Traeger, Inc.

Q1 2023 Earnings Conference Call


spk00: Hello and welcome to Traeger's first quarter Fiscal 2023 earnings conference call. My name is Terry and I'm the conference operator for today. All participants will have the opportunity to ask a question today and you can do this by pressing star followed by one on your telephone keypad. I would now like to hand the call over to Nick Backers to begin. Please go ahead.
spk03: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining Traeger's call to discuss its first quarter 2023 results, which were released this afternoon. It can be found on our website at I'm Nick Backus, Vice President of Investor Relations at Traeger. With me on the call today are Jeremy Andrus, our Chief Executive Officer, and Don Bossel, our Chief Financial Officer. Before we get started, I want to remind everyone that management's remarks on this call may contain forward-looking statements, including regarding our anticipated full year 2023 results, which are based on current expectations but are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein. We encourage you to review our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31st, 2022 and our other SEC filings for discussion of these factors and uncertainties, which are also available on the investor relations portion of our website. You should not take undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We speak only as of today. and we undertake no obligation to update or revise them for any new information. This call will also contain certain non-GAAP financial measures, including adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income, and adjusted gross margin, which we believe are useful supplemental measures. The most directly comparable GAAP financial measures and reconciliations of the non-GAAP measures contained herein to such GAAP measures are included in our earnings release, which is available on the investor relations portion of our website at Now I would like to turn the call over to Jeremy Andrus, Chief Executive Officer of Traeger.
spk08: Thank you, Nick. Thank you for joining our first quarter earnings call. Today we'll be discussing the first quarter results as well as our progress on executing our long-term strategies. I will then turn this call over to Don to discuss further details on our quarterly financial performance. In the first quarter, we continued to execute against our plan as we navigated challenging environments. and position the business for a return to top and bottom line growth in the second half of 2023. First quarter revenues of $153 million came in towards the higher end of our guidance range, while adjusted EBITDA of $22 million exceeded the high end of our range by $2 million. I am pleased with our ability to over deliver on our adjusted EBITDA guidance for the quarter, and believe our results demonstrate our strong organizational focus on positioning Traeger for improved profitability. While our top line continues to be pressured by retailer destocking, as well as lower consumer demand in our grill business, our first quarter results increase our confidence in our ability to achieve our full year guidance. And as a result, we are reiterating our prior guidance. During the quarter, sell-through of grills remained negative versus the first quarter last year, as we continued to lap our very strong multi-year comparisons. The impact of lower consumer demand in the first quarter was compounded by continued retailer stocking compared to the first quarter last year, when retailers were still building inventories. However, sell-through in the quarter was in line with our forecast coming into the year. Importantly, Following a holiday period in which we leaned into promotions at retail in an effort to accelerate demand and clear channel inventories, we reverted to a more typical promotional cadence in the first quarter that was similar to prior year. I am encouraged to see consumer demand return to a more predictable pattern despite less aggressive promotions and in the face of what continues to be an elevated promotional environment in the outdoor cooking industry more broadly. In the first quarter, we continue to execute against our near-term tactical priorities, which we have discussed over the last three quarterly calls. In terms of inventories, we are making substantial progress on our right-sizing efforts. Our initiatives to drive sell-through in channel and our retail partners' destocking efforts in conjunction with lower production levels have led to a materially improved picture on inventories. with both our balance sheet inventories and inventories in the channel declining sequentially relative to last quarter. We continue to expect that this inventory rationalization process will continue through the second quarter and believe that inventories will be more fully aligned in the second half, which will allow for more normalized replenishment rates of grills. On gross margin, our team remains highly focused on driving margin improvements. In the first quarter, we made a strategic decision to optimize our pellet manufacturing footprint by consolidating our pellet mill portfolio from seven mills to five. By divesting of two higher