Real Time Update – Black Friday to Cyber Monday week

All – as this is the busiest time of the year, I wanted to give you an update on some random inventory and sales stuff going on at I’ll lead with a big thank you for the support, I hope you’ve been able to find some deals and plan to do awesome stuff with what you’ve picked up so far.

  • This year, we introduced a new apparel color: Navy. Actually, it’s bluer than blue jean dark Navy, make no mistake about it. We introduced all of them later in the season than we had hoped for so we have a disproportionate amount of units in bluer than blue jean dark Navy. I expect Navy Simple Pants, Navy Challenge Pants, and Navy Challenge Shorts to be on sale for another day, maybe through Cyber Monday. But we’re balancing this against the fact that we’re expecting to run out early early Spring (Q1) of Challenge Pants and Simple Pants (sooner on Shorts) – right around when we’ll have a re-stock. So it’s unlikely we’ll discount them beyond now, and briefly. Enjoy it if you take advantage. Overall, our USA built apparel is selling really well this year, thanks for taking a chance on premium performance apparel (at premium prices, we know).
  • Field Pockets – there are always reams and reams of data spreadsheets for us to go through on the back end of the business, more so now because ‘tis the season and ho ho ho. We discovered (to our surprise) a cost increase of Field Pockets, so that’s resulted in a full price increase of $10 per unit of Echo FP, GR1 FP, and GR2 FP, effective immediately. This happens because some ordering gets put on auto-pilot from Marketing, but Marketing doesn’t find out as systematically about price increases, they’re more focused on demand curves. We’ll have to tweak this process a little bit, but that’s on us to improve. However, re: pricing to you, right now, most or all of them are reflecting the “old” price or less in some cases, so you can get them on a discount of sorts. I prefer this model of price increases to simply just increasing the prices one day out of the blue, especially on a line that has done so well for us over the years (for good reason).
  • Multicam – we’ve dug into some costing associated with the “Crye tax” (the license fee to use MCAM) as well. It’s unlikely you’ll see this MCAM pattern anytime soon, it’s off our list. What we have is what we have, and some or most of it is even on discount. I’ll cry a little tear later, I love Multicam (MCAM GR1 Field Pocket has been my go to for years) and Em uses her MCAM Echo every day.
  • GR1, Bullets, and more on the way — Arid is life, GRT’s, hence #aridlife. We’ve talked a lot about Baghdad/NYC for everything we build. With Arid, it’s more like Baghdad/NYC plus Moscow/Sahara meets the mountains of Afghanistan and then you get home to America from staving off the next annexation or engaging in mountainous or desert warfare and you’re able to blend in with ease any and everywhere. This is the unicorn in waiting, except in Poland – the shipments going there are off the hook (Polish Special Forces aka the GROM are awesome). #aridlife.
  • Tigerstripe is out in two, rather three versions this Christmas season. Woodland Camo Tigerstripe, Multicam Tigerstripe, and Arid Tigerstripe. Bomber was right, respect that man. 🙂
  • Events sale – expect this on Monday (do not expect any significant changes to gear/apparel sales, if there is likely less will be on discount on the gear side)
  • Rucking Half Zip in Navy – you won’t see any more half zips for a long time (fabric doesn’t even arrive till the Spring), the ~90 units that we have are gone when they’re gone. Same deal with the Rucking Hoodie.
  • Ruck Plates – earlier this year, the facility that builds them in Minnesota partially burned down. As you might imagine, that put a damper on our ability to uniformly stock at levels we wanted, though it will normalize soon enough. Americans rebuild stronger and better, after all, and that’s the case (and has been the case) in Minnesota. The 10# and Expert 20# are on sale in advance of the events sale, unlikely we’ll keep them on sale long. Those are the only two units with significant inventory levels. The rest are likely to stock out.

Overall, our process internally to the Black Friday Week and beyond. We meet every morning at 8 or 9 to assess what happened the day before and look at current stock levels based on yesterday’s sales numbers. We remove some items from the sale category so that you all will focus on other items that we need to move more. Price has special powers of attention grabbing – somehow it took us years and years to learn this. Our daily decisions impact what we’re gonna talk about on social and via email and what, for instance, the order of colors should be on a product page if some are on sale, and others are not (GR1). Inventory levels, a mix between proven and estimated demand, and quantity on order arriving next quarter determine whether something remains on sale or not – it’s pretty simple like that, but it requires daily attention. I would love for us to be able to perfectly predict demand and have a price and have that always be the price, but you all have the most important vote and you do it not on Tuesdays with your speculation of awesome ideas (which I thoroughly enjoy btw) but with your wallet. I’m proud of what GORUCK stands for, and I’m proud of our team for how we do things, but the laws of business still apply and always will. So it’s a lot of hard work we’re happy to do to be as transparent as possible about what’s going on behind the scenes.

So far, it’s been a pretty good year, though most of ’em are if you think about ’em the right way and keep on planning more awesome stuff for next year, or even right now (it’s that hour for the kids and Monster to go run around outside, so off we go…). Thanks so much for the support, none of this would be possible without you.