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Press Releases

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance to Host Winter 2013 Show in Knoxville TN

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance to Host Winter 2013 Show in Knoxville, TN.

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The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance (Grassroots) will host its 2013 Fall Show at the Knoxville Convention Center and Hilton Hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee. Grassroots held their first Fall Buying Show at Stone Mountain, Georgia, in November 2010 and will continue to have the show in that location through 2012.

For 2013, Grassroots will change the location of the Fall show to meet the organization’s growing needs.

Chris Howe, Co-owner of Trailblazer and Chairman of Grassroots Trade Show Committee explained the move to Knoxville: “In the last 3 years, the retail membership has grown nearly 40% and the number of Vendor Partners has also expanded. The Knoxville Convention Center will allow Grassroots to invite more vendors to the show and accommodate the growing membership.” Howe adds, “Our membership has found the Grassroots Fall show to be a more cost and time effective solution to all the independent mini-shows and rep appointments that take place during such a mission-critical time in the Fall Season. At the show, our membership is able to see line presentations for Fall 2013, in a three day period and then get back to their stores in time for the key holiday selling period.”

Why Knoxville? The city has served as the hub of the region since its founding in 1791. Area attractions include tremendous cultural offerings, art, live music, unparalleled scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities. There are plenty of greenway trials, lakes, rivers and streams in Knoxville with the country’s most visited national park, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just a short distance away. The city’s historic downtown located near the banks of the Tennessee River provides a great atmosphere with an eclectic collection of independent businesses and restaurants.

Knoxville’s Mayor Madeline Rogero, voiced the city’s excitement to host the show, “We are thrilled to welcome the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Fall Show and look forward to a great relationship with the membership, representatives and vendors who will attend. Knoxville has plenty of outdoor recreational offerings, and we hope visitors will have a chance to hike our many trails, kayak our waterways, bike our greenways and explore other outings.”

Apparel and accessory vendors who plan to attend the 2012 and 2013 shows will include: Arc’teryx, Black Diamond, Columbia, Ex Officio, Horny Toad, Icebreaker, Kuhl, Lole, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Mountain Shades, Nau, Patagonia, Pistil, Prana, Royal Robbins, Salomon, SmartWool and Wigwam. And the Knoxville Convention Center can provide additional space to grow beyond that in the future.

“The fall show was initially designed to showcase our top outerwear & sportswear vendors.” explains Dawson Wheeler, Co-owner of Rock/Creek and Chairman of the Grassroots Vendor Committee. “The Grassroots Fall Early Show offers a focused look at our major soft-goods vendors that enable us to meet their earliest deadlines and provide feedback to the vendor from an independent retailer’s perspective. Since we can meet with both our reps and the vendor’s sales manager in a private setting, the show is immeasurably more effective than other regional or even national shows.”

“This show helps us to determine best business practices. Our membership sees value in buying a line with other Grassroots accounts; we have learned to trust each other and be highly proactive with our questions to both the vendors as well as our peers. Again, this speaks to the value of our group and the power of open feedback during the buying process”.

In closing, Roanne Miller, President of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance shares: “The Mission of the Grassroots membership– both vendor and retailer alike– is to build an organization that supports Specialty retailing. Our members have become very consistent with their support with our vendor partners and see them as the first stop in our buying process,” Miller explains. “The Knoxville venue will allow us to continue to work as a group with our vendor partners to address Specialty retailing head-on in a highly open and collaborative venue. Additionally, our members will be able to learn more about a unique partnership between one of our retailers and a non-profit organization, Legacy Parks Foundation, to create an outdoor center that both brings benefit to the city and raises participation in the activities that drive our industry.”

“We strive to present the highest-quality show venue as possible to both groups of partners, retail and vendor alike. We all have a stake in this process. That’s what sets Grassroots apart from many others. We are working to build an organization based on commitment. “

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance unites independent outdoor retailers as a strong voice to protect and promote the experience of outdoor enthusiasts across the United States. To learn more about Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, visit our website at