Coronavirus Coverage: Brand and Business Updates
A timeline of all brand and business news concerning the outdoor industry and the coronavirus outbreak
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Outdoor companies making personal protective equipment
Across the industry, we’ve seen outdoor businesses convert manufacturing processes for the greater good. Here’s a running list.
- ALLIED Feather & Down is currently making 10,000 masks per day.
- Arc’Teryx is helping to produce up to 90,000 medical gowns.
- Big Agnes is working to sew 10,000 masks for use at Colorado hospitals.
- Canada Goose is making scrubs and medical gowns.
- Cascade Designs has converted its Seattle factory to manufacture up to 20,000 masks a day
- Chaco is manufacturing personal protective equipment.
- The team at DPS Skis—with help fromengineers at Petzl, Goal Zero, and Eastman—has pivoted to make medical face shields.
- Eddie Bauer and Flowfold have started making masks for hospitals.
- KEEN has started producing washable, reusable masks and has pledged to donate 100K of them to grocery store workers in Portland, Oregon. A free mask will also be sent with every pair of shoes ordered on the company’s website, starting immediately.
- Kitsbow Cycling Apparel is making face shields and masks for medical workers.
- Melanzana in Leadville, CO is hard at work making masks.
- Mystery Ranch has donated material that can be used to sew masks for hospital workers.
- Orvis has directed employees at its Roanoke, Virginia, fulfillment center to start constructing face masks for the local homeless population.
- Osprey’s pack repair team has started sewing fabric masks.
- PackTowl has transitioned its Reno, Nevada, factory into a production facility for non-medical grade cloth masks.
- Salewa has spent $1 million converting its factory to produce personal protection equipment for healthcare staff.
- Salomon has started producing face masks at its French headquarters, where it hopes to make 90,000 units by June.
- Simms is making masks and medical gowns.
- Vermont-based Skida has started making masks that it will donate to schools, integral food delivery workers, grocery store staff in rural communities, nuns, and others.
- Smith, Yeti Cycles and Black Diamond are joining forces to make PPE face shields.
- Superfeet Worldwide has offered 3D printing capabilities to help make equipment.
- Vermont Glove has paused glove production to focus on mask sewing.
- VOORMI has donated neck gators to local hospitals and also donated enough of its proprietary fabrics to make roughly 25,000 masks.
- Western Mountaineering is focusing on sewing masks and other PPE.
Brand and business update timeline
Dynafit gives away neck gaiters and encourages local shopping
The company is distributing 10,000 neck gaiters to its retail partners all over the world at no charge—items that can be given away to customers as incentive for shopping local. The company is also shutting down its ecommerce operations from May 20-27 to encourage people to buy from local gear shops.
Wiley X donates PPE
The company has donated more than 30,000 pieces of personal protective equipment to help frontline workers.
Igloo donations total over $200K
From March 19 to May 1, Igloo donated 100 percent of profits from all Playmate coolers sold on Igloocoolers.com to the CDC Foundation and the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. The company has announced that the donation totaled $203,794.
Smartwool pledges donation of 10,000 more pairs of socks
After an initial donation of 5,000 pairs of socks to healthcare workers in 55 hospitals across 22 states, Smartwool has launched the Caring in Pairs campaign to help further. The company will donate a pair of lifestyle socks for every pair the company sells on its website, up to 10,000 pairs.
KNEED Footwear gives back through its website
The brand has reconfigured its website to make revenue sharing with local retailers easy and seamless.
VF gives back to OIA
The corporation has pledged to donate 15 percent of its Outdoor Retailer Summer Market refund to Outdoor Industry Association.
GU Energy Labs donates product
The company has donated more than 65,000 product packages to more than 175 hospitals, medical care facilities, fire departments, police departments and other first responders across the country.
VF extends pay and benefits
The company has announced it will provide full pay and benefits to all retail associates in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico through May 30.