cost mills and increasing efficiencies in the other five facilities, we expect to drive meaningful improvement in capacity utilization and cost per pound. Moreover, we have ample capacity to fuel strong growth in our pellet business in the coming years. In terms of our cost structure, in the first quarter, we realized the benefit of the cost reduction efforts we undertook last year, which resulted in annualized cost savings north of $20 million. Further, we have planned our expense structure prudently for 2023, which will enable the company to deliver growth in adjusted EBITDA despite our guidance for lower sales. We plan to remain highly focused on expense efficiency as we move through the year while remaining nimble enough to invest into high-priority growth initiatives if investment capacity increases. Moving on to our strategic growth pillars. Our largest long-term opportunity continues to be accelerating brand awareness and penetration in the United States. Our strategy is to meaningfully increase household penetration from our current 3.5% by driving awareness of the Traeger brand and increasing the productivity of our existing distribution network. Through community engagement, enhanced retail merchandising, in-store marketing, and product innovation, we believe we can materially expand Traeger's share of space devoted to outdoor cooking on our retail partners' floors. Our brand awareness remains at an all-time high and has done materially from this time last year despite our limited top of funnel marketing investment capacity over the last 12 months. In the first quarter, engagement with our community on social media continued to demonstrate the growing awareness of and participation in our brand. We grew our followers by 19% versus last year, and user-generated content posts, which we view as a key medium for our brand evangelists, were up by 16%. For the Super Bowl, We offered up unique content and recipes for the game and encouraged our community to post content using the Traeger Game Day hashtag, resulting in another record year of UGC posts on the day. Our awareness also continues to benefit from consistent and increasing media coverage. With articles and reviews covering our new product launches, TV spots featuring Traeger recipes and cooking tips for the Super Bowl, and numerous mentions in top 10 grills of 2023 lists, our media reach has more than doubled versus first quarter of last year. Traeger continues to be the grill brand that everyone is talking about. Going into our peak summer selling season, the excitement and enthusiasm around the Traeger brand remains as strong as ever. Next week on May 20th, we will celebrate our sixth annual Traeger Day, our holiday dedicated to family, friends, and wood-fired food cooked on the Traeger. In anticipation of Traeger Day and ahead of the grilling season, we have released a series of videos featuring meat and church barbecues Matt Pittman with recipes cooked on our new Flat Rock in Ironwood. The content is designed to generate top of funnel awareness and to encourage our massive community to cook together and post about it on May 20th. Next, onto our second growth pillar. which is disrupting outdoor cooking with product innovation. The first quarter was a critical period in our product innovation roadmap with the launch of two new grills in February, our new Ironwood and our new Flat Rock Griddle. These launches were some of the most successful in our brand's history, and I'm extremely proud of the team's execution of our go-to-market strategy from product development to commercialization. Innovation is at the core of our company and the level of innovation that we are bringing to the outdoor cooking market is remarkable. The first quarter's product launches cement our position as an industry disruptor. Our new Ironwood offers unrivaled flavor and consistency through a series of upgrades and new features. Building on the innovation of last year's Tenderloin introduction, the new Ironwood includes features like smart combustion technology, free flow fire pot, and a touchscreen user interface. enabling consumers to master their cooks every time. The response from consumers and retailers has been fantastic. The Ironwood had over 400,000 views on social media during the launch period and received positive media from Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, GQ, and Forbes. The launch of our premium flat top grill, the Traeger Flat Rock, has been something of a phenomenon. We have seen the griddle category expand meaningfully over the last few years, And in speaking with our community, we understood that there was a gap in the marketplace for a premium griddle and an opportunity for Traeger to disrupt the space. Complementing the tried and true dishes of the wood pellet grill, our new flat top grill opens a Traeger hood up to an entirely new menu of foods like pancakes, Philly cheesesteaks, and smash burgers. The flat rock solves several common pain points for griddle users with innovations like our TrueZone heating system, with three separate cooking zones, triple U burner design for even cooking across the cooking surface, and flamelock construction, which locks in heat and blocks out wind. The launch