Hibbett Sports Vendor

Hibbett Sports Vendor

How to Sell to Hibbett Stores and Become a Hibbett Vendor

Hibbett entered the e-commerce space with innovative strategies that defy traditional retail thinking, with their approach being tailored towards empowering their customers through customer care and self-service solutions.

All EDI invoices (810) must be transmitted at the UPC / item level for proper shipment to store locations. Incorrect packaging could lead to expenses being offset.


Product Knowledge

Hibbett Sports and City Gear boasts over 1,000 retail stores located across 35 states, offering athletic-inspired fashion and footwear with superior customer service. Their stores carry footwear, apparel and equipment from brands like Nike, Jordan, adidas and more.

Key to the company’s success lies in its strong understanding of customer needs. Each store employs two or three employees focused on providing exceptional customer experiences by offering knowledgeable recommendations and advice regarding products they sell, building brand loyalty with customers by offering incentives or rewards, and encouraging brand advocacy among their target market.

Hibbett uses technology and automation to increase customer experience. They send and receive EDI data at both wholesale and logistics facility levels using ASN 856 and UPC catalog through Opentext (formerly GXS), with 100% preticketed and accurate shipments being paid vendors for. Furthermore, Hibbett utilizes cross dock system at Logistics Facility level that routes inbound truck shipments directly from truck to store delivery truck.

Hibbett has made investments to their supply chain that go beyond streamlining the process; investing in technology and tools to help their stores maintain accurate inventory levels. Hibbett uses RFID tracking tags on all incoming shipments and feeds the information into their ERP system so all store managers and employees have more visibility into what inventory is on-hand across their organization.

Hibbett uses Radial’s Order Management and Payment Solutions to support their omnichannel strategy. After opening their online store in 2017, Hibbett sought an omnichannel partner capable of offering local fulfillment as well as fraud protection features like local fulfillment. Due to Radial’s machine learning capabilities and Dropship Manager they now experience better approval rates, reduced chargebacks, less manual review and automated decision-making allowing for an “endless inventory” offering for customers.

Inventory Management

No matter if you sell to Hibbett as an online retailer or brick and mortar retailer, be prepared to fulfill orders quickly and accurately. Along with timely EDI purchase orders (850) and valid advance ship notices (856), each shipment should submit a full EDI invoice (810) with its unique invoice number to allow Hibbett to track its status (i.e. ship-to-store/buy online pick up in store) as well as verify an accurate functional acknowledgement (997). Pack all shipments using conveyable cartons; do not use jiffy bags/burlap bags/mailing envelopes/plastic bags as failure will incur expense offsets or expense offsets from Hibbett.

Hibbett requires that each item purchased be accompanied by a receipt that details its UPC, size, style and color as well as providing an invoice outlining total quantity bought and the price per unit. In addition, credit cards with matching UPC codes will only be accepted.

Hibbett customers expect exceptional in-store customer service from store managers; in particular, store managers often know shoppers by name and call them when products they desire are back in stock or new sizes are arriving. Hibbett also meets this expectation online through its growing digital presence.

Hibbett knew when they began expanding their e-commerce operations in 2017 that they would require a partner that understood their omnichannel vision and could help them scale smoothly, so they chose Radial Payment Solutions from the beginning as their order management, payment solutions and customer care provider – enabling them to maximize store inventory, add in-store pickup/delivery options as well as fraud protection from day one.

Hibbett, as a sneakerhead-owned and operated brand, is committed to giving their customers the tools necessary for taking control of their shopping experience. They turn to Radial for this service by employing live agents who can respond via phone, email and text inquiries as well as AI chatbots that offer self-service options for customers. These features combined with sophisticated analytics enable Hibbett to quickly identify any issues causing customers any discomfort while creating an uninterrupted customer journey experience.

Customer Service

Hibbett is a premium footwear and apparel retailer with 1,110 stores across Europe and an e-commerce platform which represents approximately one-third of their revenue. Their omnichannel capabilities enabled them to quickly adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic with in-store pickup options that ensured customers were still able to obtain goods they wanted without closing stores altogether.

Hibbett provides customers with other ways of purchasing its products besides BOPIS/ROPIS and Ship-to-Store: an app and website make shopping on the go easy, while free in-store pickup for online purchases increases foot traffic and customer engagement at physical locations.

Hibbett has taken steps to support these initiatives by creating a dedicated customer care agent team who take calls and emails from its customers. In partnership with Radial Payment Solutions for order approval, chargeback, manual review, disapproval rates are increased while false positives and fraud rates decline significantly.

Hibbett requires its vendors to adhere to stringent ethical standards in relation to manufacturing and supplying its merchandise, imposing minimum wage requirements as well as banning forced or child labor. Any shipment that does not conform with its policies will be rejected by Hibbett.

Hibbett requires all shipments to their warehouse to be packaged in cartons that properly protect the merchandise during transit, adhering to minimum and maximum dimensions specified in their EDI prepack segments for each PO. Any carton that does not meet these dimensions will be rejected and an expense offset applied; additionally they require an invoice (810) that includes their store number in its N1 ST segment in order to indicate where merchandise will be sent.

Hibbett requires that EDI vendors ship orders within three business days after receipt of purchase orders. Furthermore, an expense offset will be deducted from vendor accounts if no functional acknowledgement (FA 997) is returned for each invoice (810) transmitted, so it is advised to schedule a conference call to discuss any questions or address any concerns immediately.

Marketing

Hibbett operates modest-size stores averaging 3,500 square feet and dedicates two or three staff members to providing exceptional customer service. Employees get to know customers by name and notify them via phone when new sizes arrive or items become out-of-stock; additionally they help shoppers navigate the store’s merchandise to locate what they are seeking.

The retailer is striving to stay ahead in ecommerce by creating an online ordering system, but only available at certain locations at present. In 2019, however, they plan to unveil companywide ecommerce site where customers can place an order online before collecting their products in-store.

Hibbett streamlines returns from vendors in order to reduce shipping costs, by consolidating returns at one central return center and all non-ordered merchandise being returned directly back through it. When shipping goods back, Hibbett charges 5% of merchandise value plus transportation costs as a consolidation charge.

At our company, all vendors must abide by a stringent ethical sourcing policy. Suppliers are expected to comply with laws such as OSHA and FLSA that apply when manufacturing occurs outside of the US; additionally all manufacturers are required to have written labor standards statements that outline policies and procedures relevant to our company.

Additionally, the company maintains an anti-discrimination and affirmative action policy with an aim of hiring qualified minorities, women and veterans and supporting equal employment opportunity for all employees.

Hibbett employs an omnichannel strategy to drive sales. Radial’s ROM platform gives them complete enterprise visibility into inventory levels, order management workflows and customer care data so they can quickly identify and implement process improvements.

Hibbett boasts an in-house merchandising team that actively seeks out new trends and products to add variety to their stores, while working with local brands to develop exclusive items sold both in stores and on its website. This allows it to establish itself as an authority within the sporting goods industry.

Step-by-step training on how to sell to major retailers

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We are here to expedite the process of making money with your physical products and that’s what we’re all about.  Take a look at our advanced training, live events, certification programs and so much more.

In this training, I will discuss some of the things to think about when approaching a retailer to sell your products and become a vendor. Hope it helps! 🙂

Karen Waksman,
Retail MBA

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And…if you like this training, you will love these new short training sessions as well! Click on the links provided to watch and grow your consumer product business TODAY!

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Hibbett Sports Supplier