Chaco launches retailer support program
The footwear brand has implemented a new drop-ship program that will “allow participating retailers to offer Chaco’s full collection of products online through chacos.com.” Retailers will earn a percentage of every sale and Chaco will handle delivery and returns.
Orvis forced to make layoffs and furloughs
The company has cut or furloughed an undisclosed number of workers across its entire operation.
Mons Royale launches revenue-sharing program
The New Zealand company has kicked off a program that allows customer to share 25 percent of online purchase revenue with local retailers.
Darn Tough donates 10,000 pairs of socks across hospitals in Vermont
The brand makes a generous contribution to aid healthcare workers.
Tailwind Nutrition donates product
The company that makes electrolyte powders for fueling athletes has donated 7,000 single-serve packets to over 50 hospitals and counting across the country and anticipates donating to 60 more in the coming weeks.
Backcountry and Distillery 36 team up to produce hand sanitizer for Utah homeless population
The outdoor brand has partnered with Salt Lake City-based Distillery 36 to produce hand sanitizer for northern Utah homeless outreach centers.
Bass Pro Shops founder donates masks
The CEO of the company will personally donate 6,000 masks to healthcare workers and first responders.
Rumpl announces retailer support program
The Oregon-based technical blanket brand has started a program to share revenue and other benefits with local retailers.
PeopleForBikes launches Ride It Out campaign to support retailers and suppliers
The campaign is designed to give retailers and suppliers the resources, communication, and engagement tools they need to inform their biking communities in a time of uncertainty.
Igloo donates more than $100,000
The company has donated the sum to the CDC Foundation’s Coronavirus Response Fund and will continue to channel all profits from Playmate Cooler sales online to the fund through May 1.
CamelBak gives away water bottles
CamelBak is giving away 10,000 reusable water bottles to healthcare workers. “Anyone authorized within their organization or facility can reach out to CamelBak at firstname.lastname@example.org from a valid company email address to submit their request,” the company says. “They should provide their name, name of the facility, shipping address, phone number, number of bottles needed, and a photo of their medical or organization ID.”
Kavu donates socks
“To show its support for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, KAVU has donated 500 pairs of Moonwalk Socks to the University of Washington Medical Center, where the pant legs of scrubs are now being tucked into socks to prevent contamination.”
Oboz makes donations
The company has committed to donating over 200 O-FIT insoles to Livingston Healthcare in Montana, a 3D printer to Masks for Heroes Montana, and 10 pairs of Arete shoes to help launch helpmontana.org.
Wolverine donates thousands of masks
The company has donated more than 35,000 protective masks to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Clif Bar makes large donation
Clif Bar has committed to donating 6.6 million Clif, Luna and Clif Kid Bars to help feed those in need.
Superfeet announces new programs
To help during the crisis, Superfeet is offering free drop shipping and an affiliate program to share revenue from sales on superfeet.com.
Honey Stinger donates to hospitals
The company has donated thousands of boxes of product to hospitals in more than 15 states to keep healthcare workers energized as they face hard days on the front lines.
HOKA donates shoes
The company is donating more than 5,000 pairs of shoes to those on the front lines of the crisis.
Cotopaxi makes the most of a bad situation
The brand has launched an initiative called Questival Quaranteam, a virtual adventure experience during the nationwide shelter in place/stay at home mandate. It has also teamed up with Uncharted Supply Co. in a mutually beneficial coronavirus partnership.
Kahtoola helps locals in need
The Arizona company is allocating creative, emotional, and financial resources to help the Grand Canyon’s Havasupai Tribe and the Flagstaff Family Food Center, both hurt by the pandemic.
Gearo helps retailers
The online gear marketplace’s software platform, Gearo Automator, will be free for outdoor retailers for the next six months.
Patagonia donates supplies
To support healthcare professionals in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, and Washington, the company donated 3,500 face masks it had left over from the 2017 Thomas Fire near its Ventura, California, headquarters.