has been the most engaging in our history with over 838,000 video views and over 27,000 engagements on social media during the launch period. We are extremely pleased with the consumer response thus far. And as we have launched Flat Rock with limited distribution, there's a significant opportunity to increase distribution as we move through this year. Our next strategic pillar is driving recurring revenues. As expected, our consumables business was pressured by lower demand from a large customer who introduced a private label pellet offering last year. Outside of this, our pellet business remains healthy And sell-through in the first quarter was relatively in line with the first quarter last year, excluding this customer, demonstrating the recurring nature of this revenue stream. We also continued to grow distribution of pellets into the grocery channel. In the first quarter, we added pellets into nearly 450 new grocery doors across Albertsons, Spartan, Nash, and Raley's. We also grew our pellet offering at Kroger by adding our new value-sized 30-pound barbecue select pellet in over 1,600 doors. On the food consumable side, we continue to execute on our growth strategy through channel expansion and new product offerings. Of note, we secure new distribution for Traeger rubs and sauces in over 250 doors of Meijer. We also launched three new rubs focused on the most popular griddle meals to support the launch of Flat Rock. burger rub, breakfast rub, and spicy fajita rub. Our final growth pillar is expanding the Traeger brand internationally. Similar to the U.S. market, our international business was pressured by the retailer de-stocking in the first quarter. However, results internationally for the quarter were in line with our expectations. In the first quarter, we introduced our new timber line in European markets and our new ironwood in Europe and Canada. The product newness drove excitement on retail floors and led to improved reorder activity. Overall, we were pleased to see the consumer respond to new product. And while we continue to expect near-term softness in our international markets, we do expect meaningful improvement in second half sales trends. In conclusion, I'm encouraged by the meaningful progress we have made in the last three quarters on our tactical priorities. Our team's focus on right-sizing inventories, reducing our cost structure, and driving gross margin improvements will position the business for return to growth in the second half of the year and beyond. Moreover, the excitement and exceptional consumer response to our new product launches bolsters my confidence in Traeger's long-term strategy and positioning as an innovator and disruptor in the outdoor cooking industry. And with that, I'll turn the call over to Dom. Dom?
spk01: Thank you, Jeremy, and good afternoon, everyone. Today I will review our first quarter performance and discuss our outlook for fiscal year 2023. First quarter revenues declined 32% to $153 million. Grill revenues declined 40% to $90 million. Grill revenue was negatively impacted by lowered unit volume as our retail partners continued to destock in an effort to drive lower-end channel inventories, partially offset by higher average selling prices. Consumables revenues were $30 million, down 24% to first quarter of last year, driven by lower volume of pellets. Our consumables business was negatively impacted by the loss of volume with a customer who introduced a private label pellet last year, as well as lapping the large load of food consumables into the grocery channel in the first quarter of last year. Accessories revenues decreased 1% to $33 million, due to lower unit volumes of Prager branded accessories, partially offset by increased sales of meter. Geographically, North American revenues were down 33%, while rest of world revenues were down 13%. Gross profit for the first quarter decreased to $55 million from $83 million in the first quarter of 2022. Gross profit margin was 36.2%, down 80 basis points versus first quarter of 2022. The decline in gross margin is primarily driven by one, lower grill margin due to pricing, mix, and the timing of some expenses tied to our spring promotion, which negatively impacted gross margin by 240 basis points. Two, increased amortization of 70 basis points. And three, other unfavorable items worth 110 basis points. Offsetting these margin pressures were one, FX favorability, which positively impacted margins by 170 basis points, and two, lower freight and logistics costs, which drove 170 basis points of margin favorability. Sales and marketing expenses were $22 million compared to $35 million in the first quarter of 2022. The decrease was driven primarily by lower marketing expense, employee costs, and lower professional service fees. General and administrative expenses were $27 million compared to $41 million in the first quarter of 2022. The decrease in general and administrative expense was driven primarily by lower stock-based compensation expense, lower professional service fees, and reduced employee costs. First quarter operating expenses benefited from the restructuring and cost savings action taken last year. and we realized an excess of $20 million in annualized savings. Net