Who doesn’t love good news? Yes, let’s start with that.
We’re ready for you
With the regular season being so disrupted, most studios postponed any buying in the Spring. We’re expecting that our clients will need a lot from us during the start of this dance season. Here is what we have in place to serve you effectively:
- We have hired additional staff to pick, pack and process online orders for extended hours from mid-August though October.
- We have negotiated preferential shipping with our major suppliers to ensure our orders are being processed first.
- We have eliminated processes that cause slow-downs to ensure our staff are able to serve our SWP customers as quickly as possible.
- We are planning to place orders with our suppliers twice a day to ensure a constant flow of products without delay.
Reaching our team
If you have any questions about your uniform or finding alternative products at any point in the season, please be in touch.
We are available via email and telephone. Please be patient! We will get back to you as soon as we can. Be sure to provide us with all the details so we can pull together all the needed info and get back to you as fast as possible!
Call 1 (877) 878-5479 ext. 6
Introducing the FootID™ shoe fitting system
To better serve online shoppers, we have optimized our ability to accurately fit shoes without shoe-sizers. It’s called FootID™, and it allows anyone to shop all our shoes online confidently.
All you need is the measurement of the length of your foot in centimetres, to identify your FootID™. Once you have your FootID™ number, you quickly find the right size for any shoe that uses the FootID™ sizing system. We are working to add the FootID size charts to the Studio Wholesale Program™ website in the next few days. For now, FootID™ will only be available for Quick-ship™ shoes we inventory in our warehouse.
Find your FootID™ https://www.inspirationsdancewear.com/pages/find-your-foot-id
Your risk-free online studio boutique
We highly suggest that you consider setting up your uniform on MyStudioStuff™ (https://mystudiostuff.com). It’s a risk-free way to offer dancewear to your clients.
You make a commission on every purchase, starting with the very first one, while eliminating all of the stuff you hate:
- No administrative work placing the order.
- No receiving shipments.
- No distributing products to dancers.
- No communicating about products with your dance families…you just send them a link.
The MyStudioStuff website is another tool that is designed to fit in with the Studio Wholesale Program™ perfectly. Find out more about how MyStudioStuff™ could work for you by visiting: https://mystudiostuff.com/info
Ok, we don’t want to be downers because we’re really excited for everybody to get back to dance again. However, as your partners, we do want to give you a heads-up that there are some red-flag areas which could become issues this season. At least if you know about them, they won’t be a surprise if they affect you, and maybe you can prepare for them and come out ahead.
World-wide inventory shortages
Just like the problems with toilet paper last Spring, we can see that dance inventory across North America is looking like it might be in for some trouble. You will need to be prepared for the potential of a shortage of inventory with most suppliers this season.
Why is that?
Many manufacturers produce just enough inventory for expected demand, knowing that they can slow down or catch up if things change, but only a little.
With the shutdown earlier this year, manufacturers' factories were also closed, their ability to ship products has been reduced, and many of them also held back production because they didn’t know how long the shutdown would last. Because the majority of dancewear sales happen with each new dance season, we won’t really know until September just how much of an issue this will be. However, we think the writings already the wall. Our ability to restock items is noticeably delayed this summer. We anticipate this will get worse and have an impact on much of the dancewear available in North America until well into 2021.
We will do our best to guide our Studio Wholesale Program™ members with updates about which products are available and which may be hard to get. We’ll also recommend alternatives. Please contact us with any specific questions about your favourite products.
Expect slower response times from manufacturers
The dancewear manufacturers have been hit hard. In the past, we would communicate with our reps to get inventory information and deal with issues quickly. Sadly, many of our manufacturing reps have been let go and customer service has been centralized. A small group of service staff are dealing with all retailers like us (instead of a regional rep). We predict that once the season starts, these poor people will be inundated with requests, and our ability to receive immediate and up-to-date information about many products will change dramatically.
How this affects you?
We expect it’ll take longer for our manufacturers to do the following:
- Answer questions about inventory information.
- Get back to us with info about products that are backordered.
- Give scheduling information for order delivery.
- The processing time of our orders may also be affected.
We’ve got your back!
Remember that we will be monitoring your orders. If you don't hear from us - it is good news!
We will reach out with backorder dates as soon as we have them. Expect a delay of 3-4 business days between placing your order, and the same for backorder info being available. At this point, we’re often seeing orders arrive to our warehouse before our suppliers get back to us with whether the products are in stock.
You can count on that we are on top of your order, and we will get information back to you as soon as possible, so that you are kept in the loop as to exactly what’s happening.
Expect order processing delays
We are expecting a much higher volume of last minute orders this year. We could be seeing up to double the amount of orders since most studios were too uncertain to pre-order in June. For this reason, we will not guarantee same-day shipping. Even next-day shipping may not always be possible.
