Top Stock Aims to Transform Retail Service with Flexible, On-Demand Tech Reps
December 4, 2023
The Field Service Platform Announces 2024 Partnerships with BIVO and Topo Athletic
December 4, 2023 – STOWE, VT /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Founder and CEO Jake Anderson announced the launch of Top Stock, a new platform that helps active lifestyle brands service retailers, improve sell-through, and gather insights from the field. Top Stock matches brands with expert tech reps that can be deployed through a flexible fee-for-service model. “On-the-ground retail support is more critical than ever, but very challenging for brands to pull off at scale,” says Anderson. “The local talent is there, the interest is there, but the cost of full-time staff puts these programs out-of-reach for all but the largest brands.” Top Stock is hoping their freelance structure and hyper-local approach will change that.
Often called field service reps, tech reps play a vital role in the outdoor retail ecosystem by providing product education, merchandising support, and customer demos in local communities. Top Stock sources reps according to a brand’s target profile and trains them to be product experts. Brands deploy reps “on demand”, adjusting their service programs based on seasonality, product launches, or changing distribution. Top Stock manages the visit scheduling, and brands receive post-visit reports with data, feedback, and content tailored to their objectives. “It’s not just about being a service provider. We’re delivering actionable data, insights, and visibility that’s otherwise inaccessible,” Anderson explains.
Reps on Top Stock have direct retail experience and a minimum of five years in a customer or client-facing profession. Once approved by the brand, they undergo an initial training program followed by regular “jam sessions” where they connect with program leaders and fellow reps to review the latest product knowledge and service strategies. Each rep services only stores within their local community – a hyper-local approach that encourages tighter relationships with the store. Current reps include retail buyers, social media influencers, outdoor guides, and competitive athletes.
Eventually, Anderson envisions Top Stock reps servicing multiple non-competing brands, but they will stop short of actually selling products. “We’re focused entirely on supporting and augmenting a brand’s existing sales force.” Top Stock’s initial partners include BIVO, Topo Athletic, and Fulton Insoles. Prior to Top Stock, Anderson was the co-founder of Forsake, a casual outdoor footwear brand. He led the company as CEO until 2021 when the brand was acquired by Weyco Group. He served as Vice President at Weyco Group from 2021-2023.
About Top Stock
Top Stock is a retail platform founded in 2023 in Stowe, VT with the goal of providing emerging and established active lifestyle brands with field service reps that are flexible, hyper-local, and supported by technology. The company is backed by Forum Ventures, a NY-based venture fund focused on B2B software and marketplaces. To learn more, visit www.topstockretail.com.