income for the first quarter was $8 million as compared to net loss of $9 million in the first quarter of 2022. Net income per diluted share was 7 cents compared to a loss of 8 cents in the first quarter of 2022. Adjusted net income for the quarter was $5 million or 4 cents per diluted share as compared to adjusted net income of $19 million or 17 cents per diluted share in the same period in 2022. Adjusted EBITDA was $22 million in the first quarter as compared to $30 million in the same period of 2022. First quarter adjusted EBITDA was approximately $2 million ahead of the high end of our guidance range. Outperformance relative to our guidance was driven mainly by lower than expected operating expenses largely due to the timing of expenses between the first and the second quarter. Now turning to the balance sheet. At the end of the first quarter, cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash totaled $28 million compared to $52 million at the end of the previous fiscal year. We ended the quarter with $404 million in long-term debt. At the end of the quarter, the company had drawn down $41 million under its receivables financing agreement. and $43 million under its revolving credit facility, resulting in total net debt of $460 million. From a liquidity perspective, we ended the first quarter with total liquidity of $98 million. We expect liquidity to ramp as we collect on receivables and reduce inventory moving through the second quarter, which is our peak selling season at retail. Inventory at the end of the first quarter was $132 million compared to $153 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2022 and $160 million at the end of the first quarter of 2022. We are pleased with the progress we made in the first quarter in right-sizing our balance sheet inventories, and in particular, grill inventories, which drove the majority of the sequential decline in total inventories versus the fourth quarter. In-channel, we are seeing continued improvement in our retail partners' weeks of supply. While we expect the inventory rebalancing process to continue in the second quarter, we are well positioned to be in a substantially more balanced position going into the second half of the year. In terms of our outlook for full year 2023, we are reiterating our guidance for revenues to be between $560 million and $590 million, and adjusted EBITDA to be between $45 million and $55 million. As we discussed on our fourth quarter call, we expect our first half sales to be pressured by continued retailer destocking and challenging multi-year comparisons before seeing a return to growth in the second half of the year as replenishment rates normalize and we lap the substantial sales declines driven by destocking in the second half of 2022. We continue to expect that second quarter sales could decline in excess of 20% versus prior year. We are reiterating our outlook for gross margins of 36% to 37%, which represents 80 to 180 basis points of improvement relative to our fiscal 2022 adjusted gross margin of 35.2%. We expect to see the largest gain in gross margin in the third quarter, given the expected improvement in fixed cost leverage as we lap the large sales decline we experienced in the third quarter of 2022. We expect that lower transportation costs will be the largest driver of gross margin improvement for the year due to the decline in inbound freight rates. In summary, I am pleased with the solid progress we made in the first quarter on our key tactical priorities and believe we are well positioned as we move through our peak selling season. We will continue to balance our building confidence and our outlook for the year with the continued uncertainty around the macroeconomic environment, which remains highly volatile. We will remain agile in this rapidly evolving environment as we continue to execute against our strategy. And with that, I'll turn the call over to the operator for questions. Operator?
spk00: Thank you. If you would like to ask a question, please press star followed by one on your telephone keypad now. If you change your mind and wish to remove yourself from the queue, please press star followed by two. Please ask one question and one follow-up question for the speakers. And while preparing to speak, please ensure that your line is unmuted locally. The first question on the line comes from Simon Segal from BMO Capital Markets. Your line is open. Please go ahead.
spk07: Thanks so much. Hey, guys. Good afternoon.
spk03: So I was hoping that we could talk a little bit more about pellets, maybe both sides.
spk08: So can we talk a little bit more about what you think the consolidation will do of the mills.
spk03: So any color there from the supply side, thinking through the benefits, maybe quantifying some of the costs.
spk08: And then secondarily on the demand side. So can you guys talk through obviously the element with the large retailer? So when do we lap that? Maybe any color you've seen from their offering, how people are responding. And then lastly, we use pellets as an engagement proxy. So again, to distill out maybe the change in retailer and timing? Just help us think through how you're seeing engagement of just usage in general. Thanks, guys.
