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ISSUE 1332 AUGUST 12, 2013

The Weekly Digital Magazine for the Sporting Goods Industry

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ISSUE 1332 AUGUST 12, 2013

The Weekly Digital Magazine for the Sporting Goods Industry Senior Business Editor Thomas J. Ryan Contributing Editors Aaron H. Bible, Fernando J. Delgado, Charlie Lunan, Matt Powell


Editorial & Creative Director Teresa Hartford Senior Graphic Designer Camila Amortegui Advertising Sales Account Managers Buz Keenan 201.887.5112 Katie O'Donohue 828.244.3043 Circulation & Subscriptions



SportsOneSource Publications Print Magazine: SGB, SGB Performance Digital Magazines: SGB Weekly, TEAM Business Digital Newsletters: The B.O.S.S. Report Sports Executive Weekly News Updates: SGB, Footwear Business, Outdoor Business, Sportsman’s Business, TEAM Business

SportsOneSource Research SportScanInfo, OIA VantagePoint, SOS Research

Photo courtesy Nathan

Photo courtesy Sport Chalet


4 LIDS to open fan shops in Macy's 6 Movers & Shakers Outdoor Participation reaches six year high 8 2013 Pulse Of The Outdoor Consumer study 27 Industry Calendar 28 I Am…SGB I Todd Vore, President, Implus Corporation


10 Sport Chalet sees future in Downtown L.A. Store


12 Noteworthy aisle candy from Outdoor Retail Summer Market 2013


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14 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market delivers upbeat message 20 Sandals show resilience as manufacturers look ahead to 2014 Copyright 2013 SportsOneSource, LLC. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors to SGB WEEKLY are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. SGB WEEKLY is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Articles appearing in SGB WEEKLY may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. SGB WEEKLY is published weekly by SportsOneSource, LLC, 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450. Send address changes to SGB WEEKLY , 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450

AUGUST 12, 2013 |



TO OPEN FAN SHOPS IN MACY'S Macy’s, Inc. and Lids Sports Group, a subsidiary of Genesco, Inc., plan to open licensed team merchandise departments in Macy’s stores nationwide and online under the name of Locker Room by LIDS. The shop-in-shops will be piloted in approximately 25 Macy’s stores and on in fall 2013, and an additional 175 in-store departments rolling out in spring 2014 as part of the initial phase. The departments will be operated by LIDS Sports Group under a license agreement with Macy’s with LIDS becoming the exclusive operator of Macy’s in-store team sportswear. Each department will contain licensed products associated with professional and collegiate teams. The assortment will encompass apparel and headwear, as well as

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home and novelty products. Custom embroidery is also expected to be available in selected locations. The shops will average 500 to 1,000 square feet per location. An interactive online kiosk will also be incorporated to enable fans of teams in other parts of the country to have their favorite team’s product sent to them. Macy’s said the new teamwear departments will complement its established assortments in active apparel and accessories, as well as athletic footwear now being supplied to Macy’s in partnership with Finish Line. “This is a natural and powerful expression of our My Macy’s approach to serving local customers,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chief merchandising officer. The partnership comes as Genesco is

rapidly rolling out its LIDS Locker Room concept, which had 100 stores as of May 4, as well as LIDS Clubhouse Stores, which had 44 as of that date. Another 46 Locker Room and Clubhouse stores are expected to be added this year through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. “As we continue to grow our Locker Room by LIDS locations across North America, the opportunity to partner with Macy’s allows us to immediately capture underserved markets in virtually every major sports city in the U.S.” said Ken Kocher, President of LIDS Sports Group. “Combining our expertise in sports licensed merchandising with Macy’s retail dominance gives us the ability to serve a much larger cross section of sports fans both in-store and online.”


MOVERS & SHAKERS Billabong International, Ltd. said Paul Naude has resigned from his positions as a director and employee of the company to pursue other opportunities. Naude most recently served as president, Americas. K-Swiss appointed Eric Sarin as the company’s new vice president of product. Most recently, Sarin was part of the team responsible for the impressive turnaround of the Le Coq Sportif brand. Palladium appointed Matthew Pantoja as the brand’s senior director of marketing. Most recently, Pantoja served as head of entertainment for Reebok. Leatherman Tool Group appointed Charles Calvin to vice president of manufacturing of Leatherman Tool. K2 Sports promoted Dominic McKenna, a longtime member of the K2 Sports leadership team, to VP & general manager of K2 Canada. Trigger Point Performance Therapy, the maker of performance care and self-massage products, appointed Gavin Whelan as international sales manager. Keen Footwear added dedicated paddler and river surfer Alex Mauer to its ambassador program. J. C. Penney Co., appointed Debra Berman as SVP of marketing. Berman previously worked for Kraft Foods.

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OUTDOOR PARTICIPATION REACHES SIX-YEAR HIGH Participation in outdoor recreation reached a six-year high in 2012 with 142 million Americans ages six and older enjoying the outdoors, according to The Outdoor Foundation’s 2013 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report. That’s an increase of about 800,000 outdoor participants since 2011 and equates to a participation rate of 49.4 percent. The seventh annual report is based on an online survey of more than 40,000 Americans ages six and older and covers 114 different outdoor activities. On the downside, the study, which provides an in-depth look at youth, showed mixed results about outdoor participation among America’s youngest generations. While youth and young adult participation remained steady since 2011, adolescent participation dropped. The low participation rate can be attributed to a six percent loss in participation among adolescent girls. On the other hand, adolescent boys’ participation continued to rise, adding three-percentage points since 2010. “Although encouraged by the report’s findings, we also recognize that the nation must continue efforts to engage young people in outdoor recreation to foster a generation of passionate outdoor enthusiasts and committed stewards,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. Additional findings include:

• While 13 million Americans started participating in outdoor activities in 2012, 12 million stopped for a net gain of one million total outdoor participants and a churn rate of 6.8 percent; • The number of total outdoor outings increased, reaching an all-time high. Americans took 12.4 billion outdoor excursions in 2012,

• •

up from 11.5 billion in 2011, with almost one-quarter of all outdoor enthusiasts participating in outdoor activities at least twice per week; Adventure racing grew the most over the past five years with increased participation by 211 percent; Stand up paddling had the highest number of new participants in the past year with more than half of participants tried the sport for the first time in 2012; Running, including jogging and trail running, is the most popular activity among Americans when measured by number of participants and by number of total annual outings; Youth who do not participate in outdoor activities say they are not interested in the outdoors. For young adults, lack of time is a bigger barrier than lack of interest; Introducing outdoor recreation and physical activities early in life has a lasting effect. Among adults who are current outdoor participants, 75 percent had physical education and 42 percent enjoyed outdoor activities in elementary school; As seen in previous reports, outdoor participation is highest among Caucasians and lowest among African Americans. Although Hispanic Americans have one of the lowest outdoor participation rates, those who do participate go outside as often as Caucasians, who have the highest participation rate.


A Market Insight Study from The SportsOneSource Group For more information, or to reserve your copy of the Pulse Of The Outdoor Consumer study, contact Neil Schwartz 561.692.3722 or email


PULSE OF THE OUTDOOR CONSUMER STUDY SOS Research takes an in-depth look at the key shopping behaviors, influences, and motivators for America’s active outdoor consumer.

This year’s study examines the following • • • • •

Outdoor Consumer Shopping Attitudes Outdoor Consumer Spending Patterns Outdoor Consumer Buying Decision Influences Where Outdoor Consumers Shop Brand Store Shopping Habits

• • • •

Online Shopping and Purchasing Patterns Social Media Influences and Habits Generational Attitudes and Behaviors Demographic Differences in Shopping Patterns

Topline Survey Results Available July 31, 2013 Full Report Available September 1, 2013 Custom Reports and Analysis Available Upon Request For more information, or to reserve your copy of the Pulse Of The Outdoor Consumer study, contact Neil Schwartz 561.692.3722 or email

A Service of The SportsOneSource Group


Photo courtesy Sport Chalet

SPORT CHALET SEES FUTURE IN NEW DOWNTOWN L.A. STORE On July 11, Sport Chalet, Inc. celebrated its arrival into Downtown Los Angeles at a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony, including a surprise musical performance by the University of Southern California marching band. Designed by architecture firm Gensler, the store, located at the FIGat7th shopping center, represents Sport Chalet’s first next generation store and was created to provide the urban community of Downtown Los Angeles with the sporting gear and expertise it needs most. The new layout includes flexible fixtures and modules that allow the store to be transformed overnight. It also introduces the Expert Center, a hubzcomplete transactions in the store, and also help find and order product online instantantly. Part of our current design has scuba classrooms in-store where customers can attend scuba classes and training sessions for Expert education. Since this experience is so popular, our next generation store highlights the expertise of our great sales staff through daily clinics to encourage consumers to learn about their area of interest or try something new. The versatility of the new Expert Center enables us to present product, teach lessons, present

a slideshow and support interactive learning with courses taught by vendors, athletes, and our internal team of Experts. When there’s not an event, class, or clinic going on, we have one of our Experts stationed there to guide customers to our Experts throughout the store depending on the product they’re looking for. It’s radically different. There are no clearly defined aisles. All the fixtures are interchangeable. We can move things at a moment’s notice or add or subtract categories. We’re also able to make the brands speak more clearly. If a brand can’t afford a large fixture or wall display, this format allows the smaller, more technical brands to come to life, whether it’s on an end cap for hardgoods or on a footwear table and certainly in our apparel offering. ARE THE AESTHETICS MUCH DIFFERENT?


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There’s a growing Downtown population with a definite resurgence in the residential population, as well as restaurants. The second component is the ongoing resurgence in Downtown office development, which means a greater Downtown population every day. This location is considered the hub and the core of everything in terms of

what’s happening with the nexus of retail, entertainment and office space. The third component is the ongoing improvement in Los Angeles’ tourism, both from domestic and international visitors. As a result, the store has an international flare to it. You don’t have to speak English to navigate it, thanks to the signage we put in it. It’s a compelling environment. Very strong. Traffic has been great. Those who are used to shopping in our stores in the surrounding communities like the new format. Those who have not, also like the new format. We’ve had favorable reviews from everyone in terms of it being radically different and a more engaging experience. HOW HAS RECEPTION BEEN?


us ultimate flexibility. It’s a smaller footprint than our traditional stores. Our traditional stores are 42,000 square feet, single level with a scuba training pool. This location is 27,000 square feet. We picked the merchandise that we think would perform best in Downtown Los Angeles. So far, it appears that we’ve chosen the right mix. That means it’s not everything goes, it’s a curated assortment across a couple of categories. It gives us the ability to think about other opportunities and not just in a pure urban environment. It’s more about having the flexibility to match the square footage to exactly where the store’s located. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE SPORT CHALET’S FISCAL 2013 PERFOR-

We clearly need to do better. We all understand that. There were obviously quite a number of wins last year on things that clearly worked in our favor and a lot of the initiatives that we have in place are really performing well. Like any other business, a couple of things need some fine-tuning and we’re working on those. 2013 was a step in the right direction for us. MANCE?


We continue to attract the most technical performance and lifestyle brands in the industry. Without exception, they’re excited about doing business with Sport Chalet through our Experts on the floor. Online, we can speak to the core performance differentiators of all the merchandise that we’re selling. With those differentiators, the good news for us is our customers ask and seek out the very best brands. If you’re a climber, you know the best climbing brands. If you’re a runner, you know the best running brands. If you’re a stand-up paddle boarder, you know the best stand-up paddle board brands. If you are not engaged in one of those sports but want to learn, then we have the ability to custom fit any athlete or potential athlete in the best footwear, apparel and gear possible so they enjoy the experience and can excel at it. That’s a primary focus that’s not going away. Our store is not just items on a shelf where you only find a sign. It’s a personally engaging experience. SPORT CHALET’S TEAM SALES BUSINESS GREW 19.5 PERCENT LAST YEAR.

SAP has clearly been a big step forward for Sport Chalet. We’re able to control purchase orders, cost of producing product, invoicing, and the day-to-day fundamental basics of the business versus our old system. We’re also able to fully integrate team sales and retail together. And, most importantly, we’re able to continue to add additional merchandise that we have exclusive to teams through our online business. HOW IS THE TECHNOLOGY HELPING?

HOW HAS YOUR RECENT LAUNCH OF THE SPORT CHALET TEAM SITE PERFORMED? Very well. These microsites allow us to ease the start

of the season for coaches and administrators. We’re able to take some of the administration functions and make them easier and smoother for schools, allowing the players and fans to order the merchandise they want, produce that merchandise, and deliver it at minimal expense and headache to the coaches and administrations of the schools we serve. ANOTHER HIGHLIGHT WAS ONLINE, WHICH GREW 21.5 PERCENT LAST YEAR. We launched our website in spring 2009 and it continues to

grow every year. We present tremendous technical lines online and are able to offer design elements and features of the brand to present the vendor’s point of view of why that product works for an athlete. We launched Order Today/Deliver Today service in spring 2013 and that’s gaining more traction. For athletes and customers who are time stressed, they can go online, look at the product, call us and have the product delivered the same day. And, that also translates into rental pickups, which I’m sure will improve as we move into winter. YOU’RE ALSO EXPANDING YOUR DROP SHIPMENT PROGRAM? We have

extended-aisle capability. It’s impossible to carry all of them, nor do you want to buy every item that a vendor makes. You’ve got some in the mix that makes sense for each individual location. But because we have a nationwide web business, we need to have a broader assortment for customers on the east coast versus what we would offer the store base and online on the west coast. It’s a natural extension of everything we’ve already done. SPORT CHALET JUST PARTNERED WITH THE CALIFORNIA TRIATHLON. CAN

Everything is local. Every community behaves a differently. Every sport has different components to it. We looked at which sports are the most engaging and can make the biggest impact in terms of improved athlete performance, as well as what Sport Chalet can deliver to help athletes or potential new athletes improve their performance. The partnerships and events that we focus on are centered on the fact that Sport Chalet can help an individual athlete do even better. Because of this, they are the right partners to have from this standpoint and we do a good job curating those partnerships and taking advantage of the ones that will make the biggest impact to our customers. YOU ELABORATE ON YOUR GRASSROOTS EFFORTS?


We compete against Wave Rave in Mammoth Lakes, Hanson’s in San Diego, Sports Basement in Northern California, Incycle in Pasadena, Backcountry online - these are the companies that we spend the most time studying. Our focus is on the best core specialty retailers out there. The reason we’re able to sell $10,000 bicycles and $10,000 treadmills in select stores is because our customers demand that we line up with the very best specialty retailers and that’s who we get compared to. That’s our primary focus, and that’s who we look at in terms of how we can deliver great merchandise, great service and great experience. ■ AUGUST 12, 2013 |



NOTEWORTHY AISLE CANDY FROM OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER MARKET 2013 While far from a comprehensive list, here’s a look at a few products that turned heads at Outdoor Retailer last week. By Aaron H. Bible

1. Hobie Alter's dream was born in his parents’ garage in 1950 when he decided to apply his love of woodworking to the sport of surfing. Friends soon started dropping by and before long there was no room for his dad’s Buick. Over the years he created a new way of looking at the world on the water. Hobie Polarized sunglasses in glass and plastic lenses eliminate glare and become an integral connection to the water by providing clearer, sharper vision.


2. Snow Peak’s Mola Headlamp changes the very concept of line-of-sight with patented Optic Motility technology, a system based on gravity and counterweight to adjust beam angle to compensate between the movement of the head and eyes. The light moves at the same degree in a fluid motion as your eyes as you look up and down in the dark.


3. Hydro Flask’s industry leading water bottles offer vacuum insulation, are BPA-free, food grade stainless steel, and come in a range of fun durable colors. The company runs a charitable arm called to give back to worthy causes. Hydro Flask recently released the new high flow-rate flip Straw Lid for Wide Mouth Hydro Flasks, offering another way for users to enjoy beverages. Hydro Flask also works great for hot beverages. 4. Forge is the first travel mug from CamelBak - a premium insulated mug with a self-sealing leak-proof cap and lock-open button combination. This creates a one-handed, leak-proof drinking experience with the option to vent and cool hot beverages. When removed from the vessel, the arms of the cap flip up making the parts easy to wash by hand or dishwasher. It can attach with a carabineer and has an impact cap that prevents damage to the double-wall vacuum insulation if dropped.



5. The new Salewa lifestyle collection highlighted by the Escape and Ramble are the first shoes in the outdoor market to use Gore-Tex ‘Surround’ technology. In conjunction with the wire mesh sole and lugs, the Gore-Tex membrane gives a completely waterproof and generally breathable boot. Precision details and fine Italian leather make it a real eye-catcher. 5

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6. Coming off the success of the Thule Crossover and EnRoute bag lines, the company is expanding into the duffle category with the new Thule Chasm line focusing on strap management and ease of access. Available in five sizes and five colors, the new bomber duffels feature an oversized wide mouth opening, padded bottom, internal mesh pockets and removable legit backpack straps. 7. Brunton’s portable power Hydrogen Reactor is a portable fuel cell device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. Users lock a Hydrogen Core, MSRP $15, 1000 charges, into the Reactor fuel cell. The solid-state hydrogen mixes with oxygen from the air to form water vapor and electricity. The solid-state hydrogen has no toxic chemicals and doesn’t suffer from natural discharge like batteries, making it ideal for long stretches without power. The Reactor has standard USB output and is optimized to power tablets, smart phones, UV water purifiers, re-chargeable lights, GPS transceivers and other personal devices.

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8. Ticla is a new product line designed to improve the car camping experience. The initial product launch includes aesthetically relevant, comfortable and easy to use tents, sleeping bags, shelters and ground pads. The TeaHouse is designed with full views and ventilation, durable kidand dog-proof materials, Tsubo sizing, and the G.O.O.D. System, which makes set-up, transport and storage easy. 9. On the heels of last year’s successful launches of Helios 2 fly rods and Silver Sonic waders, Orvis’ Pivot Wading Boots represent true innovation with the application of a Boa lacing system – eliminating soggy, brambled and frozen laces and further reducing the spread of invasive species. The upper is fabricated of synthetic microfiber while additional rubber provides enhanced sidewall, heel and toe-cap protection. They are easy-on, easy-off with superb grip and Orvis quality, MSRP $179.


10. Part of the new Mountain Athletics collection from The North Face, the Ultra Kilowatt, MSRP $120, is a premier minimal shoe engineered for maximum performance. A Pebax plate for high-energy return and exclusive Vibram outsole provide lightweight support and protection with natural foot movement. A low-profile upper is reinforced in high-wear zones, 9.6 ounces. The North Face is bringing innovation and cohesion back to every category they touch. 11. Out in the Outdoor Retailer Pavilions, Swiftwick debuted the only sock on the market created from postindustrial recycled nylon, the Sustain, MSRP $12-$17, depending on height. No chemicals are used to wick away moisture, yet the Sustain offers great compression, fit and moisture control. With a focus on cycling, it’s also a great sock for skiers.



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OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER MARKET DELIVERS Despite the weather woes that continue to make the outdoor industry jump through hoops every season, the vibe at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market was again upbeat. By Thomas J. Ryan and Aaron H. Bible

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Attendance was steady this year over last year at nearly 27,000, but exhibitors agreed it was quality, not quantity, which drove the success of this summer’s show. Total exhibitors were close to 1,300 including about 250 new companies; and booth space square footage again broke records (516,000 net square feet, 2.5 percent larger than 2012), according to show organizers. Just outside the convention center, the tented Pavilion’s footprint increased to 95,000 square feet and featured 420 brands. Buyers and retailers were close to 7,000. The attendance numbers were also felt outside the convention center as outdoor industry stakeholders continued to complain about lack of lodging and inconvenient restaurant options in downtown Salt Lake City. Under the new ownership of Emerald Expositions, Outdoor Retailer was named in the top 25 fastest-growing trade shows by Trade Show News Network. But the industry’s health was palpably on display in the aisles. Having worked through the downturn in the economy three years ago to recognize the resiliency of outdoor activities, attendees on both the retail and vendor side were eager to do business as well as discover the latest gear and reconnect with friends. Attendees appeared to be encouraged by the improving economy and getting used to the bumps in navigating weather woes. Winter’s late arrival last year stalled early sales of cold-weather gear and held up some open-to-buys for spring. With winter lasting longer in 2013, sandals and other spring-gear took a hit but winter stocks appear to have been weaned down. Also encouraging is that in most cases, high input costs in prior years have come down or at least anniversaried themselves to remove the fear of sticker shock in coming seasons. Although always a glass-halffull crowd, many felt the show’s increasing reach only demonstrated the opportunities the industry has in connecting with younger, more active consumers and bringing them to the outdoors. Todd Spaletto, president, The North Face, Americas, described the mood of retailers he saw at the show as “super upbeat.” “Most retailers heading into spring had a lot of concerns coming out of a Todd Spaletto, president, warm winter around how would those The North Face, Americas inventories right size themselves and we had a really cold, wet spring that helped dealers drive a strong first half business,” said Spaletto. “I think that was good.” Spaletto said many retailers were also increasingly seeing the opportunity around creating “renewed relevance” for the outdoor consumer. Trends driven by the younger consumer are “a lot faster,” more color-infused and increasingly more fitness-driven than those traditionally embraced by the outdoors world. “If we think relevance is plaid woven shirts with convertible pants and cargo shorts and UPF 50+ sun hats, we’re missing something,” said Spaletto. “It doesn’t mean that the businesses that were really relevant three years ago are gone. They’re still there, but I think there’s just a much broader

landscape for us as outdoor retailers and manufacturers to go after.” That opportunity, according to Spaletto, is represented by The North Face’s Mountain Athletics technical training apparel and footwear. The collection was inspired by a partnership with Mountain Athlete gym in Jackson, WY, where The North Face’s global athlete team trains. Spaletto said running continues to be the fastest growing part of The North Face’s apparel business, with its Better Than Naked series in more than 400 run specialty stores. But he said The North Face also felt it had


an opportunity in training, given that many of its athletes already aggressively work out in gyms for activities such as skiing and snowboarding, rock and ice climbing, mountaineering and ultra running. Rather than backing areas like CrossFit and Tough Mudder associated with the training trend, Spaletto said The North Face would rather “put our brand stamp” on authentic activities like trail running and hiking or events such as The North Face Endurance Challenge Races. Spaletto also noted that the session by IDEO, the design consultancy, at the OIA Industry Breakfast touched the parallel need to “meet the consumer where their interests are.” IDEO was hired to work on the Outdoor Retail of the Future Project, OIA’s multi-year initiative to reinvent the outdoor retail experience. IDEO indicated that its initial findings called for the industry to reshape its thinking from “outdoors to outside,” with a greater focus on making the outdoors more accessible, including easily reachable, even in urban settings, as well as more inclusive. The consultancy talked about the need to make the outdoors more “fun and social” rather than focused on overcoming hard-core feats. Spaletto said Mountain Athletic is a good example of recognizing your target audiences’ interests and having your brand connect to those interests. “We’re not forcing the Western States 100 on somebody,” said Spaletto. “We’re saying if you like CrossFit or you like Tough Mudder, that’s not quite what we position our brand against but we think you should try an endurance challenge trail run and we AUGUST 12, 2013 |


think you should look at how we can allow you to train to be better at running, climbing or other outdoor activities.” Jim Zwiers, SVP Wolverine Worldwide and president, Wolverine Performance Group, also noted an upbeat attitude coming from dealers not only at the Outdoor Retailer show but also at Friedrichshafen in Germany in mid-July. “We’ve got retailers leaning into their strong brands,” said Zwiers. “They understand they have to carve a strategy in this environment and have to find their strategy to win and they’re leaning into their bigger partners, their best programs and their best initiatives to find a way to win. And the cool Jim Zwiers, SVP Wolverine Worldwide and president, thing about the environWolverine Performance Group ment right now is dealers are finding a way to excite the consumer and continue to engage them to do an even better job with their retail business. And so that’s really been one of the big things at this show looking for the products and looking for the brands that they can use to carve their individualized strategies to engage their customer and drive growth for the future.”


Zwiers believes many outdoor retailers are seeing the success run specialty stores have had orchestrating runs and other events “right outside their door” to build strong local communities. In the same vein, the better outdoor retailers are finding ways to make backpacking, hiking and kayaking easy and accessible while capitalizing on the “excitement” around new activities like mud and color runs adding new ways to get outside. “Just like run specialty did, outdoor specialty knows they need to focus on community, creating a reason to come to the store, a reason to buy, and more importantly, a reason to get excited about the outdoors,” said Zwiers. “So I feel very good about where the outdoor community is going and where our retailers are going and the specialty retailers have always been the tip of the tier in driving that engagement for the consumer and it’s one of the incredibly exciting things about this industry.” Teva Brand President Joel Heath said the industry is clearly “getting smarter” around ordering and managing 16 | AUGUST 12, 2013

Joel Heath, president, Teva Brand

inventories with ongoing weather challenges and other disruptions. Forecasting overall is becoming “more and more important,” said Heath. Other manufacturers echoed this trend. He also said partly due to the threat of online stores, stores are banding together to encourage consumers to buy local in the same way, as the annual American Express Small Business Saturday has encouraged such activity. At the same time, Heath believes that Amazon and the other Internet giants recognize the value outdoor independents bring new ideas to the industry.


“It’s the heart of this industry,” said Heath. “They’re the original concept stores that are powerful influencers and you need to figure out where your strength lies and not necessarily go with the behemoths eye-to-eye but go where they can’t go.” Like Spaletto, Heath believes the industry overall is still figuring out what younger consumers want to do in the outdoors. He likens it to how snowboarding first appeared as a threat to the industry but wound up “saving” it and driving innovation and snow sports participation for years afterward. Heath said the collective thinking of the industry has to change from, “’this is our outdoors’ to ‘this is your outdoors…let us know how you want it to look.’ The moment we make that shift, we’re going to change big time.” Chris Miller, director of sales, Vasque, said that while the industry has “gone through some ups and some downs” with the economy, uncooperative weather and bouts of trendy product, the overall message from stores has been positive. “I think the retailer vibe has been really good,” said Miller. “It’s been a lot of years of spikes due to trendy new product and borderline gimmicky product and now it’s coming back to center. And I think for brands like us, sometimes it takes those new trends to appreciate how strong the traditional standards are in this industry. It has played well for us.” Vasque’s revenues are up double-digits and it even experienced some sell-outs this year. While some vendors are seeing retailers delaying orders, Vasque is showing product earlier and taking orders earlier than ever before. He believes stores recognize that Chris Miller, director of sales, vendors are challenged filling late orders Vasque “WE’RE ALL HERE BECAUSE WE’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE OUTDOORS AND THAT’S THE ONE UNDERLYING FACTOR THROUGH GOOD TIMES AND BAD THAT STAYS CONSISTENT.” – Chris Miller, director of sales, Vasque

given the lengthy lead times. Overall, he said the industry continues to “grow up” and become more sophisticated. He also agreed that online growth is presenting challenges for a vendor protecting its brand image and for the whole industry working to engage outdoor enthusiasts. But, he believes the can-do industry will find a way to manage the online competition just as it has dealt with threats presented by the rise of many Fortune 500 companies now dotting the Outdoor Retailer show as well as the arrival of big box stores. “We’re all here because we’re passionate about the outdoors and that’s the one underlying factor through good times and bad that stays consistent,” said Miller. “We still love to do what we love to do and the economy can come and the economy can go but we all love to be outdoors. That’s what bought us all together and that’s what will keep us together.” More companies are moving into running, performance, and lifestyle as avenues to grow business as the outdoor industry anticipates how younger generations will choose to spend their time. It remains anyone’s guess whether a micro-brand or a heritage brand is more appealing to the next generation of outdoor consumer. The Outdoor Retailer show embodies this category expansion with more footwear and apparel brands, fly-fishing, adventure travel and even automotive taking up floor space. Everyone on the show floor seemed to agree that the mood was upbeat and that it remained a pivotal event despite fewer actual orders being written. To combat a sea-of-sameness, many brands are turning to color and fashion to differentiate themselves, while striving for quality construction and material technologies, coupled with strong warranties and active consumer messaging, in order to stay on top. From compression apparel to yoga, to casual-technical and heritage styles, there’s a place for everyone on the show floor, especially with the massive Pavilion now in place. Just like in the old days, the Pavilion hosted many important and emerging brands in paddlesport, general apparel and accessories. A last-minute venue change for the Outdoor Demo didn't seem to deter eager buyers, especially in the paddlesports category. SUP manufacturers battled fiercely for marketshare and innovation recognition as that energizer continues to drive sales for the category. Many manufacturers are also looking for love in the sportsman's channel with growth in kayak fishing, apparel, and accessories such as eyewear, knives and electronics. A number of companies, including CamelBak and Wild Things, mentioned the sequester and a slow down in military spending affecting its business. "The sequester really hurt all of us," said CamelBak's President & CEO Sally McCoy. "But this is Sally McCoy, a big show for us. We've touched president every single category in bever& CEO, age delivery and we're making CamelBak the thermal category a major focus. Despite a retail malaise in April and May, there's a lot of cool growth here at the show."


Some companies such as The North Face and Keen mentioned not just fashion but other mega trends such as the farm-to-table movement inspiring brand growth. Keen celebrated its 10th anniversary by giving away free, locally sourced lunches everyday in their sand pit playground outside of the Jeff Dill, convention center, using produce outdoor category from the Salt Lake City community director, gardens that they began funding Keen last year, and the company sold 100 percent Vegan maderas garden shoes with all profits going back to the project. "We're trying to participate and grow Outdoor Retailer in ways that are different. We're burning some calories to make it fun," said Jeff Dill, Keen outdoor category director. "We're positioning ourselves as a brand in the outdoor space and the outdoor community."


David Sypniewski, president, Skora

In footwear, mid-sole cushioning skyrocketed while minimalism became minimally talked about. "From day one we've always seen the need for a balanced approach," said David Sypniewski, president of minimalist leader Skora. He also said growth has doubled year-overyear for the emerging brand. Swedish footwear brand Icebug made its first Outdoor Retailer Summer Market debut in its 10-year history in the U.S. market, attempting to break into the exploding run category.


AUGUST 12, 2013 |


European brands such as Bergans of Norway and Salewa continue to look to the U.S. market for salvation, too, whether in apparel or footwear. Adidas Outdoors and others newer to the space are leaning on fashion, fit and design to speak to new or younger outdoor consumers. But the industry stalwarts aren't rolling over. "We believe that design is at the center of it all," said The North Face Global Product Vice President Joe Vernachio. "We have a culture of product development and iconic design, and we're ready to start updating that and bringing it forward." Vernachio said The North Face is focused on innovation, consumer insights and technology. "What will Joe Vernachio, Global Product propel a brand forward is good design," Vice President, he said at the show. "Well balanced, well The North Face colored, a good application of color; we don't want to force consumers to change their behavior. Innovations are subtle but they accumulate." And like many of its competitors, The North Face continues to put an emphasis on premium supply partners such as Polartec, Primaloft and Gore. Black Diamond is launching into the apparel market with a similar athlete-driven, premium-materials driven approach. Only time

“WE BELIEVE THAT DESIGN IS AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL.” - Joe Vernachio, product VP, The North Face

will tell if there's enough growth and spending in the market for everyone to maintain their optimism for Winter Outdoor Retailer in January 2014. On the accessory and transport side, Thule president of North America Fred Clark said the company had an outstanding show. “Outdoor Retailer is where we launched many of our new global products that are coming out in 2014,” Clark said. “Buyers are motivated, but cautious. They are doing a better job of managing their inventories and are relying on their suppliers to hold more Fred Clark, of their inventory so they can order just president of in time. This puts U.S. manufacturers North America, Thule like Thule at an advantage. We can quickly respond to demand by producing what people are buying.” ■

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Sandals Show Resilience Against Normal Spring Lots of new trends and innovations are clicking in the sandals category this spring, except the weather, but manufacturers are already looking ahead to 2014. By Thomas J. Ryan

20 | AUGUST 12, 2013


ales of flips, thongs, slides and sandals’ overall were helped in Spring 2011 and 2012 by the early arrival of warm weather. But this past season a more normal, and in many cases colder and wetter, spring held back consumer purchases in the category. But unlike winter shoe manufacturers, sandal producers expect a more minimal impact than their winter counterparts that faced inventory backups two seasons in a row. “The sandal category is not quite as weather dependent,” said Jeff Dill, Keen’s outdoor business unit director. “When it doesn’t get cold, they might hang on to their winter boots and wait for next season. Sandals are more of an every-season purchase. The purchase just gets delayed.” With inventory levels expected to abate in coming months, vendors have a myriad of fresh takes to entice consumers for Spring 2014. Versatility continues to be an overall strong trend with consumers looking for styles they can wear for multiple purposes. Staples such as rich leathers continue to be a draw and the need for comfort remains at the heart of every sandal.

Teva Original Sandal

Teva Original Universal

"Comfort seems to be intensified as the key ingredient to a successful sandal,” said Simon Bonham, U.S. CEO, Hi-Tec Sports. “Of course, weather and price also play important parts in the general sales of sandals." Many approaches are increasingly borrowing from athletic styles, including lighter weight and brighter colors. Michelle Montanano, Teva’s product line manager, sport style, said sandals are a staple within all categories of footwear, from fashion to performance function. But the lines between these categories are starting to blur in 2014, especially for women. “As outdoor sandals evolve, we’re seeing styling simplify and fashion tones being played up through on-trend color and detailing, including vibrant colors, metallic detailing and prints,” said Montanano.

Teva Tevasphere Alterra Teva Tevasphere Versa

Reef Reef has focused a lot of attention on its key performance styles in its performance categories with athletic styling, bright pops of color and comfort features. The Phoenix, MSRP $34, is a feminine silhouette with a soft synthetic upper with jersey lining. It also features a lightweight molded outsole and anatomical arch support. Also for women, the Movement, MSRP $46, comes in bright neon, hot pink and aqua and is part of the Reef Redemption program, which uses a 51 percent post-industrial recycled triple density EVA footbed with anatomical arch support and 25 percent recycled rubber outsole. Reef Phoenix For men, the Phantom Player, MSRP $48, also part of its Reef Redemption program, Reef Phantom plays up the comfort Player story with a full 360 degree heel cushion technology reducing weight and allowing for correct balance. The style features a built in church key to open the preferred beverage of your choice. Reef “The latest trend we see driving the sandal market is lots of Movement color,” said Kelley Bruemmer, director of product management. “Staple colors like black and brown will always drive volume, but the retailers and consumers are getting more adventurous with color. It enhances rack appeal and feels relevant to where fashion is headed.” Breaking down genders, Bruemmer added women are looking for great styling, on-trend colors, silhouettes and embellishments. “Men are looking for great styling, a mix of easy, low profile sandals to wear everyday, as well as more substantial styles with a performance/athletic styling that screams comfort,” said Bruemmer. ”Again, the men’s consumer expects that instant comfort from Reef, so a lot of effort is put into making every component of the sandal, the outsole, the midsole, the footbed, the interior of the strap the most comfortable that they can be.”

