CGPR recently attended the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City supporting adidas Outdoor, Kelty, Microban, PrimaLoft, Tailgaterz, W.L. Gore & Associates as well as Wenzel. We wanted to share our thoughts on what is trending:
The Industry is Chock Full of Energy: Even with continued discussions about moving the show from Salt Lake City to another venue, the show was energetic and healthy, as consumers continue to look to the outdoors for fitness and recreation.
Millennials Present A Marketing Challenge: Grappling with how best to engage the millennial was a key topic, as they have a particular point of view that is different from previous generations. According to an article in Outside magazine, A middle-aged ski bum might get excited about a $400 sub nine-ounce waterproof breathable shell with a single-point adjustment hood, but the 25 year-old occasional hiker sees an ugly, overpriced jacket.
Apparel Designers are Looking for 2.0 Fabrics and Technologies:Whether it’s staying cool, dry or warm, apparel designers are working more closely in the trenches with component partner brands for best in class technologies. The world of synthetic insulation, along with down is quickly evolving. Just look at what is going on at Microban, PrimaLoft and W.L. Gore & Associates.
The Outdoors is Social, Not Foreboding: For the millennial, it is about sharing their experiences which are friendly, social and almost happy go-lucky. Millennials are not looking for Everest, they are looking for fun and an outdoor experience out their back door or in their city.
Changing Definition of the Outdoors: The definition of the outdoor experience is clearly evolving; now it is about going outside, not outdoors — watching a kids soccer game, heading to a music festival or camping in the backyard, not being challenged by the highest peak.
Happiness is Its Own Industry: According to NPD, it is all about being happy and accessible and easy — not complicated, intimidating or overly technical.
Wild Color: The wilder the color the better; this show saw an invasion of prints on everything from tents to shoes to lunch boxes.
Fashion Is Still Vital: Outdoor brands are going a long way to be more fashionable, especially with sleeker lines, more feminine looks and bolder and brighter colors.
The Urban Outdoors Is the Next Frontier: The urban outdoor and kick-starter brands (especially those in the Venture Out section ofthe ORSM) are breeding ground for cleverness and surprising fashion. Maloja from Germany is a standout.
Oh, Those Comforts of Home: In todays outdoor experience, it is perfectly acceptable to bring (and to want) the comforts of home. This is why comfortable, transportable camping furniture and best in class coolers are seeing a resurgence. Of special note are small portable hammocks for hanging outside.
Mobile: Everything has to be mobile savvy, including relevant apps, ecommerce sites, maps, and fitness readers, etc. And I do mean everything.
Sustainable: It goes without saying, from supply chains, to daily operations, to rechargeable lights to solar lights and backpacks, everything manufacturers and retailers do must be sustainable. Consumers are demanding it.
Apparel Reflected Strong Momentum of Athleisure: Athleisure is on fire, with more people dressing casually. This trend will continue and have an impact on outdoor apparel. The outdoor industry needs to figure out how to leverage this trend.
Social Fitness is Top of Mind: This remains a key driver, for example, climbing gyms and fitness venues like Soul Cycle are becoming a venue for socializing and date nights.
Bottom line is that if you like fashion, tech, color, and happy people, this is where you want to work and play.