Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tron Comes to Paintball!

Hello to the world of Paintball! We here at Hockeytron are bringing to your sport what we do best in the world of Hockey: bringing high quality equipment to our customers at the best prices possible.

Paintball began in the woods of Vermont and New Hampshire, and quickly grew in popularity.  A few years ago the sport was on SpikeTV and ESPN, and while the media’s interest in the sport has receded, like hockey, it has become another “punk rock” of sports by maintaining a passionate following.  There are still pro tournaments where players compete in Speedball on the beaches of Florida and California, and the webcasts continue to rise in popularity.

Studies show that there are over 2.5 million people who play paintball, with over 1.9 million “frequent” players.  Many of these people are paying over $150/year to play.  Approximately 67,000 paintball guns are sold in the US per month.

On average, if a player wanted to start playing ice hockey, it would be at $500 investment to get the bare minimums.  Now using Tron equipment, a player can start playing ice hockey for less than $300 in equipment costs.  Why should it be any different for a Paintball player?

If you play Hockey, you know Hockeytron as one of the best in the business in terms of offering quality customer service, low priced quality goods, and a passion for the sport that starts from the top down.  We have over $10 million in paintball product ready to ship and we ship same business day.  Our website,www.paintballtron.com is currently live and ready to for you to browse name brand items like Valken, GoG and Planet Eclipse.

With that being said, we’ll see you  behind the bunker!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

An Interview with Chris Malki, Founder and CEO of Hockeytron

Here at Hockeytron, we not only want to give you the best deals for hockey equipment, but also give you an inside look at the industry and a more detailed look at all things equipment.  Our first post is an interview with Chris Malki, the founder and CEO of Hockeytron.  Chris has worked in the hockey equipment in the market for over a decade, and continues to be one of the leading whole sale distributors.  He also founded Hockeygiant, Hockeymonkey and Hockeyplus.  When he's not at the rink, Chris can be found at the Hockeytron store designing more equipment.

When did you first discover the sport of ice hockey? What did you like about it?    

I started playing hockey when I was 6 in Montreal, Canada.  My parents could not afford to buy me full hockey gear so I played street hockey until I was 11.   Everyone played hockey in Quebec and the Canadiens in Montreal were very inspiring in the 70s!

Who was/were your favorite player(s) growing up?   

Guy Lafleur, Yvan Cournoyer and Ken Dryden

What made you want to start producing your own line of hockey equipment?   

When I realized that the manufacturers were literally gauging us hockey players

How does someone design their own hockey stick?      

First you find a factory that has manufactured other sticks for other major manufacturers in the past,  then you obtain samples of all the different sticks and ask for the exact materials that were used.  You then start testing what they already have available.  You then contact composite factories for better materials.  You then look for the best possible resins.  Get the weight down, get balance and protect the major breakpoints with strong slash proof materials.

What are the most popular curves?  

The Malki ( P92 ) , Jarvis ( P88 ) and the Dvorak ( PM9 )

How do you design the color schemes on the sticks?  

You have your graphic artist design a stick graphic that is both noticeable on the ice and is conservative looking.

Why did you choose the name HockeyTron?    

It was the only short hockey name available on godaddy.com   The Tron has been used many times in the past as a suffix.  Jumbotron, Scantron etc

How many retail stores carry Hockeytron equipment?  

Close to 500 stores worldwide

Who tests the equipment?      

Several high end hockey players including the Junior Pro team from Ontario,  the Waterloo Siskins.

What's next for Hockeytron?   

Better skates ( both inline and ice ), Lacrosse, HECC approved player and goalie helmets.  More shields.  Jerseys for other sports and high end patented product!

Thanks Chris for your time and keep up the great work
Join us next week for another inside look at hockey equipment!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Brand new Hockeytron.com website goes live today!


Dear Valued Hockeytron Customers!
We are proud to introduce our new, improved Hockeytron website to you!  We have now implemented cutting-edge technology that tracks our inventory and we now are able to show you exactly what we have in stock in real-time!
Inventory is now managed instantaneously. With this technology, we are able to ship exactly what you ordered when you order it more efficiently and provide our buyers with the unique capability to re-order and manage inventory. No other hockey internet retailer boasts the same capability!
This new system utilizes automatic identification and data capture technology to efficiently monitor the flow of our products. The database can then provide useful reports about the status of goods in our warehouse.  We expect a level of order accuracy the other guys only dream about!
Please bear with us as the look and functionality of the new website will be upgraded over the next couple of months.  Our new drop-down menus make navigating our new site quick and easy, allowing you, the customer, unprecedented capability to browse for the hockey and figure skating items perfect for you and your family!

We have a new hockey blade curve chart that allows quick and easy understanding of what you favorite curve is equivalent to across several different makes and models of stick. Our sizing charts for other items have likewise been consolidated into efficient, informative tables that get you the information you need when you need it!

Please take some time to explore some of the new features of our site. If you need help, our staff is on hand at our normal number  888-544-8766 .