Order online to expedite your order
You can expedite the processing of your order by placing your order on the Studio Wholesale Program™ website (https://www.studiowholesaleprogram.com). Orders that come through the SWP website will be processed first each day by our warehouse/shipping team.
We will accept orders by email and telephone, however processing will be delayed by 1-3 days, due the additional staffing required to create the orders in the system.
Login to test your account
If you haven’t already, make sure to login to your account on the Studio Wholesale Program™ site (https://www.studiowholesaleprogram.com) so you can begin to place your orders there when you need them. It is hands down your most efficient ordering system and your best bet for getting your products in-hand as fast as possible.
Discontinued DTTROL items
Due to changes in production and significant increases in the cost of fabrics, like genuine leather, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue carrying some styles of DTTROL shoes. The new reality of getting these styles in would mean very long wait times of 4+ months for new stock to arrive, and in some cases, prices almost doubling.
The following styles have been discontinued, and to assist in your planning we have listed recommended similar styles.
4725 Oxford Tap
- Recommended similar style is the SoDanca TA04 & TA05.
11006 Jazz Shoe (Tan colour only)
- Recommended similar style is the Capezio EJ2C & EJ2.
12003 Canvas Ballet Slipper
- Recommended similar style is the SoDanca SD16C & SD16
17000 Foot Paw
- Recommended similar style is the Dance Paw.
Better discounts by ordering on our website
We really want to encourage our members to shop using our site because it greatly reduces the congestion of having to create orders manually.
With the expected rush of orders this season, will be offering our products at the 20%, 30% and 40% discounts off retail in the Studio Wholesale Program™ as we always have. However to receive the 30% and 40% discounts, you need to place your order online.
Orders emailed or the phoned in will receive a standard 20% discount applied to all the products in the order.
No changes to orders in progress
Eliminating the opportunity to edit orders once they are in the system has been identified as the #1 way we can ship out quicker and increase accuracy. (Most errors are caused by changes to the orders while they are being processed.)
We are discontinuing adding or changing orders once they are placed.
Place a 2nd order instead
If you forgot something and want to add it, go online and place a second order. Add a message to the note section in the checkout section of our site to tell us to ship the 2nd order along with your previous order. We will adjust the shipping charge with a refund accordingly.
How to prepare for this uncertainty?
Nobody likes not knowing how things will go. We’ve tried our best to share this information with you in a supportive way, so you can hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
There are some things you can do this dance season to make things easier for you and your dance families…
Consider more general uniforms this year
Would you consider expanding your uniform from being brand specific to colour or general style specific?
For example the Capezio EJ2 and the So Danca JZ43 look very similar. If there is a backorder on a style, we can offer you a suggested alternative and help with the size conversion. We will waive the standard 10% restocking fee on returns for any items that were offered as an alternative for a delayed item.
Consider switching to Quick-Ship™ products
Quick-Ship™ products are our best sellers and are the products we generally have on-hand in our warehouse. Also, they are usually easier to get and companies are less likely to have major shortages. Choosing Quick-ship™ products decreases your chances of inventory issues because both Inspirations Dancewear and our manufacturers tend to keep them in-stock in higher quantities.
See our Quick-ship™ products:
When in doubt, choose So Danca products
So Danca has done a great job in maneuvering through the shutdowns and preparing for the 2020 dance season. The So Danca Canada warehouse is VERY well stocked right now. And when they do go out of stock, usually it takes no more than 2 weeks to replenish their inventory. If availability is your #1 concern, then So Danca is your new BFF.
See our So Danca products:
Manage your clients’ expectations
Let them know that we’re about to experience the ripple effect of the Spring-time’s shutdown on the dance supply industry, and that it may take a couple of weeks for their products to arrive at the studio.
We promise to do our best to get everything to you just as soon as possible. If they know there may be challenges up front, they’ll likely be more forgiving if/when there is a delay.
We’re in this together
We hear that phrase a lot, but experiencing the pandemic shutdown has definitely not been the same for everyone. Dance studio owners have taken a huge hit, often worse than almost any other type of small business. The truth is, a store like ours can’t survive without you, and as much as we love the amazing community of dance studio owners and teachers, we also rely on you to stay in business so that we can stay in business.
We’re doing our absolute best to make sure you’re set up for a successful 2020-2021. You may think that some of the points above are us covering our butts, but it’s because you expect a lot from us that we want you to know there may be some challenges up ahead, so you can look good with your dance families, and we can all roll with the challenges.
We want to know how we can help
If there’s anything you think of that we could put in place for dance studios to have a better chance at a great dance season this year, please let Amber know, and she will seriously consider every suggestion: