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SALT LAKE CITY (Jan. 26, 2008) â€“ Reinforcing its reputation as an industry that continues to lead in innovation and sets trends, day three of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, the bi-annual gathering of the $287 billion outdoor industry, showed that technology and fashion, infused with performance, will play a key role in consumer products hitting retail next fall. In addition, with wool seeing a significant increase across the board in base layers, layers and accessories, the industry is developing its own certification standards that certify place of origin and authenticity.
Manufacturers across a variety of categories are introducing products that bring everyday comforts to the outdoor experience including: Bula’s Stereohead hats, a range of hats that blend MP3 technology with Peruvian style; the SteriPEN Journey LCD, a water purifier that uses ultraviolet (UV) rays to destroy disease-causing bacteria and viruses; and Bluetooth-enabled helmets that answer phones from Smith Optics.
Outdoor Retailer’s twice-daily fashion shows attracted capacity crowds interested in seeing the latest in apparel that fuses technology with more fashionable fabrics, colors, prints and details. â€œWhile fashion may help introduce the public to our world, it also brings a bit of flare to what is normally considered adventurer’s garb,â€ said Kenji Haroutunian, show director. There is no question that consumers are looking for technical benefits keeping them comfortable in the outdoors.â€ New and established apparel manufacturers including, Icebreaker, Lole, Merrell, Scapegoat, and SmartWool have all introduced lines for fall ’08 that not only protect consumers in the toughest conditions, but enable them to easily transition from work to play.
Wool has made a solid comeback throughout base layer and mid layer categories. As this fabric continues to take hold, manufacturers are going a step further in explaining their renewable and sustainable wool claims, assuring consumers of their products origin. SmartWool is introducing an â€œintegrity programâ€ using the â€œZqueâ€ label to certify the wool used in its products, including socks and next to skin base layers.
Lastly, the prevalence of owners who include their dogs on outdoor adventures has ignited the need for products designed for the active dog. For instance, Ruff Wear has introduced packs, jackets and boots for dogs and has seen annual growth of 28 percent in the past four years because of this rising trend. Outdoor Retailer Winter Market is one of the few trade shows that permit dogs to walk the show floor as long they have a show badge and are properly leashed.
About Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor Retailer, produced by the Nielsen Sports Group division of Nielsen Business Media, is the leading outdoor industry business-to-business trade event, bringing together top manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of the recreational outdoors. Currently in its 26th successful year, OR gathers approximately 40,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for both Fall/Winter/Holiday and Spring/Summer markets. The Nielsen Sports Group, headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and its predecessor companies have been in the exposition and conference business for over 35 years.