Our new web platform is called NetSuite.  With this platform we are able to understand better what happens with our product and improve our abilty to control it.   Consumer data protection is extremely important to us. We protect it with the new lock-down security provided by our ultra-safe new NetSuite platform!

Let us know if there are some feature you would like to see on our site in the future; we may be able to implement them!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The State of the Hockey Equipment Industry 2013

 
An unspoken question looms about the future of the hockey equipment industry. Are the manufacturers or the retailers profitable? The situation is not good for either, as both the manufacturers and the big retailers are currently hemorrhaging money! 

The biggest manufacturer, Bauer, has a 62% share of the market.  They make great product and they are publicly traded.  Even though they own the market, their profit is miniscule.
They are trying to add other categories to make their business model work, but at this moment they probably have a break-even business even with their monster share.

Easton, Reebok/CCM, Warrior and Sherwood have very little market share.  They have no chance of long-term success unless they come up with a way to take market share from Bauer.

I believe Sherwood/TPS will be the first to go under.  They have almost no share of the US market and their wood stick business is failing.

Reebok/CCM would be next.  Poorly managed, they have failed miserably every single year since the Reebok takeover of CCM.  Adidas, which owns Reebok, will decide if enough is enough this year.  $20M to $40M of losses (my estimate) year in and year out is not healthy, and there is no end in sight.  Their management team is horrendous and almost every decision they make is puzzling.  I believe it will become a house brand for some big national retail store in Canada in the future. 

Easton, as well is doing poorly.  Their parent company, Bell Sports, is trying to sell the hockey brand, though most interested parties want Easton's healthy baseball division as part of the package. 

Warrior, owned by New Balance, is not big and will probably look at buying someone to increase share.

So, after Bauer, which brands will fill out the top five?  In this economy, most hockey consumers stopped paying retail prices for goods.  On their present margins, the big manufacturers are not currently profitable, so how will they reduce their prices? 

Retailers have been using manufacturer's credit in the $10s of millions of dollars, but have been unable to pay them back for years.  Do healthy US businesses allow this in any other industry?  The big retailers are suffering a slow death.  They are selling product at their cost in order to raise cash so they can meet payroll, rent, etc. but usually have very little left to pay the manufacturers.  On the other hand, the manufacturers are addicted to the 4 or 5 big retailers in the US as far as loading them up with product, even though they pay them back very slowly. These retailers are losing millions of dollars every year and their only way out so far has been to not pay the manufacturers. 

Let's go back to my initial question.  What are the brands of the future?  Once the manufacturers or their parent companies decide that they do not wish to keep losing millions of dollars each year,  they will start calling the debts of the big retailers.  Since those retailers do not have the money, the manufacturers will probably take drastic action (closing them down).   I have asked my accounting buddies on my hockey team if it is possible for a retailer to do $40M in sales and have an inventory of $40M and still be profitable.   Their answer was unanimous: NO WAY!   But the manufacturers, with their actions, have alienated all the smaller to mid-sized stores and have caused many of them to shut down over the last few years.  What will they do about the consumer's trends (caused by the big retailers) to only buy heavily discounted product? 

These are questions that will be answered in 2013. 

The Tron business has grown ten-fold since last year.  We plan on continuing to grow by manufacturing great product (in the same factories the big guys make it in) and selling it at closeout prices.  Our hockey visors, hockey jerseys, socks, gloves, inline equipment all rank in the top five in sales.  We will be able to maintain our prices because we do not have the overhead the other retailers or manufacturers have.  We have pro players playing with our hockey sticks and love them.  Last year, we sold more visors than anyone other than Bauer.  We are currently selling more jerseys (also customized) and socks than anyone due to the great quality and price.  We are developing new products to continue this trend of excellence. Keep your eyes on our website to see what else we have to come!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Selection Budget Service


Why has Hockeytron.com become the #1 team, school and organization website to get hockey equipment?

 Customized hockey equipment bag with custom logo <br> TRON Locker Bag with Skate Pockets


Customized hockey equipment bag with custom logo <br> TRON Pro Travel


Chris Jarvis and his crew are dedicated to  giving schools, leagues, teams and hockey organizations great service and high quality product at half the price of everyone else.
We have a tremendous selection and huge inventory of product that comes to us straight from our factories.
No middle man is needed to add 50% in margin!    

Customized DJ100 Senior Hockey Jersey Customized DJ200 Senior Hockey Jersey
Customized Senior Hockey Jersey DJ300 Personalized hockey jersey DJ PRO Authentic


Compare our hockey jerseys, hockey equipment bags, gloves, etc to any major manufacturer.  We believe ours are better!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

TRON At The Let's Play Hockey Show

It's been very exciting for us this week...

The Let's Play Hockey Show provided us a golden opportunity to truly highlight just how far along we have come since our start not too long ago.  Having this opportunity to interact with customers and retailers alike and communicate our vision to them directly is truly special.  The relationships formed at events like this can easily prove very beneficial to all parties involved, and we are always looking to improve in any way we can.