spk02: Great. Thanks. Good questions. I'd start with the closure of the two pellet mills, right? So I'd first start by saying this ties into the broader strategy that we've been executing over the last call it 12 months in terms of just really optimizing the entire cost structure of our business, right? And as we think about the dynamics during the pandemic, as well as what we're seeing now post pandemic, and the fact that we're getting a better understanding for the demand pull forward that we experienced, I think what we effectively landed on here as part of, again, our overall strategy to kind of re-optimize and rebalance our cost structure is one, we really determined that at this point forward, we just had too much capacity in the system. And two, that was putting pressure on the unit economics of our pellets. And so the opportunity that we identified was to rebalance our capacity in light of what we believe is, you know, the demand that we can forecast today for the next, call it two, three years, and, you know, adjust that capacity to a level that allows us to optimize the utilization rate of that capacity. And in turn, we can improve the unit economics on a run rate basis for our pellets and something that we're very excited about. And I think that the second layer to that is we had the luxury of identifying two pellets and pellet mills in the portfolio that frankly were less efficient than the remaining portfolio. And so we can actually shift some of the demand or utilization of capacity in other areas and further pick up gains from a unit economic standpoint on those pellets. So that's really the driving factor. It's just a component of the broader strategy and something that we wanted to address in line with how we think about just improvements in our operation and continuing to pick up, you know, margin improvements in gross margin in particular. The second question on, sorry, can you repeat the second question?
spk03: Just thinking through demand.
spk01: Yeah, just think, so that's the supply side.
spk03: How are you thinking about engagement? How are you thinking about demand, maybe sell and sell through? And again, just helping us basically contextualize from what you're actually seeing versus the retailer dynamic.
spk02: So we really look at the usage and sort of the demand of consumables in particular in two ways. The first is through consumables attachment against our install days. And what we're seeing right now is a reversion back to pre-pandemic attach rates. We've talked about this on previous calls where we saw a spike in attach and, you know, during the pandemic, and always believed that that would sort of renormalize post-pandemic, right, just given all of the factors associated with why that would be. And so, I think the good news here as we kind of look ahead and what we're seeing now is that attach against the install is tracking or sort of falling more in line with pre-pandemic where we would expect it to be, save a little bit of incremental pressure via the private label pellet launched by one of our large customers. As we think about the second layer to that, which is more a tell on consumer demand, it's a read into the IoT data that we collect, which is a better measure of usage rates, right? And I think what we're seeing there continues to be positive. So, we kind of look at it in multiple ways. One way is via cohorts, which is kind of like for like over time as you evaluate vintage and usage of those cohorts, as well as sort of aggregate cooks month to month. On the aggregate cook side, it's pretty consistent with what we've shared in the past in terms of, you know, number of cooks per month. And on the cohort data, what we're seeing is what we would expect. Like, as a cohort ages, say, 19 cohorts, you know, there is a marginal decline in usage over time. And part of that may be explained by the fact that as they age into, say, year four, they're looking to replace You know, a grill, given that they're approaching that that life cycle and may enter into a new cohort. So it's exactly it's playing out exactly as we would expect. And I think the 2nd layer to that, which we feel is very positive is that you look at. Each cohort, and you look at, say, a pandemic cohort, they're behaving exactly the same as Pre pandemic cohorts as our post pandemic cohorts. And so I think what we see here is just kind of building. install base of consumers, of users of our product who behave the same in a very similar pattern over time. And that first year of Cooke behavior really mirrors what we've seen historically. And so that just gives us a lot of confidence that the pull forward did what we hoped it would do at the end of the day, even though there's this overhang of pull forward and demand, we're also picking up consumers that will continue to be active and highly engaged with our product into the future.
spk04: That's great. Perfect. Thanks a lot, guys. Best of luck for the rest of the year.
spk00: The next question on the line comes from Peter Benedict of Robert W. Baird and Co. Please go ahead. Your line is open.
spk07: Oh, hey, guys. Thanks for taking the question. First, just on gross margin, Don, I see a little over 36% there in the first quarter. Recognize you guys are still expecting 36, 37 for the year. Do you still expect gross margin rate to kind of build sequentially as we move through the quarters? And so that's my first question kind of related to that and how you see kind of maybe the walk to north of 37% over time longer term. Sure.