Backcountry donates masks
The company donated 9,000 non-medical grade face masks to the New York Department of Homeless Services.
Zeal Optics donates goggles to hospitals
The Boulder company has begun donating ski goggles to two hospitals in Colorado—Lutheran Medical Center in Arvada and Centura Health in Centennial—as well as two hospitals that have requested eye protection in southern California.
The North Face donates funds and gloves
The company is committing $1m through the Explore Fund to “support the outdoor communities all over the world.” It’s also donating 60,000 gloves to healthcare workers in Colorado.
The VF Foundation donates a large sum
The organization has pledged $1.5m to the GlobalGiving Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Fischer Skis donates goggles
The company has donated 1,000 pairs of googles to healthcare workers through the Googles for Docs program.
Outdoor Research converts production
The brand will convert its Seattle factory to start producing up to 200,000 masks a day by early summer.
Columbia‘s CEO takes a pay cut
Tim Boyle will shrink his salary to $10k per year to keep paychecks flowing to the company’s retail workers.
Merrell has donated 1,200 pairs of shoes and boots to local hospitals in Michigan.
Vail Resorts donated 50,000 pounds of food to local food banks.
Kitsbow pivots production to respond to pandemic
The North Carolina-based maker of bicycle apparel used its “lean manufacturing” methods to pivot its entire business with amazing speed.
Hestra donated 38,000 pairs of gloves to Colorado first responders.
Mountain Khakis has launched a program to support workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.
L.L.Bean is using a distribution center to pack food for pantries.
The Colorado-based company has decided to temporarily close during the coronavirus crisis, with plans to reopen at some point later this year.
Outdoor companies start making masks
Eddie Bauer, Flowfold, and other outdoor businesses have started producing masks for hospitals in dire need of resources.
Alpenglow sells $75k in gift cards
The outpouring of support for the independent retailer transpired in just four days.
Craft Sportswear launches retail support program
The brand will give 20 percent of online sales to local retailers if customers use a retailer-specific code at checkout.
Brands step up to help small retailers
Revenue-sharing programs and other relief efforts are spreading across the industry.
KEEN gives away 100,000 pairs of shoes
To help people weather the coronavirus crisis, KEEN is giving away shoes to anyone who needs them.
Outside Business Journal launches #SaveYourLocalGearShop Campaign
In an effort to save specialty independent retailers, OBJ has launched a new effort to provide financial assistance to struggling shops. Read about it in a letter from out Editor-In-Chief.
Evo lets employees pool vacation time
The new effort is aimed at easing the financial losses of hourly workers.
Toad&Co expands aid program
The California-based brand has implemented new revenue-sharing tactics to help independent stores.
Locally helps retailers through tough times
The ecommerce platform has rolled out new measures to help small retailers keep selling even as their workers go home.
Smartwool implements company-wide remote work
All employees will work from home until further notice.
Burton and Canada Goose close all stores
The apparel company will close all North American and European retail stores until March 31. The snowboard brand will do the same indefinitely.
Protect Our Winters ceases operations until May 1
The group released this statement: “We’re canceling all POW events until the end of April at which time we will reassess the situation. This includes college talks, speaker series, POW Climb, POW Trail and fundraising events. We made this decision with our Alliances, brand partners, volunteers and all of you in mind.”
Two-week closure of all prAna stores
The California brand has shut down all six of its stores—in Boulder, Denver, Portland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Manhattan Beach—through at least March 27 to protect staff, customers, and community members.
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance releases retailer guidelines
The group has outlines 10 steps independent retailers can take to protect their businesses as the pandemic progresses.
Merrell closes all stores
Merrell has shut down all retail stores until at least March 27, with plans to reevaluate at the crisis unfolds.
Mountain Hardwear closes retail locations
The company’s statement: “To protect the health and safety of consumers, our employees, and the communities where we operate, we are closing our only retail stores in Seattle and Portland on Monday, March 16. We expect these stores to remain closed at a minimum through March 27th.”
