Third Bridge Intelligence

Third Bridge Intelligence tracks topline trends of over 165 companies, in order to discover inflection points before anyone else.

We speak to thousands of independent retailers and distributors, continually monitoring what they observe in their respective industries. Their collective views on volume, pricing and relative market share allow us to quickly identify company performance trends and market developments.

We are continuously distilling these insights into reports, which we publish as soon as we have an update. Our clients can then immediately use the information to develop investment theses and trading ideas.

FAQs for survey participants

Case studies

  • Objective

    Event Driven: Launch of New Gaming Console – Nintendo Switch

    On 3 March 2017, Nintendo launched its new Switch console onto the market. There had been a lot of industry discussion pre-launch around whether the new concept would prove a success with consumers. The console has a unique offering with three gaming modes (TV, tabletop and handheld), but it was unclear what the initial market reaction would be in the face of competition from other gaming console brands (Xbox, Playstation) as well as the growing mobile gaming industry.

    Methodology

    On the Monday after the first weekend of sales, we conducted telephone interviews with 30 Sales Managers and Associates at department stores in the US selling the Nintendo Switch, to find out how the opening weekend’s sales had performed against their expectations.

    Specifically, we asked about:

    1. Sales plan vs expectations
    2. Customer enquiries pre-launch vs expectations
    3. Feedback on the product so far
    4. Competition and market share

    The Results

    We release our report on the Thursday following the first weekend of sales. We were able to gather up-to-date sales information (e.g. 100% of respondents had sold out of all stock during the first weekend), reliable views on the product based on initial customer feedback and opinion on the positioning of the Switch vs competitors and its potential to take market share from Xbox and Playstation. This gave investors a snapshot of timely information approximately 2 months before Nintendo was due to release its quarterly financial results.

  • Objective

    Event Driven: China Announce a Travel Ban to South Korea

    In early March 2017, the Chinese government reportedly ordered travel agencies to stop selling tour packages to Korea. Our aim was to determine the effect of this announcement on the sales performance of leading cruise operators offering routes that included these countries, and whether this had the potential to cause a prolonged impact on revenue.

    Methodology

    We conducted telephone interviews with 45 Managers and Sales Advisers at travel agencies in China.


    Specifically, we asked about:

    1. Effect of ban on prices and sales performance
    2. Respondents’ plans for redundant cruise tickets
    3. Competition and market share

    The Results

    We were able to provide quantitative information on respondents’ sales performance in the immediate aftermath of the travel ban announcement (our report was published within two weeks). We also reviewed qualitative opinions of agents with long-term experience in the travel market on the implications of the ban for each of the companies covered, and how they were planning to tackle the situation.

  • Objective

    Ongoing: Dealer Sales Trends and Sentiment Towards Polaris, and Flash Updates on the Various Recalls of RZR Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs)

    Polaris, already largely covered by Third Bridge Intelligence since 2013, announced on 19 April 2016 recalls on certain RZR 900 and 1000 ORVs due to thermal-related incidents. Within a day we were able to speak to various dealerships to report on dealer and customer reactions to the recalls, and get their views on revised sales expectations as a result of the reported incidents. Following this, and due to the various announcements which have followed, we have continued to deliver our quarterly reports, and flash updates whenever there has been an incident/recall announced.

    Methodology

    We conducted telephone interviews with 50+ dealerships across the whole of the US.

    Specifically we asked about:

    1. The impact of the recalls on Polaris dealership sales
    2. The impact of the recalls on the brand’s reputation
    3. Inventory channel-stuffing and how inventory levels fair compared to customer demand
    4. Dealership outlook on the brand’s sales and reputation

    The Results

    Our research allows us to gather information from people with first-hand experience with the vehicles, so that we can regularly provide investors with valuable opinion on sales performance and brand reputation, and perceived changes linked to these events.

  • Objective

    Ongoing and Event Driven: Announcement of TPX Cancellation of Contract with Mattress Firm Holding Corp.

    Our coverage of Tempur Sealy International dates back to 2014. Following the announcement that TPX would cease working with Mattress Firm during CY Q1 2017, we gathered research from this split in distribution channels, speaking to retailers who were either terminating or continuing their business relationship with Tempur Sealy.

    Methodology

    Near the close of CY Q1 2017, we spoke with 28 independent retailers in the US to gauge their outlook of future sales of TPX mattresses, and an additional 16 Mattress Firm retailers about how they were dealing with their remaining TPX inventory.

    Specifically, we ask:

    1. Mattress Firm retailers: whether they are still selling Tempur/Sealy mattresses, and the price/discount
    2. Retailers continuing to carry TPX: YoY unit sales, discounting activity, competition and market share, and sales outlook for upcoming quarter

    The Results

    We published our report within the first two weeks of CY Q2 2017 and discovered that surveyed Mattress Firm retailers were attempting to clear their existing stock of Tempur/Sealy mattresses at the end of CY Q1, aided by heavy discounting (up to 70% off), and felt confident of achieving sell-through without the need to return products back to the manufacturer. Meanwhile, surveyed retailers who would continue carrying Tempur/Sealy mattresses reported optimistically for CY Q2 and based some expectations of sales growth on the narrowed retail channel they would benefit from, following the termination of Mattress Firm’s contract with TPX.
  • Objective

    Ongoing: Monthly Pricing Review of 25 Unique Automotive Manufacturers in the Chinese Market, across the Domestic, Mid-Range and Luxury Segments

    The auto industry in China is covered extensively by not only the sell-side, but also by two Chinese government associations that publish monthly volume data by manufacturer. However, thus far, auto analysts on the buyside have lacked a consistent and reliable data source to provide colour on pricing in the Chinese market. In order to complement our own quarterly auto coverage and fill in this gap, Third Bridge recently initiated its monthly auto discounting review.

    Methodology

    We conducted telephone interviews with Sales Managers, Sales Advisers and Sales Assistants at 500+ auto dealerships in China.

    Specifically we asked about:

    1. Level of discounting in current month vs. same month in prior year
    2. YoY change in unit sales for current month

    The Results

    We release our data within the first week of every month. The timely coverage provides buyside analysts with the pricing information they need (to be used in conjunction with the government’s volume figures), to get a sense of topline performance for 25 auto manufacturers. The monthly data is also a strong complement to the individual auto reports that we publish on a quarterly basis, which contain a mix of quantitative and qualitative information.

Meet the Intelligence senior team