spk02: So I'd say that we remain, I would give a more cautious tone on H2. I think that's consistent. So we're happy with where we landed in Q1. Really no surprises as we look at, you know, actual gross margin versus, you know, what our internal models show. I would say that the pressures that we're seeing in Q1 will be consistent in Q2, right? So I wouldn't necessarily look at the first half of the year as sort of a building sequential improvement in gross margin, in part due to the fact that, as we've talked about in the past, we still carry a high – the carrying cost of our inventory still remains higher than we'd like it to be. Whereas you shift forward to the back half of the year where we expect to start realizing sequential improvements in gross margin, that's largely driven by the fact that as we clear this higher-cost inventory, we'll begin to take advantage of what are really you know, improved rates in the inbound transportation market, where I wouldn't suggest that they're all the way back to pre-pandemic levels, given some of the nuances and dynamics internally around how contracts work, et cetera, but they're substantial improvements, you know, from what we were paying for containers, you know, a year ago, six months ago. So that's really the consistent theme, you know, a cautious viewpoint on how gross margin comps in the first half of the year with sequential improvements in the back half. And then in terms of just how we think about the future. Okay. You know, oh, go ahead. Yeah, so in terms of the future, I think it's consistent with what we've spoke to in the past, right? Our strategy really is focused on one, portfolio management, driving gross margin expansion via an optimized mix within the portfolio as we launch new product at higher margins. It's strategic sourcing as we continue to lean on and build out a highly functioning and really highly expert oriented operations and product team to go out and continue to cost down existing product within the portfolio as well as how we think about just the manufacturing landscape over time. And then lastly, just offer general operational improvements. Again, we've used one example of direct import where we cut out, you know, one layer of our value chain, which has proven to be a great element to the building tailwinds and gross margins.
spk05: Sure. Now, that's helpful. The second question is to see the inventory getting better in shape .
spk07: You talked about a normalization in demand patterns. Jeremy, I assume you're referring to maybe week-to-week builds as you kind of start to move into the spring season. Is that what gives you confidence in forecasting that there will be replenishment by retailers in the back half of the year? Maybe just tease that out a little bit more. It's an important dynamic, and I want to make sure we understand what you guys are seeing here in the early parts of spring. Thank you.
spk08: Yeah, so I think there are a couple of components to the predictability. One is that I would say this year, for the first time in multiple years, we're seeing predictability itself. And we track that very carefully week by week and certainly compare against prior years where we've gotten more normalized seasonality and against our forecast. And I would say we are seeing Point of sale data that it's just, it's reasonably predictable. Whereas last last sort of. 3 years have been fairly volatile in the pandemic on the upside and then last year to the downside. The 2nd component really. That that gives us confidence in our guidance. In our forecast is retail inventory levels coming back down to. healthy levels, which effectively allows us to replenish the units as they're sold through. So we certainly, we've seen the health improve meaningfully in the first quarter. In the second quarter, we expect that we'll end the quarter feeling like retail inventory levels are in a really good place. And that just gives us a view into revenue.
spk05: Great. Thanks so much. Good luck. Thanks.
spk00: The next question on the line comes from Peter Keith of Piper Sandler. Please go ahead. Your line is open.
spk04: Hey, thanks. Good morning, everyone. Sorry, long day. Good afternoon, everyone. the uh the credit environment is obviously something that has kind of a steady drumbeat in the background and we're hearing that smaller retailers are having to pull back on inventory purchases just because of the um the tighter credit backdrop you guys do have some big uh wholesale partners we also have some small ones i'm wondering is there any issue on order trends with some of your smaller retail partners out there because of this backdrop no not not from our side i mean we have a
spk02: really strong partnership with our retail partners. And, you know, we work on terms and it sort of ebbs and flows over the course of the season, where if we're setting larger quantities in, say, late Q1 for promotional periods or just the uptick in demand in Q2, you know, we tend to work on extended dating programs, et cetera, to sort of optimize their own sort of cash flow positions, given the fact that they are smaller retailers. In addition to that, you know, we tend to think of specialty within our realm as kind of this one-to-show, one-to-go model where they're not necessarily going to preload inventory at the levels you would see at a larger big box, right, because they don't have the storage, and therefore that gives them the ability to turn inventory more efficiently and manage their own cash conversion cycle accordingly. And so we want to be great partners here, and I think that goes a long way in terms of the trend we're seeing relative to what you're seeing, but we haven't necessarily seen anything pop up that would signal a problem from a credit standpoint and or impact order behaviors.
