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Men’s swimwear and shorts is one of the categories experiencing a dramatic shortage. With stores unable to get shorts and swimwear from some of the brands they have in past seasons, NW Alpine is seeing significant sales of their $55 Bagby Short. Some retailers are moving over a dozen pairs a week, and only expect sales to grow as summer activities pick up in the coming months.
The do-it-all Bagby Short is a new release from NW Alpine. The short features a 7-inch inseam with two mesh pockets on the front and a small zippered back pocket for essentials such as a car key. Made with a C6 DWR coating, the durable Bagby’s are just as functional on the river as they are on single-track rides or multi-pitch routes.
So how did NW Alpine manage to bring a new short to market when other brands are struggling to deliver products they have been carrying for years?
The brand’s founder and CEO Bill Amos started his own sewing business, Kitchana Apparel Maufacturing LLC, in 2014. By owning their own factory, NW Alpine always has an American facility to manufacture their goods. By sewing on demand and shipping directly from Oregon, NW Alpine can quickly fill the needs of their retail partners.
Those retail partners are also thrilled that NW Alpine is determined to keep the same grassroots reputation it has had since its founding in 2010. The brand has made a commitment to never sell to box stores, e-retailers or put products on Amazon, giving specialty retailers a brand that their competitions do not have and their customers will not find on sale all over the internet.
The outdoor industry has entered an era where some of the world’s most notable brands are both struggling to find contractors with the capacity to make their products, and unable to ship them in a timely manner once they are made. Specialty retailers are growing increasingly frustrated with the same products they cannot get being sold all over the internet and on the floors of retail giants.
As brick-and-mortar outdoor stores look for solutions that will help them differentiate and survive, NW Alpine’s business model could become the future of the outdoor industry.