with an ankle strap,” also with an infusion of color and heritage webbings. “We have 30 years of proven technology and design experience and have tapped into this as we’ve built a spring collection that celebrates our heritage by refining, revising and invigorating our iconic silhouette,” said Montanano. Its Tevaphere collection, which uses a spherical heel and support pods to improve the stride, reduce impact and promote stability, is being expanded into a sandal silhouette with the men’s Tevasphere Alterra and the women’s Tevasphere Versa, MSRP for both, $70. “The sandal consumer wants comfort, stability and versatility,” said Montanano. “The Tevasphere platform was refined for a sandal application and provides all of this without sacrificing style for the trails to the bars.”

Hi-Tec At Hi-Tec, the Rio Adventure Crossover Sandal, MSRP $80, provides instantly wearable comfort, with splashes of color and lightweight materials providing the user both fit and function. Features include a compression molded EVA, Vibram rubber outsole, Ortholite sockliner and a high-performance, synthetic mesh upper.

Teva While classics and nostalgia are said to be a strong theme overall, it’s going to be particularly out front for Teva, which is celebrating its 30 anniversary in 2014. Honoring Teva’s iconic sandal, the Original Universal, MSRP $40, features classic webbing and original outsole/topsole designs from 1984. The Original Sandal, MSRP $40, represents the original Teva sports sandal designed as a “flip-flop

Hi-Tec Rio Adventure Crossover Sandal

Hi-Tec Aurora Adventure Sandal

AUGUST 12, 2013 |


With the women’s specific fit, Hi-Tec’s Aurora Adventure Sandal, MSRP $70, provides the fit and function necessary to help women navigate off road and poolside while meeting summer’s fashion and comfort needs. Features include a neoprene lining for all day comfort, media stability bar for additional foot support, moisture-wicking lining, and Vibram rubber outsole.

Keen Part of Keen’s Waterfront collection, the Class 6 Sandal, MSRP $90, features a PU upper constructed in a 360-degree cage at just 8.5 ounces. An EVA footbed features an adjustable heel fit, bungee lace system, and moisture-wicking microKeen Class 5 fiber tongue that dries quickly for Sandal moving in and out of the water. A soft rubber outsole with beefy lugs provides added traction on wet and dry surfaces. Ideal for raft guides and water Keen Gallatin recreation professionals, the Class CNX 5 Sandal, MSRP $80, uses a soft, wicking and quick-drying microfiber upper, helping bring it down to a mere 7.6 ounces. A PU midsole offers longwearing durability and underfoot protection. Bringing “a little more Keen” coverage to the CNX collection, the Gallatin CNX, MSRP $110, features a washable polyester webbing upper and secure fit lace capture system with a two-millimeter bungee to provide a dependable fit, even in swift-moving rivers and streams. The ultra-light proprietary PU midsole is combined with multidirectional grooves and razor siping on the outsole. Dill said the Gallatin works as a complement to the popular CNX Clearwater. He elaborated, “If you want a very minimal, lightweight profile sandal, you can use the Clearwater. If you want more coverage and protection, you have the Gallatin.”

Columbia Sportswear With its Vent concept, Columbia Sportswear is taking its Drainmaker collection beyond a water story to one around comfort with ventilation. Each of the core three styles features airflow and water drainable midsole ports for improved comfort and versatility. The women’s Suntech Vent Flip PFG, MSRP $35, features air-flow Columbia Suntech Vent Flip PFG

Columbia Sunvent Boat PFG

Columbia Bonehead Vent PFG

and water drainable midsole ports, quick drying synthetic leather, a Techlite midsole, and Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber. The women’s Sunvent Boat PFG, MSRP $80, offers a streetwear twist with a canvas and leather upper and canvas lining. The men’s Bonehead Vent PFG, $80, combines a canvas and leather upper.

Birki's by Birkenstock Birki's by Birkenstock, which found success with its launch of a renewed outdoor focus last summer, is seeing consumers being drawn to slip-on easy off, patterns and neon/bright colors, as well as continued appreciation for Birki's comfort techBirki's Belau Camo nology. For Spring 2014, new camouflage and water groups are being introduced, and the popular Elastics group has been expanded. A highlight is Belau Camo, Birki's Elastics Curacao Mint MSRP $90, which features a textile elastic upper on the signature Birkenstock cork footbed. Elastics Curacao Mint for women, MSRP $90, is an extension of Birki's Haiti Watercolor Lilac the popular Elastics sandal group and features an upper strap on Birkenstock's cork footbed. Part of the new water sandals group, the Haiti Watercolor Lilac for women, MSRP $80, features a polyurethane outsole for additional traction and a smooth Birko-flor upper. On the technology side, Matt Hundley, marketing communications manager for Birki's by Birkenstock, is seeing increased demand for additional traction on outsoles, enhanced footbed comfort (e.g. Birki's by Birkenstock features a shock absorbing midsole layer of viscoelastic foam), GPS technology, enhanced fit, and enhanced durability. But comfort is still king. “Women are seeking comfort now more than ever,” said Hundley. “While comfort is still important to men - lightweight, versatile and convenient features and styles are more top of mind for men.”

Chaco At Chaco, Spring 2014 features versatile crossover performance shoes, colorful custom flips, premium leather sandals, and an expansion of both its Active Adventure light hiking and minimalist NearGround collections. Colin Butts, marketing manager, Chaco, said consumers are generally looking for products that do Chaco OutCross more for them and can be used Web and worn in more places. “For instance, Chaco fans continue to use their classic performance “Z” sandals in many applications – but have asked for increased toe and foot protection on rivers or rocky hikes,” said Butts. “Additionally, these fans

(affectionately called Chaconians) sometimes have to shed their sandals at work or other situations where toe coverage is required.” Addressing the call for versatility, Chaco’s new OutCross collection features amphibious trail capable shoes built for adventures scouting the river, guiding the rapids, or hiking the mountain. The OutCross Web for women, MSRP $120, is built with breathable uppers, Chaco’s LUVseat footbed for long lasting support and comfort, and an aggressive Vibram performance outsole. Said Butts, “They say you can do it all in the same day, in the same shoe!” Chaco also sees an increasing demand for lightweight footwear and continues to grow its NearGround collection of minimal designs that don’t compromise on the

Crocs With the successful launch in 2013 of the Beach Line Boat shoes, Crocs will be introducing a Beach Line Flip, MSRP $30, in Spring 2014. Crocs will also debut new colors in its Huarache Flip-Flop line, MSRP $40. Crocs Beach Line Flip

Crocs Huarache

“One trend we're seeing is the juxtaposition of active colors with fashion pops,” said Dale Bathum, Crocs’ chief product officer. “For instance we'll be pairing colors such as Neon Green, Cosmic Orange and Electric Blue with more neutral fashion colors like Espresso, Tumbleweed and Smoke. We also feel our Huarache styles will continue to do well because of their flexible uppers, moveable straps and croslite with a special TPU material.”