spk04: Okay, helpful. And then maybe for Jeremy on the marketing side, you've talked about kind of pulling back on some of the top of funnel marketing. What about that bottom funnel marketing? I'm thinking more specifically around your boots on the ground efforts with retailers. I know you would do in-store demos. You would train sales associates. You gave sales associates discounts so they would own the product. Are those efforts still ongoing, or is that something that also you're having to pull back on just given the demand environment?
spk08: No, I would say those efforts are still ongoing. As we think about near-term versus long-term needs, obviously in the long-term, we do need to, medium to long-term, need to invest more in brand awareness, sort of top of funnel customer acquisition. In the near term, we focus on two components. One is community engagement. And I shared some of the metrics in my prepared remarks on success that we're seeing in engaging the community around social, user generated content, cooking, just general cooking behavior, And that's sort of like, that's the specialness, that's the secret sauce of the platform that we can always lean into. We built the brand long before we spent dollars on top of funnel. We built the brand by executing effectively at retail. And we really feel like that is a competitive advantage that we have that no other outdoor cooking brand has, which is national coverage in the most important markets, boots on the ground, in retail, merchandising, training, stimulating demand, managing partnerships, and we haven't pulled back there. We believe it's a high returning investment. As we go from specialty retail to national retail, like Home Depot, for example, the needs change. And so we service those accounts on the ground differently, but we continue to make investments in the point of sale. I would say notably with Home Depot, we're sort of multiple years into making investments at retail in terms of breadth of assortment. but also investment in fixturing these Traeger Islands as we've called them. So the investment on the ground is alive and well. And as we progress and sort of stabilize and begin to grow and have incremental investment capacity, there's no question we will begin to lean more into this market assault strategy, which is really connecting the boots on the ground, the retail execution with top of funnel, investment in media.
spk04: Okay. That's great. Maybe you had just mentioned Home Depot right at the end. Has there been any update from the, not the door expansion, but I guess as you call it, the building out of the island and the two bay walls?
spk08: The Home Depot partnership is a strong one. We've made a lot of progress in terms of continuing to add space. We launched a few hundred incremental fixture doors in the fall. And in the second half this year, we will, again, we will meaningfully grow the, both floor space and the number of fixtures at retail. And that's sort of, that's just a, that's a very, it's a long-term, but very predictable form of growth by really driving presence at retail, which we find is directly correlated with brand growth.
spk05: Perfect. Okay. Thank you so much.
spk04: Thanks, Peter.
spk00: The next question comes from Joe Selzman of Telsey Advisory Group. Please go ahead. Your line is now open.
spk06: Yeah, hey, good afternoon, guys. Thanks for taking the question. I wanted to ask you a little bit more on some of the innovation with the ironwood and the flat rock griddle. It sounds like you've seen a great response, at least via social media. I'm curious if you're seeing, you know, a good unit response as well. You know, is the industry at retail taking it in? And, you know, you're seeing pretty decent demand from the end user. I would guess the iron would probably more so you mentioned flat rock is a little more limited distribution at the moment, but any thoughts on that.
spk08: So, so, well, we're, we're early, you know, we're, we're early, but I would say the energy that we felt on social in early innings, we're seeing correlated with sell through our expectation. out of the gate was that Ironwood would perform very well. It is a price point that is accessible to our consumer base. There's meaningful similarities in terms of design innovation from the Timberline, which is nearly twice the retail sales price. So, we're pleased with the consumer response on Ironwood. Flat Rock, candidly, you know, the social response caught us off guard. There was a lot more energy around that launch than we'd expected, which I think really speaks to permission that we have as a brand with a very engaged community and strong retail partnerships to distribute product. It gives us confidence in our ability to do something outside of wood pellet grilling, but again, something that was always intended to be a complement to the wood pellet grill. In terms of Flat Rock contributing to upside to the year, you know, we believe that the disciplined approach was to launch it narrowly at retail and sell through as exceed our expectation will be relatively constrained for the next six, sort of six to eight months on inventory. There are long lead time components there, but we really do believe heading to 24 that this has the potential to be a meaningful grower for us.