REI closes 162 stores
All retail locations will remain shut temporarily, CEO Eric Artz announced.
VF Corp. closes all U.S. retail locations
Closures will extend through at least April 5 and employees will continue to receive pay and benefits.
Dozens of ski resorts close across the U.S.
The ski season may well be over, as shutdowns take many resorts indefinitely out of commission.
Patagonia closes down
The company has halted all web sales and closed all stores and suspended orders until at least March 27. Employees will continue to collect pay.
Access Fund sends employees home
The organization has said that all non-essential office staff will now work from home and some key events will be postponed or conducted virtually.
Tracksmith moves all group events virtual
A spokesperson for the company said, “Tracksmith made the decision yesterday to take community events to virtual amidst the health crisis to keep community, stoke and training going for our fans. Tracksmith made the decision to halt our run clubs and meetups at the Trackhouse HQ in Boston right now to keep everyone healthy.”
Petzl closes Utah headquarters
All employees, save a handful of warehouse staff, will work from home.
Patagonia temporarily closes Reno operations
The company closed its facilities temporarily over an employee’s report of exposure turned out to be false.
Vail Resorts, Inc. exercises caution
The company has withdrawn its previously released fiscal guidance for 2020, issued January 17, over concerns surrounding the outbreak.
Mountain Equipment Co-op halts gear rentals
The company has suspended its gear rental program in response to concerns about spreading the virus.
Outdoor Research takes precautions
The company’s leadership team is “meeting daily and will make adjustments according to the most recent information available,” the company reports. Among the precautions taken so far, the company has deep cleaned its Seattle offices; increased the frequency of daily cleaning of door handles, buttons, manufacturing equipment controls, and common surfaces; cancelled all non-essential employee work travel; and encouraged employees to work remotely.
Toad&Co helps its retailers through uncertain times
The California-based brand has set a new standard for responsible crisis management by providing financial assistance to its brick-and-mortar retailers struggling with the economic effects of the outbreak. It’s the first program of its kind to appear in the industry.
The two REI employees do not have the virus
“Both are healthy,” an REI spokesperson told Outside Business Journal. “Out of an abundance of caution, they will continue to work from home for the next 14 days (as we are encouraging across our headquarters staff).” In response to guidance from King County health officials, REI is strongly encouraging workers at its Seattle area office campuses to work from home through March 20. The co-op is also requiring that employees who meet “high risk” criteria (those who are 60 and over, have an underlying health condition, pregnant, or who have weakened immune systems) remain out of the office through at least March 20.
Eddie Bauer encourages people to work remote
With a spike in coronavirus cases in Seattle (70 known cases and 11 deaths) the retailer, which employs a few hundred people in its HQ, is proceeding with an abundance of caution. “We have no known cases present in our workforce,” reports spokesperson Kristen Elliott. “Folks are encouraged to work from home through at least March 20th and extra cleaning services have been employed.”
REI closes three corporate campuses
Following news that two employees at REI’s Seattle headquarters may have been exposed to the virus, the retailer has closed its Kent, Seattle/Georgetown, and Bellevue/Eastgate campuses for deep cleaning of the facilities. The company’s official statement reads: “On Monday, March 2, we learned of the potential exposure of two REI headquarters employees to the coronavirus. Out of an abundance of caution, we made the decision to close our Kent, Seattle/Georgetown and Bellevue/Eastgate campuses and begin a deep cleaning process, aligned to public health guidance, over the next two days. We plan to reopen our campuses on Thursday, March 5. Employees are working remotely during this time. We are also proactively deep cleaning our King County and Alderwood stores out of an abundance of caution. At this time, all REI stores are operating under regular hours. Across the co-op, we are stepping up cleaning efforts and providing additional cleaning supplies at our campuses, retail stores and distribution centers. Following guidance from public health officials, we are reminding all REI employees to frequently wash their hands and not to come to work if they are not feeling well.”