SHORTAGE AND INNOVATION DURING COVID
How is Saint Jacques wetsuits dealing witht thecurrent stock issues and still innovating throughout this period of time ?
1/ WHY SO MANY UNAVAILABILITY OF MATERIALS DURING COVID ?
You must have heard around you for a few months that “the neoprene situation is currently complicated” or “we are out of stock in neoprene wetsuits”. Why? And where does this shortage come from?
First of all, this shortage is explained by a very high demand of raw materials over the past 5 years. The demand being higher than the offer, the law of the highest bidder rules.
What are the consequences? The industrial sector cannot produce as much and as fast as before, especially in Europe.
Then, the sanitary crisis and associated restrictions on human and economic activity have led to widespread retail closures and supply chain disruptions, from factory production suspensions to workforce layoffs.
The effects of the sanitary crisis are also showing disturbances across the transportation sector. There again, the lack of workforce in ports has had huge consequences on the freight’s delays and costs. Air and maritime transport have suffered from the crisis, which has disturbed imports.
Hence the difficulty to dispatch merchandises moreover with the lack of space in shipping containers. Delivery delays have almost doubled and costs have risen in response to an exponential demand.
However, this crisis has produced a boom for a different lifestyle, respectful and closer to the environment, which has had an unexpectedly beneficial impact on the individual outdoor sports industry, including water sports.
If 2020 has suffered from the suspension of any professional and leisured sports,2021 has shown a reel enthusiasm for sports: 50% of new members for the first semester of 2021 according to the French surf federation.
Surfers, kitesurfers, bodyboarders are more and more present on the water for a year now, and this all year long.
Whether they are beginners or passionate, all those players need to gear up! But with such a high demand, the surf and sports shops have struggled to supply all of their clients and their neoprene section is often out of stock.
Regarding those information, here is a list of products for which our shortages are explained:
>Our fullsuits in 4/3 and 5/4mm which arecurrently out of stock will be back in October. Our Clovis 3/2mm front zip and back zip are in stock but hurry up to get yours as our stock are already low!
>Our famous neoprene chapka will be available in December, to face the winter with a warm head. The best compromise between a hood and beannie.
We will though not have gloves or shoes at Saint Jacques for this winter, due to a lack of capacity and choices we had to make.
>We are often out of stock on our 100% cotton ponchos, true best seller with their high quality and unique design which outstand from the patterned ones of our concurrent. But our supply chain ensures a delivery every 2 months.
2/ HOW TO KEEP INNOVATING DURING COVID ?
Despite the shortage of raw materials and the difficulties due to the sanitary crisis, Saint Jacques wetsuits could count on its trusted partners and suppliers.
This close collaboration allowed us to supply all of our partner without leaving any aside, by limiting quantities in order to follow up and equip all of our passionate clients.
We have then managed to limit the shortages with a worth of trust supplier network, remaining honest on delivery dates and working with pre-orders.
Our commercial policy of annual products range is in harmony with the current era because we have no limit date to sell our products. Many of our concurrent had to cancel their collection, which has been beneficial for the market by decreasing overstocking and discounts which often confuse the consumer.
It has been challenging to innovate during those times as obtaining merchandises was the first goal and the factories where focused on production and not prototyping.
But Saint Jacques wetsuits’s development philosophy is to always think forward in order to offer a technical and elegant alternative.
The secret is then to anticipate every project and also to prioritize in order to focus on the essential.
Here are the innovations we have worked on to stand out of the crowd:
>SaintJacques has offered new innovating products for the summer, such as an ultralight surf cap as well as a beach towel with integrated bag. Our unique woman cape poncho have especially sparkled, finally a piece for the woman dressing’s.
>But our real winter reveal is our collaboration with Yamamoto, the Japanese leader on the neoprene market. A range of 3/2, 4/3, and 5/4mm will be available forthe riders seeking high end watersports wetsuits. Warmer and more durable with an exclusive closed cells making process.
A sober but remaining unique winter look.
You now have more informations regarding those repeted shortages and how Saint Jacques wetsuits kept innovating despite those challenging times.