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Case Study: Dover Saddlery Powers Online Growth and Expansion


Summary

Company

Headquartered in Littleton, Massachusetts, Dover Saddlery specializes in equestrian products, outfitting both horse and rider for any level of competition and riding. It was founded in 1975 by competitive equestrians who had been members of the United States Equestrian Team Foundation's 3-day event team. Since then, Dover has expanded its retail presence through a combination of new store roll-outs and acquisitions in multiple states. Today, the retailer operates a catalog and online business to serve riders across the country.

Challenge

In the early 2000s, Dover began adding new stores and acquiring existing tack shops, ultimately expanding their presence to thirty-one stores in nineteen states. Today, more than half of the business comes from physical stores while the balance is divided between online catalog orders and call-center purchases. All stores run a heavily customized retail solution (TOPS) that forms the foundation of the order fulfillment system. To appeal to a wide range of customers, Dover Saddlery maintains approximately thirty thousand SKUs, primarily apparel and equipment—often with multiple sizes and color choices—in a sixty-five gigabyte database. Much of the higher-end merchandise is physically located in the stores, although Dover also guarantees in-stock items will be delivered to customers within a few days.

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