High Tech fabrics provide function, fashion at annual summer trade show
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (August 11, 2002) Ð Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, the world’s largest outdoor specialty industry trade show (August 8-11) held in Salt Lake City, provided attendees with a glimpse of the future with a variety of high tech gear, gadgets, outerwear and apparel to enjoy the outdoors.
Summer Market 2002 represented exhibitors and brands from all over the world with a total attendance of 16,848 including 848 exhibiting companies and 2,900 retail stores represented by 5,281 buyers. The 2002 numbers were down slightly compared to last year1s Summer Market which reached 18,792 with 948 exhibiting companies and 3,284 retail stores represented by 6,261 buyers.
“Summer Market1s attendance numbers show the strength and enthusiasm of the outdoor specialty industry, especially during a softer economic time. This is my first experience in this role and I’m awed by the passion and spirit of the people on both sides of the aisle. The years of friendship, history and commitment to the outdoor industry and its health is impressive and 100% sincere,” said Peter Devin OR’s Trade Show Director.
“This has been one of our better shows, our reps booked each day to its fullest and we saw all the dealers we needed to see — it was a very productive show for us,2 said Mike Pereyo, co-owner of oobe which specializes in outdoor sportswear.
“Best show we1ve ever had – the attitude of the retailers was better than anticipated, considering the current economic condition,” said Jim Clark, President and COO of Watermark.
“The show has been very solid for Black Diamond. Despite it being a somewhat flat year for retailers they’re in control of their business, they know what products are hot and they like industry leaders — which plays to our benefit,” said Peter Metcalf, CEO and President of Black Diamond.
Summer Market 2002 kicked off with the Open Air Demo held at Little Dell Lake. Other special events included the Opening Night Industry Party, Outdoor Industry Leadership Awards, “Seeding the Future” benefit breakfast and a full slate of seminars, parties and events (see attached “Highlights from the Show” for a recap).
One major trend seen throughout the show was the influx of technical clothing providing a wide range of features to consumers. Clothing manufactures have developed garments that can address any challenge that might occur during an outdoor experience including built-in bug repellant, ultra-lightweight fabrics, moisture management, anti-microbial properties and sun block protection.
“With the spread of the West Nile Virus, the timing was perfect for Ex Officio to launch our new Bug-Away shirt at Summer Market. The Bug-Away line blocks mosquito attacks with a non-toxic, hypoallergenic, insect repellent treatment. We’ve also seen a great demand for our garments with built-in sun protection – this has been a great show for us,” Janine Robertson spokesperson for Ex Officio.
And for those consumers who are getting weighed down by their outdoor gear, the outdoor industry has developed a wide-range of ultra-lightweight products utilizing a variety of new technical fabrics and materials.
“We believe in the concept of developing lightweight products for fast packing, trail running, lightweight hiking mountaineering and multi-sport enthusiasts. At this show we1ve had well over 100 appointments and just about every appointment has committed to buy our lightweight hard goods and softgoods – which is virtually unheard of,” said Demetri Coupouanas, President of GoLite.
Another category that continues to grow each season is the “soft shell” apparel segment. This category of mid-weight and outerwear garments remains a relatively new concept for the American consumer and a constant topic of discussion at the show. The soft shell definition varies slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer but common characteristics include bbreathability, water-resistance and a stretchy feel — ideal for varying weather conditions and aerobic activities.
“Soft shell technology offers manufacturers and retailers more opportunities to match the needs of consumers,” said Bob Holding, VP of Marketing for Arc’teryx. “Because fabrics described as soft shell encompass so many different characteristics, product designers can create very versatile pieces.”
The Outdoor Retailer Summer and Winter Market are the world’s largest outdoor specialty industry trade shows. Outdoor Retailer produces two annual show guides, on-site show dailies and an internet based expo-newsletter. More Information regarding Outdoor Retailer’s international expos and trade news is available on the internet at www.outdoorretailer.com. For additional information regarding Outdoor Retailer, please contact Lori Crabtree at Stanwood & Partners Public Relations by phone 307-733-1514 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** Highlights from Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2002***
*Open Air Demo Day*
A sneak preview of Summer Market 2002 took place on Wednesday, August 7th, at the Open-Air Demo located at Little Dell Lake, tucked in a canyon above Salt Lake City. A crowd of more than 800 Open-Air attendees got the chance to try the latest products from the worlds of paddling, camping and hiking.
This year 82 companies exhibited at the Open Air Demo, up from 65 last year.
Attendees enjoyed a sunny, breezy day to test out the latest canoes, kayaks and a variety of other outdoor products.
*”Seeding the Future” Benefit Breakfast*
Kicking off Day One of the Summer Market, Elliott Boston III, who plans to be part of the first African-America team to climb the Seven Summits, spoke to a crowd of OR attendees about tapping into the minority market. The “Seeding the Future” benefit breakfast, sponsored by LOWA Boots and Outdoor Retailer, raised an estimated $25,000 that will be split between four nonprofit organizations: Appalachian Mountain Club, cityWild, Teton Science School and the Women’s Wilderness Institute. Other industry supporters included W. L. Gore, Nike ACG, LEKI USA and Galyans.
*Bigger, Better Bouldering Wall*
Summer Market unveiled a brand new bouldering wall for attendees to take a break from the show and try out this exciting new sport. The freestanding wall boasted dimensions of 141 long x 81 wide and 121 32 tall – the largest known artificial boulder ever constructed hosted a variety of demonstrations and athlete appearances.
*Outdoor Industry Leadership Awards*
A few of the outdoor industry1s shining stars were recognized for their leadership roles as the 2002 winners of the Outdoor Industry Leadership Awards, co-sponsored by Outdoor Retailer and Outdoor Industry Association. There was a notable female presence in the list of winners which included: Joan Keller retailer of Le Travel Store in San Diego, CA, Cindy and Jim Holton of Holton Sales Group in Eden Prairie, MN received the sales representative award, and Carolyn Cooke owner of Isis women1s apparel won the manufacturer award.
*Playground Project – Outdoor Industry Community Service Project*
Led by Timberland, W. L. Gore, OIA and Outdoor Retailer, more than 150 show attendees pitched in for 1-2 hours to build 10 playgrounds for underprivileged youth in the Salt Lake City area. The playgrounds will be donated to the following Salt Lake City non-profits organizations: Make-A-Wish Foundation Utah, the Adolescent Residential Treatment and Education Center, Christmas Box House and Samoan House.
*OR Expands Funding, Benefits for OIA*
On the first day of the show, a major agreement was announced between OR and the Outdoor Industry Association. Under the new agreement Outdoor Retailer will commit $6 million or about 1.2 million annually over the next five years to fund OIA-sponsored programs – doubling OR1s commitment to the association.