Outdoor: Did you hear?…Teva president recovering from injuries, plus Sigg, Timberland, Access Fund, Outdoor Retailer, Internet shopping survey, and much more…

Teva's Carlo Lingiardi recovering from serious accident, Sigg sets up U.S. subsidiary, Access Fund awards $30K in grants, Wolverine's Outdoor Group undergoes organizational promotions, plus much more...

For the week of Nov. 1-7

>> Carlo Lingiardi, newly appointed Teva brand president, was involved in a serious accident while biking in the Santa Barbara area on Oct. 12. For a while, it was not known when or if Carlo would emerge from the coma he was in we were told by friends close to the situation. He is now out of the coma, thankfully. While SNEWS® learned of this accident weeks ago, we kept it quiet out of respect for his family’s wishes. Go to Deckers has set up an account, named Deckers Outdoor Corp., F.B.O. The Carlo Lingiardi Family, for any donations industry friends may wish to give in support of the family. To download the form, click here.

>> Taking a more active role in the U.S. market, water-bottle maker Sigg Switzerland has launched Sigg USA and opened an office in Stamford, Conn. It’s also named Steve Wasik as general manager, reporting directly to Sigg CEO Stephan Lack who is based in Switzerland. Prior to joining the company, Wasik launched the Bourjois beauty brand into the United States for Chanel, and before that was instrumental in building the Naya water business in the 1990s to $100 million in sales. “The market is ripe for a product like SIGG as consumers are demanding environmentally friendly products that are first and foremost performance driven but also have a ‘cool’ factor like theses bottles do,” said Wasik. He added that with Sigg’s backing and involvement in the U.S. market, retailers can expect to see more cohesive marketing and brand building efforts.

>> In its third round of grant funding for the year, the Access Fund awarded $30,900, bringing its total for 2005 to just over $100,000. Awarded three times annually, Climbing Preservation Grants provide financial assistance for local climber activism and protection of the climbing environment. The grants will be distributed for trail improvements, stewardship projects, outreach, and land acquisitions. Groups that received grants were the Carolina Climbers Coalition, Laurel Knob, N.C.; the University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Red River Gorge, Ky.; Utah Open Lands, Castleton Tower, Utah; Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Shelf Road, Colo.; Truckee Donner Land Trust, Donner Summit, Calif.; Friends of Indian Creek, Indian Creek, Utah; Friends of East Mountain, Great Barrington, Mass.; the Bigfoot County Climbers Association, Northern California; and Eastern Sierra Climbers Coalition, Buttermilks, Calif. For grant details, check out

>> Promising a profitable holiday season, Forrester Research predicts that an additional 2.5 million U.S. shoppers will log on to the Internet this season to bring overall online sales revenue to $18 billion. The surge in e-commerce between Thanksgiving and Christmas will bring in 25 percent more revenue than the previous year, according to a recent study Forrester. It also noted that many brick-and-mortar retail stores are using their online channels to attract shoppers, and are offering free shipping as an added incentive.

>> Outdoor Retailer has hired Mullen Public Relations to handle exhibitor and media relations programming for its summer and winter trade shows. Mullen will begin its new assignment effective immediately and will support the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Winter Market scheduled for Jan. 28-31, 2006. The agency will also work closely with Outdoor Retailer to plan special events in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Summer Market show in August 2006.  

>> Timberland issued its third corporate social responsibility (CSR) report highlighting its CSR priorities, programs, progress and challenges related to global human rights, environmental stewardship, community involvement, and employee engagement. The report, which is based on the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), also includes its voluntary disclosure of the names and locations of more than 160 active contract factories that make its products worldwide. Even though it has been several years since it last reported publicly on its activities, Timberland said it has started several but each time it discovered too many holes and not enough concrete, tangible, reliable information to share. The report includes updates on the work it is doing to strengthen communities, protect its environment and improve global labor standards. Timberland’s CSR report and its contract factory list are posted on Timberland’s website at

>> Chris Siegfried and Tom Foote have joined Cliff Earle as Bending Branches Paddles’ rep force in the Southeast region. Earle will handle Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia; 205-969-0973. Foote will cover Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia; 864-201-3672. Siegfried will handle Florida; 352-489-3302.   

