one retail destination that was ‘walk-in’ versus
‘walk-up.’ So by that I mean consumers have the
ability to touch and feel the products and to take
their time as they’re shopping the environment,
versus the old trailer model where you had 10
people behind you and you had to make a decision
really quickly and you were just pointing at something on the wall.
“Daytona was amazingly positive. People just re-
ally like shopping in a traditional retail environment,
versus pointing at things.”
While getting traditional fans to completely
embrace the new model remains a bit of a work in
progress, Dean and others have been encouraged
by the results.
Howard Hitchcock, president of Lionel Racing –
one of multiple licensees that carry the Fanatics
product at track – has witnessed the benefits of the
new model firsthand.
“One of the first things we noticed after the new
Trackside Superstore debuted last year was that
sales of our 1:64-scale die-cast cars grew very
quickly,” he said. “It’s so much easier now for fans
and children to pick up several of these cars as
they shop in the tent, whereas in the hauler model,
making an impulse buy wasn’t as easy.”
From last August’s debut of the Trackside Super-
store through the final race weekend at Homestead-
Miami Speedway, there was a 75 percent increase
in average order value, along with a 73 percent
increase in number of items per transaction and a
34 percent increase in headware sales.
Year to year, 2014 vs. 2015, saw a 22 percent
increase in sales, but that figure isn’t representative
of the full effect of the Trackside Superstore since
its debut wasn’t until early August.
“I run into a lot of consumers who’ve said, ‘I didn’t
think I was going to like this. I heard about this and
thought it was a bad idea, but I’m here and it’s really
cool,’” Dean said. “I hear that a lot. Certainly, there are
still people that would rather have the haulers back.
I think there’s been a lot of misinformation out there
about what happened to the employees that used to
run the haulers. I mean the fact of the matter is we
hired the majority of them and they’re actually running
the tent now. I think there were some concerns around
that that we were kind of being the bad guys in this
when we really partnered with the old companies’
employees and transitioned them into this new model.
“I think the fans are really getting used to it, and
when they give it a try they are overwhelmingly