Birkenstock Chaco Jacy Flip

Chaco ReversiFlip

brands support or comfort. More sophisticated look and hand-crafted appeal are also in demand. Chaco continues to expand this portion of their line by adding rich flips with a variety of embossed and printed leathers featuring special hardware for an artisanal look and feel. An example is the Jacy Flip, MSRP $80, a clean classic women’s sandal with richly colored pebbled leather straps, webbed toe post and wildflower embossed footbed. Finally, Chaco is drawing on the popularity of its MyChacos custom sandal service with the launch the ReversiFlip, which offers consumers a way to customize their flips with an interchangeable strap system. The easily removable upper on the ReversiFlip sandal for women, MSRP $60, allows for quick-change updates to multiple patterned and solid-colored straps. A pack of straps cost an extra $20.

OluKai At OluKai, one highlight in the women’s category is the Paniolo Hibiscus, MSRP $85, an upcountry inspired sandal that means Hawaiian Cowgirl in Hawaiian. The full-grain leather is carefully worked with a Hibiscus hue in homage to Hawaiian western riding sandals. For men, the Holomua, MSRP $90 is a performance sandal featuring adjustable straps, an injected TPU plate, segmented outsole, and molded footbed. With innovative details such as the lightweight injectOlukai Paniolo Hibiscus ed TPU performance chassis and a soft molded anatomical Iceva footbed with wet tractions surface design. Olukai Holomua

24 | AUGUST 12, 2013

For women, Birkenstock is introducing the Granada SFB Zinfandel, MSRP $130, featuring an upper with thick yet supple leather without added dyes to keep the leather breathable, durable and comfortable. Also features a foam layer inserted between the cork and suede liner of the original Birkenstock footbed for extra cushioning. For men, one highlight is the oiled-leather Turin Habana, MSRP $120.

Birkenstock Granada SFB Zinfandel

Birkenstock Turin Habana

Rider Sandals Rider Sandals is evolving past favorites, including the Massage, Dunas, Brazil, Insight and Tempo from 2013, but overall bringing in more of a nautical inspiration for Spring 2014. Comfort also remains a priority. “Our 2014 collection offers more comfort features without sacrificing style,” said Brad Gruber, national sales manager, Rider Sandals. “The new line offers consumers more value for the price with technology to promote comfort but stylish designs with nautical inspired detailing. We are seeing prices slowly rising across the market. We’ve been able to hold Rider Sandals Gulf the line and our 2014 collection will not be increasing so that we can offer both our dealers and consumers the best value possible.” With inspiration from its best selling 2013 design, Rider Sandals’ Men’s Gulf, MSRP $30, is a flexible, water-friendly sandal with Rider’s exclusive Flexpand technology. A new twist on an old favorite, the Women’s Dunas V cross-strap sandal, Rider Sandals MSRP $35, has a MemoryPlus insole and a Dunas V Dura-flex outsole for support.

OOFOS Still very young in the sandal’s market, OOFOS will be extending its color options across styles including the Women’s OOriginal Thong in Aqua, MSRP $40, and Men’s OOriginal Thong in Mocha, MSRP $40. With the mantra ‘Make YOO Feel Better,’ the brand addresses the emerging recovery category with the unique impact absorption properties of its OOfoam technology. OOFOS OOriginal Thong

Jambu Pathfinder Air Vent 360

Jambu Beach Terra Marine


At Jambu, the focus for Spring 2014 is sporty casual. The brand believes details such as contrast stitching and material keep it a step ahead of competitors in creating an outdoor fashion feel. All Jambu shoes feature a memory foam footbed and All Terra Traction outsoles. The Pathfinder Air Vent 360, MSRP $99, is designed to regulate air-flow and wick away moisture. The Beach Terra Marine, MSRP $69, is part of Jambu’s Terra Marine collection designed with built-in drainage dual mesh ports throughout the insole/outsole to allow water to escape.

Sperry Top-Sider

Sperry Top-Sider SON-R Pulse Thong OOFOS OOriginal Thong

“The breakthrough level of impact absorption combined with the patented footbed design provides arch support that accommodates the needs of your foot and gives the active community a new product that helps them rejuvenate after activity,” said Duncan Finigan, director of marketing. “OOFOS introduces innovation at valued price points providing consumers with products that make them feel better.”

Timberland Timberland is raising the style quotient with an extended line of premium full-grain and nubuck leathers from an LWG Silver-rated tannery. The Men’s Earthkeepers Harbor Point Slide, MSRP $90, features a leatherwrapped latex rubber footbed for comfort, a lightweight leather-wrapped EVA midsole, and durable, textured rubber outsole (15 percent recycled) for traction. Timberland Earthkeepers Harbor Point Slide

Continuing to branch out from its boat shoe roots, Sperry Top-Sider is introducing the SON-R Pulse Thong, MSRP $60. Featuring the brand’s Son-R technology that enhances proprioception by enabling the body to gain improved awareness of what is happening beneath your feet, the sandal is designed to help users traverse wet, rocky shores or the deck of a boat more comfortably.

New Balance New Balance is expanding last year’s popular Revitalign collection with various fabrications and brighter colors such as the Men's New Balance Revitalign RX Triumph Slide, MSRP $70, and Women's New Balance Revitalign RX Sustain Thong, MSRP $60. The Revitalign slide works like a custom orthotic by promoting arch support and alignment. New Balance is also introducing The Nantucket Collection, featuring beach and pastel colors with various footbeds and extending its Rev New Balance Revitalign RX Plush20 line, featuring a memory foam midsole that is Triumph Slide two times more water resistant than standard memory foam, to brighter colors, including the Women's New Balance Plush20 Thong, MSRP $30. “We are seeing an overall trend across the board in New Balance Revitalign RX Sustain Thong sandals where your basic sandals are being built with more technology in terms of arch support, water resistant memory foam and more durable straps,” said Carey Langley, director of product at Klonelab, LLC., New Balance’s U.S. licensing partner for sandals and slides. “All-day comfort technology as opposed to a purely flat sandal with no support is quickly becoming the norm in the category. In terms of color and materiNew Balance PLUSH20 Thong als, it's still all about jewel tones for women, but with a toned-down vibrancy.”

