that their customers want, when they want them. Our goal was to make it as easy and cost-effective as possible for our retailers to meet the needs of their customers by using our corporate warehouse as their virtual inventory.”

Once the customer is fitted for the selected Ariat boots using Ariat’s customized measurement guidelines as described in the training manuals sent to participating Rapid Select retailers, the retailer places the customer’s order directly through the Rapid Select customer service team. Within three days, the customer can pick up her custom-fitting Tall Boots at the same retail location.

“We are very committed to our relationships with our retailers, so we’re always seeking opportunities to help them serve their customers,” Cross says. “Unlike other types of footwear, riding boots aren’t something a person can just order with a click of a mouse, and expect to fit the way they should. Yet, the convenience offered by ‘virtual shopping’ has changed customers’ expectations of finding what they want, when they want it. Through the Rapid Select program, we’re essentially melding the best of both worlds such that customers are properly fitted before the retailer orders the product from the warehouse. In the event the boots don’t work, the customer isn’t inconvenienced to make a return; she’s already at the store, and can place a revised order immediately. We’ve built our reputation on understanding the level of quality and service needed by today’s tall boot customers, and we believe Rapid Select is just one more benefit we can offer retailers and customers alike.”

Ariat’s Tall Boot Collection features 10 styles of boots with Ariat’s patented performance technology: the Crowne Pro Field Boot, the Crowne Pro Field Boot Zip, the Maestro Pro Dress Boot, the Maestro Pro Dress Boot Zip, the Hunter Dress Zip, the Hunter Dress Boot, the Heritage Field Boot, the Heritage Field Boot Zip Kids, the Challenge Field Boot and the Challenge Field Boot Zip.

About Ariat

Ariat International, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear and apparel. Featuring patented technology designed to deliver stability, durability and comfort, Ariat is the pioneer of integrating athletic shoe technology into equestrian footwear. Ariat products are sold in a network of retail outlets throughout the world. For more information about Ariat products or for the Ariat retailer nearest you, contact Ariat at 800-899-8141 or visit www.ariat.com
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