Just called Lowe's in Cotati, CA (in San Francisco Bay area). They have the entire stock of Flavorstation stuff - appliances, CO2 cartridges, flavor mixes. I'm going out to investigate today and will report back on the experience.
If this is in 500 Lowe's right now that means that each store only needs to sell 50 units between now and the end of the year to reach 25,000 units sold just through the Lowe's operation in Q4. 25,000 units at $80 each is $2 million and that does not include the consumables.
I have to believe the $1 to $2 million in Flavorstation sales the company projected is extremely conservative. Lowe's , online sales, and the TV marketing sales together should easily be over $2 million.
Got back from Lowe's in Cotati after checking out the Primo operation. Walking in one passes the recycling cage where you put the empty Primo bottles and get a coupon for the new bottle. This was empty - they told me the driver had been by this morning to pick up empties and restock the shelves. They had about 48 five-gallon bottles of Primo water on the racks by the front of the store. They said this is restocked regularly.
The Flavorstation display was also at the front of the store in the "Exciting New Gifts" section. It had a nice dedicated display with a video to show the machine in operation and a live model Flavorstation 100. It seemed about the same overall quality as the base model Sodastream unit to me. Nicely finished and appears to be of good quality. The bottles are very much like a Nalgene bottle in thickness - sturdy and of good quality. Nicely contoured shape with sturdy cap.
There were 15 boxes of the Flavorstation 100 on the shelf - the clerk told me they had just put up the display yesterday and sold the first one this morning. Units priced at $79.99 and they come with the base unit, one sport bottle, 3 pupmps for the syrup mix bottles and one CO2 cartridge (Sodastream advertises one cartridge is good for 60 liters of soda - should translate into 120 bottles of Primo since the sport bottles are 1/2 liter but Primo does not state the capacity of the cartridges) Each box has a peel-off coupon good for $5 off any three beverage mix bottles. Next to the beverage maker were all the supplies - CO2 cartridges, spare bottles, beverage mix pumps and the flavor mixes. The standard cola and lemon lime with diet version of each, a diet energy drink, peach tea, berry pomegranate were on the racks. More flavors are coming soon per the website so hopefully those get out to the stores quickly. I bought a bottle of cola, lemon lime and berry pomegranate so when the Flavorstation 100 I ordered from the Primo store online arrives I'm ready to make some soda.
I can certainly see the appeal - the three bottles of mix I bought are the equivalent of 72 standard cans of soda and when the bottles are empty they go to recycling - no waste at all and minimal storage - the maker itself and all the mixes take up less counter space than a 6-pack of soda.
I see no reason why these won't sell well once the word gets out and they get into wider distribution with a bigger flavor selection. It offers everything the Sodastream product does and is comparably priced. There's a huge market for soda and it will be fun to make my own whenever I feel like it and not be lugging it home from the store and chucking bottles all the time. Not a lot to pay for something fun and convenient in my opinion. If the flavors are good I see no reason why I would ever buy another can of soda at the store - make it myself and know I am using clean water and not consuming high fructose corn syrup.
Primo's water segment should take care of itself just as a function of adding thousands more locations and the Flavorstations should do well also once they get the momentum rolling. Hang on a couple of years and this should pay off pretty well.
There you have it - first hand observation.
I stopped by Lowes in Machesney Park, Il. They carried Primo water and dispensers but indicated they would not be carrying the Flavor Station. The mgr said it had to do with proximity to a larger store, that store would carry the product. The manager said he had heard at a recent managers meeting that the feeling was Flavor stations would sell well, mainly because they were cheaper than Soda Stream sold by competitors. As long as they could get an ample supply of the product.
On the way home I stopped at Wal-Mart. They said they had not heard of the flavor stations, at this point. They do sell the bottles and dispensers however, I could not locate the dispensers and finally asked a clerk. Turns out they were on a bottom shelf, floor level, in the "do it yourself section". The clerk said they had been waiting for a promotional display to arrive from Primo, it was expected some 6 weeks ago and never arrived. They won't sell many dispensers with the current setup.
I hope PRIMO isn't ignoring their water biz in favor of the flavor stations. That would be a mistake. My opinion only :)
Report Back? Are you an idiot?
If everyone who has stock in this company went out a bought a flavorstation for $80 then the $1-$2 million would be crushed by year's end.
So, anyone who has this stock - go out an buy one! There not that expensive. You'll see a huge return in 3 months if you just do that.
Target and Costco already carry Primo water dispensers and have for some time. A Flavorstation won't take up any more shelf space than a coffee maker and there are at least a dozen different coffee makers on the shelves of any typical department store. Shelf space won't be an issue. Q4 was originally expected to be $5 to $7 million in Flavorstation sales so it would have been a fairly low key rollout under the original guidance. Much better to slow things down a bit and get the right product out than to rush into a mess and have to change things once they were already out in large quantities.
Huge over-reaction to a minor glitch, but that is usually the case with our well-mannered stock "market" (AKA casino run by the MM manipulator crooks)
went to the Lowes in Medford NY today........
they have a display.
This tomato I know is the manager and she said they recieved 16 FS 100's 2 days ago.
I saw the display.....sports bottles, CO2, syrup....all ok I guess, but the FS100 looked a bit flimsy.
79.00 ...........really looked like a 29.er to me. but hey...
Display was in front of store by courtesy, I guess for the exchanges.
You raise a good point, but I think the biggest hurdle is getting stores like Target and Costco to commit to floor and shelf space when they already have Sodastream products.
Plus, they set themselves back not having them in at least 1K of some of the major stores (Wal-Mart, Albertson's, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.) before the end of the holiday season. I do think you may see some gift card purchases as they become more popular, but still. Not having them in for Q4 = huge setback.
I agree that it was a setback and that is why the stock gave up 50% from last week. But, they are fixing the problems and Lowe's already has these products and soon they will have 500 also available. Look at the accumulation/short covering this morning. If you are patient you will be rewarded with in a quarter.