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These are extracts from the issue of The Outdoor Industry Compass that was published just before the OutDoor show, but also news collected at the show that will be expanded in our next issue. You can actually receive this next full issue free of charge by filling out the form on the right.

Selected News Briefs (June 20, 2017)

June 21, 2017

Mundo Mammoth, one of the major physical and online retailers of bicycles in Spain, has announced an agreement to integrate its operations into those of Barrabès Esquí y Montaña, the leading Spanish outdoor retailer, which has adopted a hybrid online/offline retail structure since it launched its web store in 1998. The two retailers will keep their consumer-facing activities and identities separate, but they will share their back-office functions including administration, logistics, human resources and communication. More in the regular issues of Sporting Goods Intelligence Europe and the Compass.

The North Face is preparing to more strongly target female consumers in Europe next year, after the integration of the former Lucy brand into the outdoor company’s range. Women’s products currently make up about 30 percent of TNF’s sales in Europe across all the categories. VF Corporation decided earlier this year to wind down Lucy and integrate it into its former Mountain Athletics range, which has been renamed Run and Train. It represents 7 percent of sales globally and 5 percent of sales in Europe. The move should be all the more impactful in Europe and other international markets, since the Lucy brand was not distributed in these countries. The push will be accompanied by investments in marketing, involving the brand’s outstanding roster of female athletes. The stronger emphasis on women’s products is one of the initiatives driven by Kath Smith, TNF’s vice president and general manager in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) since March. She wants to take advantage of TNF’s wingspan through increased segmentation, for which the brand has hired a gaggle of European managers issued from leading sports and outdoor companies. More in the regular issue.

Odlo has appointed Esther Woollett as international sales development manager with a focus on Scandinavia, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. She is one of several managers who have left the Mammut Sports Group recently. She served as head of retail at the Swiss company for the last five years, after working for Euro Disney, Apple, Swatch and Timberland.

Boreal, Grisport and La Sportiva are making new investments to expand their in-house production activities. The investments are partly intended to make their operations ecologically more sustainable. For La Sportiva, the investments are necessary to support annual sales increases of around 20 percent. The Italian firm says it will also be the first company to get mountain running shoes made in Europe, more specifically in Romania, based on a new technology called Unika. More in the regular issue of the Compass.

Silva Sweden, the Swedish specialist in compasses and headlamps, has reached an agreement with Johnson Outdoors to buy the rights to the Silva brand in North America. They have signed a transfer agreement with the intent to close the sale at the start of next year. The Swedish company said the sales generated by Johnson with Silva-branded compasses made up nearly half of its own sales in this category, meaning the deal should add a sizeable chunk of turnover. This comes as Silva is restructuring its offering, paring it back from eight to three categories and cutting out about 20 percent of its stock-keeping units over a one-year period. The adjustments fit with a more focused brand positioning that should be finalized early next year. Separately, Silva has hired Harald Molander as export manager, starting from September. More in the regular issue.

GSI Outdoors has parted ways with its German distributor, Ventus Sports. The U.S. company, which started in 1985 with a truckload of enamelware from Mexico, has grown to be a producer of high-quality camping cookware. The distribution in Germany will be directly handled by the company’s European sales consultant, Andreas Ruhs, who is also taking care of Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Switzerland. He has been with GSI since 2011, after working for Primus, Suunto and Katadyn. GSI has recently expanded into Belarus as part of its push into Eastern Europe. The company now has retail clients in 42 countries. Ventus Sports will be concentrating on a single brand, KingCamp from China.

Polartec has started delivering fabrics made at Pontetorto for the European market, after exchange rate changes and trends to manufacture closer to consumers motivated the company to transfer some of its production to Europe. Focusing on the Polartec Power Stretch and Polartec Power Grid platforms, the fabrics made by the Italian manufacturer account for about 5 percent of the products sold by Polartec in Europe for the time being. They will be integrated in the autumn ranges of brands such as Houdini, Salewa, Montane, Ternua and Mammut. Polartec’s European business started to recover last year from the dip caused by appreciation of the U.S. dollar two years ago. More in the regular issue.

