28: Teddy Schiavoni: Exceptional Specialty Retailers in the Poll Position for 2018

“It goes from revolution to evolution, and I think that rule sort of holds true at all stages of the industry, from product to marketing to retail, e-commerce.”

– Teddy Schiavoni


Attention, specialty retailers. Are you sitting down? Because there’s no doom and gloom in this episode! There’s nary a mention of a retail apocalypse or closeout sales (well…there’s one, but it’s not in support of closeout sales…you’ll see). Get yourself a cold drink because this message of optimism, this beacon of good news, this provider of solutions is coming from….a fellow specialty retailer!

Here’s the thing: Sometimes a problem needs a little bit of time and a fresh perspective. Well, time has flown by since retailers first started feeling the e-commerce pinch. While online shopping isn’t going anywhere, Teddy brings a burst of fresh air in the perspective that brick and mortar retailers have some legs up on the e-competition in the form of evolution, historical perspective, new generations, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, and online tools. There’s work on the horizon, my friends. But it looks to be fruitful.


Teddy Schiavoni

Teddy Schiavoni is a multi-hyphenate in the snowsports world, but his center is always grounded in specialty retail. He owns the award-winning Summit Ski and Snowboard Shop, a two-store chain in Massachusetts, together with his wife. He is the president and founder of Slope, Style, Life, a snowsports consulting firm.


He is an advocate, an innovator, and a force of nature in snowsports industry, who has actively served on boards and leadership positions. Currently, he is chairman of the Retail Advisory Board for the Snowsports Industries of America (SIA); chairman-elect for the National Ski and Snowboard Retailers Association (NSSRA); on the product council for SMC; and contributes to product development and marketing councils across the industry. He is also a partner (with Mike Massey) in Locally.com.


state of retail 2018, a recent history of specialty retail, independent retailers, O2O (online-to-offline conversion), last mile retail, specialty brick and mortar online presence


“It goes from revolution to evolution, and I think that rule sort of holds true at all stages of the industry, from product to marketing to retail, e-commerce.”

“It’s really just a matter of identifying opportunities, identifying trends, and seizing those opportunities, capitalizing, adjusting your business.”

“Regardless of how long you’ve been doing this or what you’ve done well in the past or how much you know, it’s important for retailers to: stay on top of trends, to recognize what brands are doing and what they’re bringing to market, and to remain open-minded to taking the risks that probably got you into this business [in the first place].”

“Rule number one for me is that your margin is only as good as your sell-through.”

“Through the wholesale channel, it’s important that brands are sharing information with their retailers so that it’s a common message across all forms and media – [all aimed at] serving the consumer to convert those sales on the spot when they need it, when they want it.”

“You can’t get that [the same level of experience, vibe and expertise] from Internet shopping [as compared to brick and mortar]. That’s where this whole final mile or what’s actually O2O, which is online-to-offline conversion in sales and such, really comes into play.”

“[Online retailers] are now looking for ways to bring their brands into communities and service areas and establish those relationships in that terrestrial, or brick and mortar, environment, because they understand that they need that to remain relevant.”


Summit Ski and Snowboard Shop: https://www.summitskishop.com/

Slope Style Life: https://www.slopestylelife.com/

Locally.com: https://www.locally.com/


2018 State of the Retail Ecosystem Preview:

Sign up for the one-month content experience, leading up to the panel discussion at SIA/OR. Join, learn, question, interact, and outline the questions that will refine your 2018 strategy. Email [email protected] to be alerted with content updates, plus opportunities to ask questions and share insights (or sign up for the newsletter at https://channelmastery.com/dev-site).

Have questions or ideas for Kristin and the Channel Mastery podcast? Email: [email protected]

Like what you hear? Or maybe you don’t?
Help us deliver exactly what you need from Channel Mastery by writing an iTunes review at: