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OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER MARKET ’08 SHOWCASES INDUSTRY MOMENTUM DESPITE TOUGH ECONOMY
Sustainability, Versatility, Innovation, Value and Increased Int’l Buyer Presence Front and Center
Urgent Call to Action Issued to Engage Youth
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF. (August 25, 2008) â€“ After four days of exhibits, an Open Air Demo, networking, industry seminars and a clear call to action to engage the next generation of consumers, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (ORSM) showed steady industry momentum despite challenging economic times. International buyer attendance increased, while more than 200 new exhibitors showed for the first time, including global brand Under Armour. New markets, such as lightweight gear hauling utility trailers and stand up paddleboards, captured the future direction of the outdoor industry as retailers looked for innovation and alternatives in light of higher travel costs. Lastly, attendees not only saw the merging of outdoor performance and style from brands such as Arc’Teryx, Helly Hansen and Merrell, but also witnessed the first Project OR design competition (available for viewing on www.outdoorretailer.com), which tasked young designers with producing an original garment within 48 hours from materials they collected at the show from exhibiting suppliers.
â€œOutdoor Retailer Summer Market underscored what is right with this industry,â€ said Kenji Haroutunian, show director for Outdoor Retailer. â€œWe saw incredible energy, creativity, and the strength of community that differentiates us from other business categories. Manufacturers introduced gear, apparel and accessories featuring the latest technology at excellent price points designed to resonate with cautious consumers and to make it easier for people to experience the outdoors for the first time.â€
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Wrap-Up Release
Versatility, adaptation, smart â€œgreenâ€ business practices and lightweight product introductions were evident across the board, as manufacturers introduced next spring’s offerings designed to provide consumers with smart options. Recycled fabric was seen in backpacks, apparel, footwear and even sleeping bag insulation. In addition, reducing the carbon footprint was translated into lighter, more sustainably-constructed exhibit booths. Lastly, there was a significant upswing in the number of outdoor companies entering the luggage category in an attempt to provide alternatives that meet airline carry-on restrictions.
New for this year, ORSM devoted floor space to growing communities including endurance running and paddle sports, which hosted their own â€œlounges,â€ a concept that was warmly received. The Opening Day Industry Party featuring Rusted Root, a nationally recognized band, attracted more than 4,000 attendees. Other new services included childcare and doggie daycare.
The Open Air demo was the stage for the Wasatch White Water Chute Out, the show’s first white water competition, while famed climbers Chris Sharma and Alex Puccio took top honors for men and women respectively at the Mammut Bouldering Championships, both events available on www.outdoorretailer.com.
â€œAccording to preliminary numbers, attendance was on par with Summer Market 2007, though this was the largest number of exhibitors in the history of the event,â€ continued Haroutunian. â€œThis show is not only the best venue for buyers that want to see the latest product lines, but also, the ‘mecca’ for sharing information and connecting with industry leaders. It is where everyone feels the heartbeat of this expanding industry first hand.â€
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.