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Outdoor Retailer and Outdoor Design + Innovation Have Successful Summer Events

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Outdoor Retailer, the leading North American trade show and premier business event for the outdoor industry, kicked off summer with energetic days of discovery and connection at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. The new Outdoor Design + Innovation sourcing show made its debut alongside Outdoor Retailer, and together the two events attracted exhibitors and attendees from across the U.S. and around the world. Outdoor Retailer rolled out several new features, including the all-new Hosted Buyer Program, capped booth sizes, and dedicated buyer hours, fostering quality connections. With both new and heritage brands exhibiting and more than 50 educational sessions and events, Outdoor Retailer provided a valuable three days for the outdoor industry to conduct business and build relationships.

“The Summer show launched a new era for Outdoor Retailer,” said Sean Smith, Outdoor Retailer show director. “The result was incredible energy on the show floor in Salt Lake and great momentum leading into our next events. This year, we made significant changes to our format based on industry-wide feedback with the goal of making a positive impact on outdoor business and positive progress for the industry. We brought in more, quality buyers; provided new ways for buyers and sellers to connect through matchmaking and buyer hours; created a dedicated sourcing show; and delivered extensive educational programming and unique networking experiences that enhance business. The big standout was the number of new exhibitors at the show – these are innovative brands with unique products that foster the discovery that buyers, and their customers, want. Now, we’re building off this collective energy and carrying this enthusiasm into our next shows. We look forward to bringing the outdoor industry together again in November.”

Discovering New Brands and Products

This summer, more than 80% of brands were first-time exhibitors, providing critical discovery for retail buyers seeking next generation and relevant products for the new outdoor consumer. These new brands launched products, and many entered the outdoor market for the first time. With booth sizes capped at 2,000 sq ft, dedicated buyer hours in the morning, and the floor plan organized by activity, the focus was on building relationships between buyers and sellers. New exhibitors included: Casström knives, sunglasses brand goodr, James Baroud roof top tents, LIVSN outdoor clothing, Sand Cloud sustainable towels and blankets, women’s outdoor apparel brand SENIQ, Slow Loris apparel, among others.

“We met retailers that are brand new, and they’re going to buy their first assortment and are looking for smaller, newer brands that everybody else doesn’t have. And that’s something that you don’t find at the other shows we attend – retailers are looking for new brands here,” said Andrew Gibbs-Dabney, founder of LIVSN, an exhibitor at Outdoor Retailer. “I love seeing people that I only see once or twice a year. When we’re in our little bubble back in Arkansas designing, we’re not out in the world. This is our chance to go out and test the things that we think are great, get feedback, meet people that we haven’t seen in a long time, and really just be a part of the industry.”

“This was the first time for us at OR with Sand Cloud,” said Brian Sanders, vice president of sales at Sand Cloud. “On the first day of the show, we opened three brand new accounts. So that was really exciting for us and set the pace for the day.”

“Since we come from the outdoor industry, we truly believe in selling the industry on our vision and product,” said Tina Thompson, co-founder of SENIQ. “OR was the best platform to do that, and the response was magnetic. Other brands in our lane aren’t attending the same trade shows, if any at all. We didn’t fit in with the mix, which absolutely made us stand out.”

More Buyers, More Connections

The all-new Hosted Buyer Program supported attendance for retail buyers from 49 states and multiple international stores. Overall, attending buyers represented more than 30,000 retail locations from specialty stores, regional chains, department stores, big box retailers, national gift chains, park shops, and more. The buyer to brand ratio was 3 to 1, with exhibitors meeting buyers from: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Aramark, Boyne Resorts, Costco, Dunham’s Sports, Garage Grown Gear, Good Sports Outdoor Outfitters, Fin & Feather, L.L. Bean, Macy’s, Poipu Surf, Sportsman & Ski Haus, Sunlight Sports, Terra Running, Title Nine, Urban Outfitters, West Marine, Xanterra, and more.

“The vendors at Outdoor Retailer are very intentional – they have great ideas and are looking for small retailers like us to carry their new products in our stores. The new vendors we met with were eager to work with us and were very flexible in working with terms and minimums,” said Jessica Tok, owner and buyer at Lake and Company in Stillwater, Minn. “The Hosted Buyer program is the sole reason why were at Outdoor Retailer. June is peak season for our business, and we were trying to decide on whether we come to the Winter or the Summer show. If it wasn’t for this program, I don’t know that we would have made it to Salt Lake City and we would have missed out on a lot of great products.”

“We had such a fantastic time, met a lot of great new vendors, saw lots of fun new products and innovation, and sat in on a fantastic talk about outdoor participation trends that was very thought provoking,”…

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2024-06-22 00:02:31

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