Press Releases

Grassroots cancels June 2021 Connect buying show, encouraging partners to stay connected with help from digital support tools and nearby regional events


KNOXVILLE, TENN (FEBRUARY 1, 2021) — Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the national organization dedicated to the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail, is announcing the cancellation of their spring Connect buying show, originally scheduled for June 7-10, 2021.

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Logo
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The cancellation is based on numerous business factors which remain impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including but not limited to safety considerations as well as attendees ability and appetite for national travel.

“This an unfortunate but wholly correct decision. We’re now honed in on our fall Connect show in Kansas City (Nov. 8-11, 2021) as a time where our community can once again gather, reunite and move forward together,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.

Previously, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance cancelled both their June 2020 and November 2020 Connect shows. Yet despite the cancellations as well as the remarkable business challenges of 2020, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance topline sales are down only -0.25% for the calendar year, with close to 30% of the group recording double digit growth. That positive news becomes even brighter considering the shelter-in-place shutdown of March 2020, which reduced the total annual operating hours of most retail businesses by 10-20%.

In the absence of the spring 2021 Connect show, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is encouraging retailers and vendors to remain engaged through Grassroots’ free assortment of digital support tools, including Grassroots ConnectHub — a shared-resource solution designed to simplify the remote buying process — and NuOrder, an innovative online platform which enables buyers to visualize their assortment by any data point.

Additionally, Grassroots organizers are encouraging member retailers and exhibitors to consider participation at nearby local or regional sales events through the spring and summer, such as 360 Adventure Collective (www.360adventurecollective.org) or the Western Winter Sports Rep Association (wwsra.com).

“In a year with an unprecedented spike in virtual tools, Zoom calls, and other digital Band-Aids, we’re recognizing — more than ever — the importance of personal engagement to our retailers, our vendors and the rest of the specialty outdoor community. Depending on where you are in the country, a regional sales event has the ability to not require air travel or even a hotel stay, and can more quickly and accurately respond to local realities,” said Hill.

ABOUT GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE: Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is a national association working together for the health and growth of independent specialty outdoor retail. With 94 retailers and 195 doors in 42 states nationwide, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is creating both a vision and roadmap for the long-term success of independent specialty retailers, through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialty events, and deep vendor partnerships. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is also recognized as a catalyst for the success of its retailers and vendor partners; an advocate for specialty independent retail; a promoter of education and community within the specialty channel; and a key influencer of the national outdoor industry. For more information on Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, please go to www.grassrootsoutdoors.com.

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT: Grassroots Connect is an ideally timed, invitation-only buying show for the specialty outdoor industry hosted by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Scheduled as early as possible in the buying cycle, Connect provides a highly efficient opportunity for retailers, reps and vendors to present, discuss, plan and collect pre-season orders. Cost-effective and simple, Connect is both an incubator and testing ground for the greater outdoor industry. Invited retailers receive a per attendee reimbursement to offset their travel costs. Upcoming Grassroots Connect dates include Nov. 8-11, 2021 (Kansas City, Mo.).

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT HUB: Grassroots ConnectHub is a shared-resource solution designed to simplify the remote buying process. Designed for simplicity and ease of use, Grassroots ConnectHub connects specialty retailers to qualified vendor brands of all levels by hosting essential sales tools and best practices in a single, structured location. Items available from vendors on Grassroots ConnectHub include primary contact information; available brand categories; an overview of their sell-in process; key deadlines; product and brand images; assets including workbooks, line review videos, price lists, MAP policies and order forms; and links to B2B sales platforms, if available. All company materials other than basic contact information will be password protected and accessible only by verified retailers. Grassroots ConnectHub has attracted more than 100 essential vendor brands to date, covering a broad range of outdoor categories. For retailers interested in participating in the Grassroots Connect Hub, please go to https://connect.grassrootsoutdoors.com/connect-hub.

ABOUT NUORDER: NuORDER provides Grassroots Outdoor Alliance with an online platform which enables buyers to visualize their assortment by any data point, providing them with broader and deeper views into what’s available and what they already have committed to, as well as establishing a common platform that allows them to more closely collaborate with the brands supplying that merchandise. The streamlined and integrated buying experience will also include centralized, digital linesheets and catalogs and the ability for collaboration in real-time between vendors and buyers. NuORDER is the leading wholesale eCommerce platform. Brands use NuORDER to deliver a seamless, more collaborative wholesale process, where buyers can browse products, plan assortments and make smarter buys in real-time. The NuORDER platform was engineered with flexibility and scale in mind processing over $36B in GMV. It empowers businesses of all sizes with enterprise-level technology. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California with offices globally; NuORDER connects more than 3,000 premium brands and 500,000 retailers, helping them grow and win together. For more information, visit: https://partnerships.nuorder.com/grassroots. For further enquiries please email: grassroots@nuorder.com.