Patagonia Footwear Patagonia Footwear’s surf collection features two new flips with rich, smooth “Better Leathers” from Leather Working Group-approved tanneries. The Stringer Flip, MSRP $80, uses a full grain leather upper with soft pigskin leather lining. A secure three-point toe post holds the foot in place while an anatomically lasted molded EVA footbed provides arch support for all day comfort. The non-marking and no-skid gum rubber sole grips both wet AUGUST 12, 2013 |


and dry surfaces. The Stringer Slide, MSRP $85, forgoes the toe post in favor of crossed, soft, pigskin-lined, full-grain leather straps. In Patagonia Footwear’s women’s casual segment, the Poli Thong, MSRP $90, and Poli Knotty, MSRP $100, sandals are comfortable and casual summer staples with full grain leather uppers, soft pigskin linings and Patagonia Stringer Flip air cushion technology. Both styles feature unique strap detailing and partially recycled soles. Patagonia Poli Thong


Sazzi, founded in 2010 by Teva inventor Mark Thatcher, is building on its three-style initial launch from last season with 10 styles for Spring 2014. What makes Sazzi unique is its four-toe post upper construction that naturally connects the wearer to the footbed with no need to clinch their toes. Brett Ritter, Sazzi’s CEO, said the wearer gets all the benefits of the supportive, athletic footbed and outsole providing arch support, heel cup, protection and comfort. “It’s like wearing a high quality, comfortable shoe or boot, but with an open air sandal feel,” said Ritter. “Posture, alignment, agility and general foot heath all benefit.” For Spring 2014, Sazzi’s UNA Sport, MSRP $90, is an all-purpose, performance sport sandal designed to fit and function specifically for women. The lightweight, fast drying upper with adjustable ankle strap is built on a women’s specific last. Also available in a men’s.version. UNA, MSRP $65, is an all terrain women’s specific, amphibious open heel performance Sazzi UNA Sport sandal built on the new Uni platform for women. The lightweight upper is quick dry and closed cell to defeat microbial growth for use in and out of the water.

Speedo Speedo’s sandals collection will expand considerably for 2014. Hydrophobic and ultra-lightweight, the Exsqueeze Me sandal line features an Injection Molded EVA construction for performance and flexibility. Rubber pods in the forefoot and heel strike provide maximum traction, and FluidFlow technology promotes water flow and drainage. The collection’s range includes a flip, a slide, a flow (a retro, throwback sandal); as well as a Z9 (a fashionable and minimal sandal silhouette) for women. Suggested prices range from $25 to $36. Another highlight from Speedo is the Blaze line that includes

Quiksilver For Spring 2014, Quiksilver's Sazzi UNA trending stories for men’s sandals are pop colors, water friendly materials, texture pieces, and immediate comfort. One highlight is the Port, MSRP $50, featuring a full grain nubuck upper and footbed as well as a multi-durometer midsole for advanced cushioning. The Haleiwa, MSRP $20, features a molded TPE footbed with anatomically correct arch support and heel cup.

Quiksilver Port

26 | AUGUST 12, 2013

Quiksilver Haleiwa

Speedo Clog

Speedo Thong

Speedo Slide

a clog, MSRP $46, thong, MSRP $45, and slide, MSRP $44. The fully ventilated and lightweight injection molded EVA design makes the “go anywhere” shoe breathable and quick drying. The 100 percent recyclable PLUSfoam soles provide comfort with minimal ecoimpact. “We are excited and tuned into dual density/dual injection EVA footwear and components for their comfort, lightweight, shoelike feel with soft uppers and outsole grade EVA's,” said Barry McGeough, Speedo’s VP of hardgoods. McGeough said athletic colors and overall styling continue to work their way into sandals although strappier sports sandals are standing out for women. Said McGeough, “She wants to get after it but look great while doing it, and not look like her boyfriend.” ■


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Jeremy Freed


TODD VORE President Implus Corporation

WERE YOU AN ATHLETE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG? I’ve been an athlete my whole life. My big sport was wrestling, which is just the sport you do when you grow up in Pennsylvania. I also ran cross-country in high school, although it was mainly to stay in shape for my true love, wrestling. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? A paperboy

I was recruited right out of college. But I actually had an old wrestling coach who piqued my interest in Implus back in 1991.


DID YOU HAVE A KEY MENTOR? Ex-wrestling coaches through-

out the years have taught me a lot about hard work, loyalty, dedication and having a commitment to whatever you’re doing; my Mom and Dad, who taught me about life, discipline and commitment; and many industry leaders that continue to provide support and guidance.

DID YOU OR IMPLUS HAVE A TURNING POINT? Up until 2000 my partner, Seth Richards, and I always felt we could build the business through internal growth. In 2001, we sold the business to a PE group, which helped us to think outside the box. Internal growth is great but you’ve got to start to look at adding brands to your portfolio to either strengthen your position in a given market or to get into new markets. It took us five years to find the right company and that was Yaktrax. That got us into the ice traction business, and we complemented that with our purchase of ICEtrekkers last August. 28 | AUGUST 12, 2013

CAN YOU SUM UP THE ACQUISITION STRATEGY? We were an insole company until 2000 with Sof Sole and similar FDM brands such as Airplus and Sof Comfort. We were very successful growing Sof Sole in the specialty channel. At the time, the shoe accessories business was fragmented and we had one or two retailers approach us to see if we could manage their entire shoe care business. In 2001 we extended Sof Sole into shoe care and laces, and then into hosiery in 2004. We started looking at other categories that we could grow with a specialty focus. We now have an outdoor division in Seattle, which includes Yaktrax traction and warmers, ICEtrekkers traction, Little Hotties warmers, and now the Tectron shoecare brand we recently acquired with Penguin Brands. We also have a Fitness division, headed up by Alden Mills and his team in Sausalito, CA. They run the Perfect Fitness and the New Balance Sports Monitor brands. WHAT ELSE DOES IMPLUS OWN? We’ve branched out into Apara women’s fashion footwear, Sneaker Balls deodorizers, and recently acquired Penguin Brands. We centralize all logistics and fulfillment from our headquarters in Durham, NC, with different teams that manage Implus’ portfolio of brands. WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO? If you don’t love something, don’t do it. The day I wake up and don’t feel like coming to work is the day I have to find a new occupation. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO GET A JOB IN

Take the first opportunity that’s granted to you. If you’re looking to be a sales person or a marketer in the industry, but the only opportunity is to enter through customer service, take it and then paint your own path to that job.




KEVIN PLANK CEO & Founder Under Armour

TED LEONSIS Founder, Chairman, Majority Owner & CEO Monumental Sports & Entertainment

ROB DEMARTINI President & CEO New Balance

JOE PELLEGRINI Managing Director, Co-Head, Consumer & Retail Group R.W. Baird & Co.

LISA BAIRD Chief Marketing Officer U.S. Olympic Committee

TIM BROSNAN Executive Vice President MLB

ERIC GRUMBAN Executive Vice President NFL

SAL LAROCCA Executive Vice President NBA

JEFFREY ROSENSWEIG Director of the Global Perspectives Program Emory University

ROBERT REISS Forbes Columnist, Host of “The CEO Show”

BOB PUCCINI SFIA Chairman President Mizuno USA

JIM PISANI President VF Licensed Sports Group

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SCOTT BAXTER President Jeanswear Americas & Imagewear VF Corp.

TOM FARREY Director of Sports & Society Program, Emmy Award Winning Reporter Aspen Institute, ESPN

AURET VAN HEERDEN President & CEO Fair Labor Association

HUGO MALAN President, Fitness, Sporting Goods & Toys Sears Holdings

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SGB WEEKLY 1332 I AUGUST 12, 2013

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