Customized DJ100 Senior Hockey Jersey Customized DJ200 Senior Hockey Jersey

As we expected, our jerseys and our sticks are the biggest draws to the HockeyTron booth.  Nearly every person that has come to check out our booth has been drawn to our newest jerseys, the DJ300 and the DJPro.  


Customized Senior Hockey Jersey DJ300 Personalized hockey jersey DJ PRO Authentic

It was nice to be able to show samples of these highly anticipated jerseys, as well as our tried and tested DJ100 and DJ200 models:  With 4 model levels and plenty of options between styles and fits, we are making it very easy to fall in love with a TRON hockey jersey.

Tron Heat PV Senior Composite Hockey Stick
$149.99
TRON 405XS Grip Senior Composite Hockey Stick
$139.99
Tron 405XS Clear Senior Composite Stick
$129.99

Even other dealers and retailers are taking notice.  They have simply been mesmerized by the amount of quality that goes into each piece of hockey equipment we make, not to mention the incredible price at which we sell to other businesses.  Many people have called in or approached us with questions regarding opening up wholesale accounts, which are all done through our head Sales Representative, Don Thomson.  


View Hockey Tron Locations in a larger map

We have definitely extended our reach within the US.  This year alone, many new stores have opened up accounts with us and are enjoying the benefits of buying direct from us.  Worldwide, we continue to increase our sphere of influence as well.  3 more countries have obtained the distribution rights from HockeyTron, making a total of 10 unique countries so far.


View Hockey Tron International in a larger map

The turnout at the festival has been fantastic.  In the past year, we made serious strides to stand side by side with the other top manufacturers in the industry at an event like this.  Our hockey sticks are so comparable to many of the top sticks out there. 



TRON S30S Smoke Senior Hockey Visor
$24.99
TRON S40 Aviator Senior Hockey Visor
$24.99
TRON S40S Aviator Smoke Senior Hockey Visor
$29.99

Our visors absolutely blow everyone out of the water, and our array of hockey jerseys will get you a customized look in no time at all.  And as always, we do this at a price the other guys just can't match up to when you compare similar model levels and designs.  This has always been and will continue to be the goal; providing pro-level gear to all players without needing to be a pro-level player in order to afford it. 

We are in our second year and we already have semi pro and pro players playing in our gear.  Wait until you see what we have up our sleeves for our third year of existence!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Hockey Clearance Section - Practically begging you to buy it!


Do you visit the clearance section of HockeyTron.com?  Because it changes so much and so often, you just about have to visit it once a day to stay caught up on the ridiculous prices of some of the great hockey gear available there.

TRON V10 Senior Ice Hockey Skates - 2011
$39.99
TRON V10 Junior Ice Hockey Skates - 2011
$34.99
TRON V10 Youth Ice Hockey Skates - 2011
$29.99


Take the TRON v10 Ice Hockey Skates.  For a pair of senior ice skates to only cost $39.99, you could outfit an entire family of 5 for $200!  The skate itself is very comfortable and is a great choice for people who are just beginning to skate, whether in an organized hockey league, or even just recreationally with friends at a local rink.  Rental skates at most places are sometimes not taken care of properly or get sharpened poorly.  At least with your own pair, you can manage these things for yourself better, and always have a skate that meets your needs.


TRON Senior Warm Up Pants - 2011
$5.99
TRON Senior Warm Up Jacket - 2011
$7.99
TRON Junior Warm Up Pants - 2011
$5.99

I've gotten e-mails regarding a typo on the clearance section, and I love telling people that while we appreciate the concern, we are very much aware of the fact that we have very nice quality Track Pants and Jackets for under $8!  Think ahead to when you’re actually going to want to a couple of these in the wintertime, and the smart shopper is coming up big in the next couple of months.  Got a team?  Buy whole sets and flare them out with embroidery, screening, customizing, etc, and get a deal that's absolutely second to none.

Like Warrior Hockey Sticks?  There are a lot of you out there that do, and we are blowing them out here at HockeyTron.  Many mid-high end sticks are available selling for anywhere between 20 to 50% off MSRP.  Limited curves and flexes are available in each stick, but with so many models and types to choose from, finding a stick to meet your specs will probably not be hard to accomplish.

Not too many people are familiar with the Torspo brand, but we've come to love them here.  We get much of our Torspo stock at fractions of even wholesale pricing, giving us the unique freedom to sell a glove as phenomenal as the Surge 221 for 39.99.  Featuring Nylon inserts in a leather exterior and a double re-enforced rubberized grip palm, these gloves are built to last and constructed with protection and stick feel in mind.  Even the other models from Torspo offer great features at prices that simply can’t be beat.

The clearance section is constantly updating, whether it’s adding new items or taking off items we have sold out already.  We had GRAF skates recently on closeout and within 2 days, nearly every pair we had was sold.  People still ask about the special, which is coming up on a week old, and we tell them that it was just that quick and that they are no longer in stock.  So anything there can be available one minute and completely gone the next, so staying on top of looking out for savings can be the difference between a once in a lifetime deal and paying full retail at the other guys.