Naturkompaniet, the Swedish outdoor retail chain owned by Fenix Outdoor, has launched a campaign aimed at getting customers to help keep the outdoors clean. The campaign, which is running under the title "Please, leave nothing but footprints," wants people to take their waste with them when they are in the outdoors. Behind the campaign is the organization Hold Sverige Rent, which together with Naturkompaniet and Fjällräven has produced a re-usable nylon trash bag. The bag can be washed and therefore used every time people go out into nature.

The European Outdoor Conservation Association (Eoca) has committed itself to getting more than 1.2 million trees planted since the July 2016 OutDoor show. The total of 1,200,957 trees announced to its members at the current OutDoor show includes a batch of 80,000 trees due to be planted in Nepal through Eoca’s latest online funding campaign, which has so far raised half of the €30,000 needed to finance the program. Eoca also raised €12,500 in the first two days of the present OutDoor shows by selling items donated by exhibitors.

We launched The Outdoor Industry Compass as the only international business newsletter focusing on the European outdoor market at the OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen ten years ago. Many large and small companies in the sector are now subscribing. If your company is not one of them, you may consider catching up at a 20% discount before the end of June. You may also pick up one of our recent issues at our stand in Foyer West, including the one that came out just before the show with exclusive information on Tecnica, Helsport, Helly Hansen and other companies. Here are some excerpts from that issue:

The Zanatta family, which controls the Tecnica Group, has signed a letter of intent to allow Italmobiliare to acquire a minority stake of around 40 percent in Italy’s leading supplier of outdoor shoes and ski equipment for a total investment of about €60 million. The investment, which will be primarily made through a capital increase, is intended to provide Tecnica with the means to reschedule its debt, to support its growth and to make higher investments in new product development and marketing that should allow it reach an annual turnover of €500 million in five years‘ time……………………

Swix Sport is continuing to build up its multi-brand Scandinavian outdoor group. It is complementing the offering of its Lundhags and Ulvang brands with the acquisition of all the shares in Helsport, a leading Norwegian supplier of outdoor tents, sleeping bags and backpacks, from Stein Hellikesen at an undisclosed price………………

Wenaas Nordic, a large-scale distribution company specializing in sports and outdoor brands, has been acquired by the Dalema group, another Norwegian company that already owns a wide variety of industrial and trading operations in various sectors including the sports market, where it wants to expand further through this takeover…………………


More news briefs in The Outdoor Industry Compass issue to pick up at our stand (Entrance West, FW101)

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Selected News Briefs (June 20, 2017)

June 20, 2017

After a sluggish performance last year, the Chinese outdoor market is set to resume double-digit growth in the years ahead, the China Outdoor Association (COA) predicted in a presentation held yesterday at the OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen. The COA’s market research indicates that the core Chinese outdoor retail market expanded by just 1.8 percent to 18.44 billion yuan renminbi (€2.42bn-$2.70bn) in 2016. However the association predicts that the market will gain more than 10 percent next year to reach about RMB 20.6 billion (€2.71bn-$3.02bn), and RMB 32.1 billion (€4.22bn-$4.70bn) by 2020. The forecast was presented for the COA by Steve Huang, chief executive of B.C. Sports, a leading outdoor and winter sports equipment distribution company. He said the trade already started showing unspecified signs of a pick-up for the second half of this year. The COA estimates that the entire Chinese outdoor market, based on a broader definition that includes low-budget brands and the outdoor ranges of sports and fashion brands, is worth about RMB 48 billion (€6.31bn-$7.04bn).

As we have already reported, Black Diamond is completing its offer with its first line of climbing shoes that it presented at the OutDoor show. The company knows this segment well as a former distributor for Scarpa in North America. In fact, the line has been developed by a former American sales rep for Scarpa, Linh Nguyen, who has also worked for Boreal and Evolv, Chris Sharma’s brand of climbing shoes. It will be made at a factory in China that was working for Evolv. Selected stores of Mountain Equipment Coop in Canada and REI in the U.S. will start selling the line in the next few months. The distribution will be broadened early next year, with a European retail launch planned for next March.

Craft presented its first line of urban running shoes at the OutDoor show. The shoes are intended for running on asphalt, but the company makes no secret that the collection will be expanded in a few years’ time. Craft’s new urban running shoes come with a Vibram sole that was exclusively developed for the brand. In Germany, the shoes will be initially sold by 50 selected retailers, starting in February 2018. They will be made in China at a factory that also manufactures shoes for Adidas.

