Why Build SquadLocker, When There is a Team Dealer on Every Corner?

September 5, 2013

Gary Goldberg

SquadLocker History and MissionStarting a business is never easy. It takes capital, dedicated employees who are willing to trust your vision and most of all, acceptance of risk and the acceptance that sometimes even the best laid plans don't go according to plan. So please allow me to share my vision with you, why I decided to start SquadLocker and hopefully you will see and feel the passion that the SquadLocker team and me feel every day.

How SquadLocker Started

As a father of 3 young kids, there were many Saturday mornings spent at our local team dealer. Emails were sent out from league administrators telling us what uniform to buy, what number to use, and what balls or bats or gloves or sticks to bring. As a parent I was busy trying to keep my kid on task, explain to my sons or daughter the basic rules of the game they were being thrown into and understanding the commitment it would take as a parent to get my kid to and from the practices and games. Thank goodness for my wife, her organizational skills and her tireless effort in marshalling the family in the right direction.

As a business owner and third generation textile expert I saw something much different. I saw a business operating in a time warp, where the customer's time was not considered valuable. Where deadlines and timelines were either being ignored or constantly changing and the delivery of uniforms, payments and information was being done in a way that was too old fashioned to meet my expectations. I started to compare the way I purchased other things for our family to the way I was buying my kids uniforms.

The Team Dealer Gap

I started to make a list of the characteristics of buying goods from world class companies compared to my local team dealer. I quickly saw a massive gap.

World Class companies like Amazon, Nordstrom, Dell and Apple behave as follows:

    • You know what you are going to get.
    • You know when you are going to get it.
    • When something goes wrong, there is a clear and well-defined path to resolve matters.
    • Information is shared with me electronically and often.
    • My time is valued as these companies know there is competition and I am valuable.

Then I started to think about my local team dealer:

    • My options are limited in the way I can order, as well as the time of day.
    • I usually have to pick up my items and only when the store is open.
    • The return policy is unclear.
    • I hope my uniform is ready when they said so, but the only way to find out is via a phone call.
    • I always felt like I was on their schedule.

In identifying this gap between how my family purchases all of our other household goods and how we purchase our kids team uniforms I started to think that this same local team dealer is servicing my kids' school too. How much time was our local school's athletic director wasting on managing our local team dealer as opposed to managing the school's coaches, or even more important, serving the student athlete?

I started to envision a team dealer that can fill the gap between the old school ways of doing business with the more modern standards that we have all grown to expect in business to consumer and business to business commerce. What our team at SquadLocker is building is that next step, one filled with customer-centric systems and learnings where time and money entrusted to us is held at the highest standard. Where making things right is our highest priority and where the small orders and the big orders are treated one in the same.

I hope you explore our website and use our online chat system. I hope you call our customer experience department and ask for recommendation on your next bulk team order or your kids next team sweatshirt. I hope that you will trust us enough to earn your business and add to our journey of becoming the world class company that I have envisioned.

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