>> A 2005 survey found that while the rate of unscheduled absenteeism barely budged since last year, the average per-employee cost has risen to $660 per employee — costing some large employers over $1 million per year. What may be of most concern to employers is that almost two out of three employees who fail to show up for work aren’t physically ill, according to the Unscheduled Absence Survey by CCH, a provider of human resources and employment law information. The survey found that personal illness accounts for only 35 percent of unscheduled absences, while 65 percent of absences are due to other reasons, including family issues (21 percent), personal needs (18 percent), entitlement mentality (14 percent) and stress (12 percent). The absenteeism rate was 2.3 percent in 2005 down slightly from 2.4 percent last year, the study found, while the average cost of absenteeism rose to $660 per person per year, up from $610 in 2004. The survey only measures direct payroll costs for paid, unproductive time. The high cost of absenteeism hurts organizations even more when other costs, such as lost productivity, morale and temporary labor costs, are considered, CCH said. Companies with low morale saw higher rates and costs of unscheduled absences. The rate of unscheduled absenteeism is twice as high at companies with poor/fair morale (3.2 percent) than those with good/very good morale (1.5 percent). Conducted for CCH by Harris Interactive, the Unscheduled Absence Survey has been done annually for the last 15 years. To review CCH’s findings on employee absenteeism and employer trends over the past 15 years, check out

>> Total apprehensions of both shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2004 increased nearly 5 percent from 2003, according to the 17th Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, an inventory control consulting firm based in Florida. The survey analysts noted that the rising number of apprehensions indicates that retailers are getting better at detecting theft but more people are also attempting to steal. Losses from retail theft are reported to be more than $30 billion annually in the United States, triple the number of 10 years ago, according to the study. For every $1 recovered, $36.47 is lost to retail theft, it said. In a sampling of more than 1.7 million employees, nearly one in every 28 was apprehended for theft from their employer, according to the study. Another study, the 2004 National Retail Security Survey, said employee theft accounts for 47 percent of such losses. There is no other form of larceny that annually costs Americans more money than employee theft, according to the report. Shoplifting is credited for 34 percent of the retail industry’s total losses — and it’s been growing each year since 2000. According to the FBI’s uniform crime reports, shoplifting is nearly equivalent to the cost of auto theft, the report said.

>> Although many yoga classes aren’t rigorous enough to give a serious calorie burn, researchers said it helps some eat less in general and, subsequently, lose weight. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle studied 15,500 people ages 53 to 57, who reported on their exercise and weight history from their 20s on up. Normal-weight volunteers who practiced yoga regularly (at least 30 minutes once a week for four or more years) gained three fewer pounds than non-yogis over 10 years, the study found. Overweight people lost five pounds, and those who didn’t do any yoga gained nearly 14 pounds. Lead author Dr. Alan Kristal said, “Yoga makes you more aware of your body. So when you’ve eaten enough, you’re sensitive to feeling full, and this makes it easier to stop.”

>> Getting even an hour’s worth of work done without interruptions is harder to come by these days. NFI Research ( surveyed senior execs and managers and found that 61 percent said they are interrupted 11 to 40 times during a typical workday. Seventy-six percent said the longest stretch of uninterrupted time is less than an hour. Twenty-one percent have one to two hours of uninterrupted time, while only 3.4 percent said they have two or more hours of uninterrupted time. One survey respondent said: “The greatest cause of interruptions is ill-discipline in overall approach to work, a misguided belief that the modern ability to communicate quickly must, inevitably, drive an ‘instant response’ behavior.” Another respondent advised: “I encourage staff to ‘manage’ the interruptions: check e-mail and voice-mail at scheduled times during the day, and don’t answer the phone unless you are prepared to stop what you are doing. Staff won’t be productive with one eye on the work in front of them, and the other eye watching the e-mail inbox.”

>> BOB is busting a move. BOB Trailers is relocating to Boise, Idaho, after more than 10 years in San Luis Obispo, Calif. It began searching for a new home due to continued growth that requires increased space for warehousing and personnel. The relocation process should be completed by the end of January, and will accommodate the completion of 2005 business as well as the arrival of new 2006 product expected to begin shipping in January.
>> Wolverine World Wide’s Outdoor Group — made up of Merrell, Sebago and Patagonia footwear — has undergone several organizational promotions. Wolverine said the group has achieved eight consecutive years of double-digit growth and is establishing the resource structure to support its continued expansion and launch of the Patagonia Footwear and Merrell Apparel initiatives. Scott Sible has been promoted to group vice president and general manager – Merrell Footwear, responsible for its global operations, including brand management, sales and marketing. Rod Stafford has been promoted to group vice president and general manager – Sebago Footwear, also responsible for the global brand development, sales and marketing. Craig Throne has been promoted to group vice president and general manager – Patagonia Footwear. He will lead the new Patagonia Footwear initiative on a global basis, with the initial launch of product anticipated for the spring 2007 season. Onder Ors has been promoted to join the Outdoor Group as group vice president – international, handling all of the Outdoor Group brands and operations with third-party distributors. Charles Willis has been promoted to group vice president – creative director. In this role, he’ll continue to lead the strategic direction, innovation and product development of the Outdoor Group. Tobin Teichgraeber has joined the Outdoor Group as creative director – Merrell Apparel, and will lead the design and development effort for apparel line, which is scheduled to be at retail in fall 2007. In addition to these organizational changes, Christian Triquet, president – Merrell Canada, and Mike Lynskey, managing director – Merrell Europe, will both continue to be responsible for the Outdoor Group business across all brands in these key international markets.