Primus launched its first collection of cooling backpacks, made by a production partner in China, at the OutDoor show. The line includes three different models of insulated bags. Primus also presented its first barbeque grill at the show.

Craghoppers has hired Claire Wilson as retail marketing manager, starting in July. She worked for Reebok in the past. The English brand already appointed James McNamara to the newly created position of global commercial director last October. He had previously held a similar position at Salomon, and he is currently recruiting a new U.K. country manager for the brand. In May, Craghoppers started selling its products in Austria through a sales agent, Thomas Hautz, who has a showroom in the BrandBox in Salzburg. Craghoppers continues to grow very fast. Its sales in Europe jumped by 45 percent in 2016, and another double-digit increase is expected for 2017.

Devold of Norway, the Norwegian wool apparel specialist, has teamed up with Peter Rostron to explore the U.K. market. Rostron was previously the managing director for Haglöfs in the U.K. and a sales and marketing director at Bradshaw Taylor. Although Devold already sells directly to a handful of British retailers, Rostron has been appointed as a consultant to study Devold’s distribution strategy for market entry, working toward a launch next spring. This comes shortly after Devold appointed Herbert Horelt, former country manager for Haglöfs in Germany, to head up a new subsidiary in the country from the start of this year. The Norwegian brand’s pre-orders have more than doubled in Germany and Austria for this autumn, the first season to be delivered by the subsidiary. Devold is also preparing for the full-fledged launch of a range of running apparel, using mostly merino wool. A smaller running program was launched in a few Norwegian stores this summer. More in the regular issue.

Cascade Designs has appointed John Bowen as supply chain manager for Europe, replacing Derrick Jones. Bowen, who was previously supply chain manager at EMC Corporation and Apple, started at Cascade Designs in May, handling also customer services, planning, purchasing and customer service. He is based at the company’s European factory in Cork, Ireland.

Anne Leidenfrost, who worked previously as marketing director at Edelrid, joined Skylotec in the newly created position of brand manager on June 1. Skylotec won this year’s OutDoor Gold Award in the climbing equipment category for its Rider 3.0 via ferrata set.

Entre-Prises, a French manufacturer of holds that has been developing customized sport climbing solutions, won this year’s French OutDoor Award 2017 for its new 3D climbing structure, Monkey Space. It is an innovative training system, made at the company’s own production site in Spain, which consists of a self-standing, modular structure, available in four sizes, with various training tools and accessories for the customization of climbing routes. It was installed for the first time in a climbing hall in Bayonne, France, called The Roof indoor, last September. Three additional systems will be installed between September and December 2017 in France, another one in Montreal and a fifth one in Barcelona.

The Italian Outdoor Group has selected Ronco Alpinismo as the winner of this year’s “Historic Outdoor Shop” award. Located in Turin, the store is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.


More news briefs in The Outdoor Industry Compass issue to pick up at our stand (Entrance West, FW101)

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Selected News Briefs (June 19, 2017)

June 19, 2017

Messe Friedrichshafen, which has invested €5.5 million in a new, badly needed air conditioning system that is pleasing exhibitors and visitors at the current OutDoor show, says the number of pre-registered visitors at its current session was virtually the same as one year ago, in spite of its new, earlier timing. Still, it’s not sure whether the leading outdoor show is going to remain in the same venue from 2019 onward. The European Outdoor Group, which owns the show, is expected to decide at the Ispo fair in Munich next January whether the OutDoor show will remain in Friedrichshafen or migrate to another city like Munich, Berlin or Milan. The EOG will contact these and possibly other venues in the next six months to see whether they meet the numerous, interesting recommendations made by more than 600 brand owners, retailers and experts surveyed during the past few months. The survey indicates, among other things, that the show should be easy to access for international visitors and provide support for accommodation. It should also be more attractive and relevant for retailers from all over Europe. More in the regular issue.

Preliminary figures collected by the European Outdoor Group among more than 100 brands indicate that the European outdoor market grew by 3.4 percent in volume and by 3 percent in value at wholesale last year, reaching a level of €5.47 billion that can be translated into estimated retail sales of €11.5 billion. The growth rates were higher than in 2015, but sales of outdoor shoes declined for the first time in about five years, down by 1.0 percent in value and by 1.7 percent in volume. Instead, apparel sales went up by 6.3 percent in volume and by 4.2 percent in value. There were also declines in volume of 0.8 percent for tents and 2.7 percent for sleeping bags. More in the regular issue.

