Pioneer Headphones in Sam’s Club

Powerplay had been providing Sam’s Club very strong programs, so the Sr. Merchant was very confident in our ability to perform. The Sr. Merchant asked Powerplay to find a sub-$100 over-the-ear Bluetooth headphone working with any brand. Powerplay and Pioneer worked to find a solution to the Sr. Merchant’s request, and we did it quickly. Most important was the reaction time of Powerplay in providing the necessary insight for Pioneer, and knowing what the Sr. Merchant was looking for, his emphasis on timing, and how the Sam’s programs and guidelines work in the club environment.

Key issues faced

  • Powerplay knew that Pioneer would be unable, at the beginning of the program, to provide a sub-$100 solution.
  • Powerplay first set up a meeting with the key people at Pioneer to discuss the situation and provide a viable solution.
  • Powerplay recommended going back to the Sr. Merchant and telling him that we could not do a sub-$100 over-the-ear BT headphone solution, but we could start at $129.
  • The Sr. Merchant agreed, but needed Pioneer to come back with a timeline solution of “what if the item doesn’t sell through.”


  • The focus for Powerplay was to ensure that Pioneer had the “reserves” in house to meet the necessary markdown to $99 and then to $79, if necessary.
  • Powerplay, Pioneer, and Sam’s Club discussed many issues that were uncomfortable, the most difficult of which was margin share to get to the necessary price points.
  • Powerplay met with a local display company to develop a mock display, timing, quote, and MABD compliance.
  • Powerplay’s operations team helped to ensure all product was out on display and in club during holidays with correct DCs.


  • Due to the ability of Powerplay to get all parties to an agreeable needs-based solution, we shipped 20,000 units to all 598 clubs.
  • The pallet configuration was a huge success, and we were able to quickly understand that the camel color option sold much better than black.
  • Powerplay operations was instrumental in quickly understanding, that the sell-through rate for camel was 75% and black was 25%, so they adjusted the balance of the incoming product.
  • The pallet configuration at Sam’s Club was such as huge success that the Sr. Merchant, 3 months later, asked us to place the item, in club, again, which we did.