spk06: That's terrific. Great to hear that. And then the one other thing I was going to ask about was, I think in the Prepare to March, Jeremy, you made a comment about you know, being nimble and able to jump into new opportunities potentially when they arise. And I guess I was curious if you could share any more color on that, what you may have meant.
spk08: Yeah, I mean, I think it's important to sort of think about that within the context of where we've been at notably the last 18 months. We have, we've worked hard to be lean, to get lean as a business, to ensure that we are very thoughtful in terms of how we prioritize initiatives and allocate investment dollars behind those initiatives. And as we, it really, it motivates us to get really focused and really invest back in the core business. In a moment like this, where we are constrained, From an investment capacity perspective, being nimble suggests that we understand our priorities, that we are being thoughtful not just to the current moment that we're in, but we'll be thoughtful to the future. Traeger has always been a disruptor. It's always been a share gainer, and it will be going forward. And so thinking about long lead time investments, product, for example, takes multiple years to get a product to market. It's important for us to continue to lean into those investments. And so, as we create upside from plan, we have a decision to make, and that's what do we flow through versus what do we invest back in the business to ensure that we're driving future growth? And so, when I spoke about being nimble, it's really being thoughts around our priorities and being willing to reinvest some of the upside to ensure that we continue to be a share gainer long-term.
spk06: Got it. That's really helpful. Thank you, Jeremy. And good luck this quarter, guys.
spk05: Thanks, Jeff.
spk00: The next question on the line comes from Brian McNamara from Canaccord Genuity. Please go ahead. Your line is open.
spk07: Good afternoon, guys. Thanks for taking the question. I'm curious if you could expand a bit on channel inventories relative to where you thought they'd be two months ago when you reported Q4. Are they better, worse, or in line? I know April wasn't helpful from a weather standpoint, but are you seeing sequential improvement into May? Historically, I would imagine there's a catch-up in May and June when there's a late start to spring for this category. Is that how you're thinking about it as you reaffirm guidance?
spk02: Yeah, so that's right. Over the course of Q1 relative to our plan, we actually saw nice improvements ahead of our plan from an in-channel inventory standpoint. You know, part of that is kind of isolated to certain SKUs where we had more of a problem from a weeks-on-hand standpoint. And I think that just really builds our confidence in the fact that as we now enter peak selling season, we're sort of positioned at the front of that in a better spot from an inventory level standpoint and channel than we thought we'd be. And I think that's really positive news. So we're happy with the progress there. And that's also translating into, I think, an accelerated improvement in on-hand balance sheet inventories.
spk07: Got it. And I guess just from a unit share perspective, I mean, you guys have 3% or 4% unit share. So by definition, you can't be the problem in the channel. I'm just curious, as the market resets after we clear all these channel inventories, do you guys expect to gain shelf space or floor space with your retail partners in a more normalized environment?
spk08: Absolutely. Look, we feel good about our channel level inventories, and we are always motivated to add floor space. Our positioning is very strong, both from a consumer perspective, but also in correlated fashion at a retail level. So, not surprisingly, if you were to go into some of our highest penetrated markets, you're going to see the broadest assortment and the most real estate, and part of the way that we grow is by adding real estate. So that part of the strategy hasn't changed. We will, you know, as I said, as we add incremental Traeger Islands and fixtures into Home Depot in the third quarter, we'll continue to gain share of space, and we believe that will also drive share of business in the category.
spk05: Great. Best of luck, guys. Thanks, Ryan.
spk00: As a reminder, if you would like to ask a question, please press star followed by one on your telephone keypads now. Thank you, everyone. We have no further questions. Therefore, this does conclude today's conference call. Thank you all for joining. You may now disconnect your lines.

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