The European Outdoor Group (EOG) formally announced yesterday that Mark Held, the British executive who founded the association in 2003 together with Rolf Schmid, the former chief executive of Mammut Sports Group, has decided to step down as its secretary general within the next two years. Held, who is now 58 years old, has been in this position since 2005, and he has built up a team of seven people at the EOG’s office in England. He will help recruit his successor, who doesn’t have to be based in England. More in the regular issue.

In an effort to become a more vertically integrated system supplier, Sport 2000 Germany is striving to determine a standard range of products that would represent up to 70 percent of the offer in the affiliated stores and that would be centrally ordered at better conditions. More in detail, 25 percent of the products on sale in Sport 2000 stores would be from its never-out-of-stock (NOS) program, and 45 percent would be bestsellers and seasonal products. The retailer would then take purchasing decisions for the remaining 30 percent of the product range. Intersport is going in the same direction with the establishment of a “blue sales area” with a relatively standardized product offer, based on special deals with suppliers. With this in mind, Intersport will convert three of its Intersport Voswinkel stores in Berlin to Intersport flagship stores, where it will test and demonstrate the new concept. These outlets will feature a new store design and digital services.

Sport 2000 Germany recorded a sales increase of 3 percent at its affiliated stores in the outdoor segment during the first five months of this year, as compared to the same period of 2016, driven by an 8 percent increase for outdoor equipment. Outdoor shoes and apparel both grew by 3 percent. Meanwhile, retailers affiliated with Intersport Germany recorded stable sales in the outdoor sector for the same period, but Intersport’s big exclusive outdoor brand, McKinley, saw a 13 percent increase in footwear. More in the regular issue.

After joining forces, as we reported in May, Edelrid and Red Chili took their first decisions on how to optimize their international distribution. In Germany, one of the three sales representatives of Red Chili will take care of both brands in the future, and he will become an employee of Edelrid, the new owner of both brands. This kind of combination is being made easier by the fact that Edelrid is going to stop making shoes next year, to avoid competing with Red Chili. In Austria, the sales agency of Stefan Putz, who works with Edelrid, is now also covering Red Chili’s sales in the market. The same accounts for the U.K., where Edelrid’s sales agent, Eclipse, has taken over Red Chili’s sales as well. In the U.S., Edelrid North America will take care of Red Chili’s sales in the future. Meanwhile, Thomas Hodel has been appointed as brand manager for the Edelrid brand, starting in August, after working for 12 years with Black Diamond. Carsten von Birckhahn, the former brand manager and member of Edelrid’s executive board, will be focusing on the integration of the Red Chili brand and will continue to handle product development, marketing and product design for the Edelrid brand.

Jack Wolfskin claims that it has come up with the first waterproof outdoor jackets using fully recycled material. The range, which will be launched at retail in the spring, combines an outer shell and the Texapore Ecosphere membrane, which are both made from recycled polyester. Jack Wolfskin says it has developed the PFC-free Texapore Ecosphere with several suppliers and has exclusive rights to it for two years. The German group has been quietly but extensively working on sustainability in the last years, through partnerships with Bluesign, the Fair Wear Foundation and the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals program, among others. The innovation was introduced at the OutDoor fair yesterday by Daniele Grasso, former head of product development for apparel, who has become director of apparel from the start of June, taking over from Jutta Brenneisen, who has left the company.

An “unbreakable” bike lock made of textiles, a clothing range made by refugees and a size advisor for online shopping were three products that caught the eyes of judges at the 2017 OutDoor trade fair. The three young firms were honored with a Start-Up Award on the opening day of the event. In addition, another 38 products from more than 330 entries received one of the OutDoor Industry Awards. Nine of the 38 products were singled out as Gold Award winners by the six-person judging panel for their exceptional design. The nine winners were: • Patagonia for its Micro Puff Hoody • Helinox, for a comfortable camping chair weighing only 460 grams • Primus for a lightweight Primetech Stove Set • Ride on pants from TernuaArchroma for their range of Earthcolors • Exped for its durable, robust and well insulated Downmat • Katadyn for a water filtration system • Skylotec for a climbing set with free-running ascender brakes. In the Start-Up Award the winners were: • Tex-lock for an innovative bike lock • Vaterland for a production system where refugees living in Europe use their skill to make high-quality clothing • A Size Advisor from Fision that makes it easier to select the right size when shopping online More details in the regular edition.


