DENVER, Colo — 2018 marked quite a bit of change for Outdoor Retailer. After years of discussion and input from the industry, show dates shifted to the front of the season: Outdoor Retailer Summer Market moved to June, and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market moved to November. But the urgent need to move out of Salt Lake City to Denver forced the merger of Winter Market and the newly acquired Snow Show in January of 2018, sowing the seeds of confusion.
The first Outdoor Retailer Snow Show filled the Colorado Convention Center with buzz, new energy and excited brands and retailers, which obscured the fact that late January is still too late for many outdoor brands and likely will not be sustainable for years to come.
Our industry just finished the first-ever November Winter Market show and first-ever co-location with Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. It should have been a smashing success, but attendance was below expectations. After a great show last January, it is no surprise that many companies were asking or trying to guess, “which shows should we attend?” And many brands probably couldn’t resist the energy we experienced last January.
But the reasons to have our industry’s winter launch show in November remain as strong as ever. Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in November is the right time for our brands to launch their winter collections to retailers. Showcasing new product lines to retailers at the beginning of the selling season allows brands to highlight innovation and build momentum for a strong selling season. We believe outdoor brands with winter collections should attend the November show in 2019. If we come together for 2019, we can have both the energy and the timing we need to carry us into the future.
Here are the reasons behind November:
- National Launch of Winter Products Gives Industry Its First Look at the Season’s Innovations
The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in November is the national launch event for the season, highlighting innovation from across the industry. Coming right out of sales meetings with energy and momentum is an opportunity to see and share what will become the year’s most-talked-about products before anyone else.
- Co-locating Grassroots’ Connect with Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Streamlines Trade Show Travel and Expenses
Every November, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance’s “Connect” event co-locates with Outdoor Retailer in Denver, saving specialty retailers and brands time and money by allowing them to travel one time to a single location and to shop and sell more efficiently in the timeframe that makes sense for their businesses, while opening the possibilities of discovering new products at Winter Market. The Grassroots Connect event was extremely well attended, and 90 percent of retailers attending the November 2018 Connect stayed for Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, OIA and Outdoor Retailer are working to ensure a streamlined move-in and move-out for both shows and will continue to ensure that the timing and length of the combined events are most efficient for business and respect everyone’s valuable time.
- Shopping Early Lets Buyers Optimize and Maximize Ordering
November allows retailers to see the full ranges of product lines, side by side, early in the buying cycle. When buyers are better informed early in the sales cycle, they can make accurate pre-orders, ultimately maximizing open-to-buy dollars and reducing the amount of product that ends up in discount channels.
- The Outdoor Industry Is More Powerful When We Are Together and United
As our industry has grown and matured, our voice has gotten stronger and louder. Our messages are reaching a broad audience, and we are collectively making meaningful change in public lands policy, sustainable innovation and youth participation. As an outdoor community, we are stronger when we come together to drive progress on the issues that matter to our businesses and our customers.
We encourage other brands to see the benefits of the early season show and the importance of bringing the outdoor community together in November.
See you in November 2019. Together We Are a Force.
SOURCE: Outdoor Retailer press release