More news briefs in The Outdoor Industry Compass issue to pick up at our stand (Entrance West, FW101)

Not subscribing yet? Take advantage of a 20% discount at our booth.

JUNE 18 - SELECTED EVENTS

Time Event Place
9.00 Outdoor Blogger Networking breakfast Foyer East (Blogger Base)
10.30 International press conference Room Berlin/Paris
11.00 Water Sports Fashion Show Foyer West
13.30 Alastair Humphreys "The Call of the Wild" Foyer East (Outdoor Stage)
14.00 Water Sports Fashion Show Foyer West
16.00 Blogger Walk & Meet Meeting Point: Blogger Base
16.00 Water Sports Fashion Show Foyer West
17.00 Announcement of EOCA's funded conservation projects for 2017 Foyer East (Outdoor Stage)
17.30 Award Ceremony 12th Outdoor Industry Award, followed by Outdoor Industry Award Get Together Foyer East
18.00 Outdoor Against Cancer, Charity Run Meeting point: B4 Running Center
For more events click HERE

JUNE 19 - SELECTED EVENTS

Time Event Place
10.00 Inna-Pirjetta Lahti"The power of influencer networks and co-operation in innovative marketing" Foyer East (Outdoor stage)
10.00 Runner's World Run & Trail Summit at OutDoor 2017. "What's up in running? What's the situation in the trails?" Conference Center West, Room Schweiz
10.30 Runner's World Run & Trail Summit at OutDoor 2017. "Which running events are booming? How are women-only events faring?" Conference Center West, Room Schweiz
11.00 Water Sports Fashion Show Foyer West
13.30 Pata Degermann "How to reach your audiences through engaging stories?" Foyer East (Outdoor stage)
14.00 Water Sports Fashion Show Foyer West
14.00 Runner's World Run & Trail Summit at OutDoor 2017. Three-minute product presentations by OutDoor exhibitors Hall B4 Running center
15.30 Runner's World Run & Trail Summit at OutDoor 2017. Podium discussion: "Will trail running make the leap into the city?" Hall B4 Running center
16.00 Blogger Walk & Meet Meeting Point: Blogger Base
16.00 Water Sports Fashion Show Foyer West
16.30 European Slackline Masters by Škoda - Qualification Open Air Grounds West
17.00 Outdoor Movie Night Foyer East (Outdoor stage)
18.00 Runner's World Run & Trail Summit at OutDoor 2017 - Get-together Hall B4 Running center
For more events click HERE

JUNE 20 - SELECTED EVENTS

Time Event Place
9.00 Outdoor Blogger Networking breakfast Foyer East (Blogger Base)
10.00 Runner's World Run & Trail Summit at OutDoor 2017. Exhibition Tour:"Track, road or trail?" Hall B4 Running center
10.00 Melvin Boecher "Understanding the Value of Influencers and Digital Media" Foyer East (Outdoor stage)
11.00 Water Sports Fashion Show Foyer West
13.30 Panel discussion: "Where is the influence? Lessons learnt from influencers, brands & destinations" Foyer East (Outdoor stage)
16.00 Water Sports Fashion Show Foyer West
14.00 Water Sports Fashion Show Foyer West
16.00 Blogger Walk & Meet (Ladies) Meeting Point: Blogger Base
17.00 European Slackline Masters by Škoda - Finals Open Air Grounds West
18.30 OutDoor Party Open Air Grounds and Atrium
For more events click HERE

JUNE 21 SCHEDULE - EVENTS

Time Event Place
9.30 High Jump Contest- Qualification Foyer West
10.00 European Outdoor Group – #It'sGreatOutThere Case Study Foyer East (Outdoor stage)
12.00 High Jump Contest- Finals Foyer West
For more events click HERE


JUNE 18-21

OutDoor
Special Edition

The Outdoor Industry Compass is the most authoritative and comprehensive business newsletter on the outdoor market in Europe, focusing on suppliers, distributors, retailers and of course international outdoor brands. The Compass is also the only publication in the sector that is exclusively targeted to industry managers who want to read information that is truly international, strictly business, time-saving but in depth. It is also exclusively financed by readers' money (no advertising), and therefore fully independent.

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