Outdoor: Did you hear?…

Moonstone now in 300-plus storefronts, Mountain Hardwear hires European sales manager, Outside magazine partners with CDTA to raise funds, plus much more...
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For the weeks of Jan. 25-Feb. 7

>> At the end of January, Moonstone Mountain Equipment said it's now in more than 300 storefronts, an increase of 50 percent over this time a year ago. The apparel-maker credits the increase primarily to retailers' response to Moonstone's fall 2004 line, a revitalized and expanded spring 2005 line and strong retail sell-through this season. Moonstone's spring 2005 bookings were up 75 percent over the previous spring. "We generated a lot of momentum in 2004 that is carrying over into 2005," said Hoby Douglass, vice president of sales for Moonstone. "Preseason bookings for fall 2005 are tracking over 300 percent up from this month last year. We are making solid progress toward positioning Moonstone as a year-round revenue center for retailers, in addition to giving consumers exciting styles for all seasons." Strong sellers for Moonstone have been insulation, particularly its new ultralight offerings, like the Lucid and Ultralight Cirrus, plus new offerings in the soft shell category, such as the Gendarme and the new X-Tech 3 for spring 2005.

>> Mountain Hardwear has named Chrissy Dorn as its European sales manager. Dorn will oversee all aspects of the company's sales for Italy, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. Dorn is the product line manager for performance apparel at Puma International and will start at Mountain Hardwear on April 1.

>> Outside magazine has partnered with the Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA) to raise funds to complete the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail. Outside is donating $15,000 to the CDTA and will publish a special advertising section in its July issue, which will include information on how to volunteer, a pullout map and details about the top day hikes along the trail. Outside said 50 percent of the net revenue from the ad section will be donated to the CDTA. Also, the CDTA will sell Outside subscriptions as part of its fund-raising efforts, earning $10 for every Outside subscription sold. "Outside inspires our readers to explore the natural, outside world in order to live more engaged, fuller lives," said Larry Burke, Outside's chairman and editor in chief. "We partnered with the CDTA as a way to promote awareness, funding and participation in one of the most monumental trail-development efforts in our nation's history."

>> Life-Link announced the members of its new Snowboard Avalanche Safety team. They include Travis Rice, Marc Frank Montoya, Willie McMillon, Kurt Wastell, Lance Pitman and Bryan Iguchi. Life-Link said its goals for the team are to stress the importance of having the right gear and knowledge in order to safely enjoy snowboarding in the backcountry.

>> Burlington WorldWide, in partnership with Outlast Technologies and Ciba, said it has developed a finishing application that provides an extended comfort range to a wide spectrum of fabric types and weights. Using phase-change molecules called Thermocules, the newly developed finishing process allows fabrics to adjust to changes in temperature, creating more comfortable and versatile clothing without compromising the fabric's inherent characteristics. The foundation of the patent-pending technology -- called Smart Fabric Technology -- is built around a new, proprietary formulation, develop by Outlast and Ciba, of micro encapsulated phase-change materials called Thermocules, which absorb and release heat for increased comfort. A Burlington spokesman said the result of the collaborative effort is a "smart," versatile fabric that provides consumers multiple functions and benefits. Initially, it will be used in activewear apparel, with future applications in menswear and uniforms.

>> Already standard issue for the U.S. military and some U.K. forces, CamelBak's hydration system is now being used by more than 500,000 troops around the world. Other NATO countries took notice of the mobile hydration systems used by the U.S and U.K. militaries, which allows soldiers to drink without removing hands from weapons. Most recently, the Belgian government purchased 8,000 units of the chemical/biological reservoir (CBR 4.0) 3-litre systems, and the Hong Kong police force has also adopted the CBR 4.0. CamelBak said its systems are becoming standard equipment around the world for troops and elite units of law enforcement. By 2004, military forces in more than 40 countries, including all NATO Armed Forces, were using CamelBak systems. Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, Portugal and the U.K. have adopted CamelBak systems not only for elite branches of the military, but also for regular military personnel. CamelBak has also created customized versions of its hydration gear for the Australian, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabian, British, Canadian, Dutch and German armies.

>> REI announced its 2004 Vendor Partnership Award winners, naming Keen Footwear as its Vendor Partner of the Year. The retailer's annual awards program recognizes three key vendors and one overall vendor partner of the year for efforts that have built a strategic and successful relationship with REI. Other winners include: Cascade Designs in the camping/travel division, Pearl Izumi in the action sports division, and Prana in the outdoorwear division. REI's retail stores vote from the slate of nominees to help determine the winners.

>> Kokatat has chosen its team paddlers for 2005 who, the company says, convey the "culture of Kokatat" by being themselves, by accepting nothing less than the best, and by exceedingly pushing the limits of their abilities. The new athletes are Josh Bechtel, Scott Feindel, Polly Green, Nikki Kelly, Brad Ludden, Scott Mann, Ben Selznick and Brooke Winger.

>> Outlast has updated its Smart Fabric Technology website -- www.outlast.com -- with a new design that focuses on usability and a flow of information that is clean and concise. The company said an astronaut character promotes interactivity and teaches users about the technology.

>> Consoltex has hired Christopher Gibbs as its new marketing manager. His duties include implementing the company's global communications strategies and driving awareness of Consoltex and its brands of technical fabrics. His background includes 10 years in industrial distribution.

>> The REI fold is growing as it plans to open a store in Bend, Ore., in November. The 28,000-square-foot store will be in a former power plant in The Shops at the Old Mill District along the Deschutes River off Route 97. It'll be REI's first store in central Oregon and will employ 55 full- and part-time staff.

>> Gary A. Kiedaisch has been named president of The Coleman Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jarden Corp. which recently acquired Coleman's former parent company American Household Inc. Kiedaisch has a 25-year track record of developing and growing international consumer products companies specializing in sports and outdoor recreation. Most recently, he was the chairman, CEO and president for Bauer Nike Hockey. He has also held CEO positions at Bolle and Stowe Mountain Resort.

>> Gander Mountain has signed leases for eight new outdoor lifestyle specialty stores to open in the spring of 2005, keeping in line with its announced plans to open 18 to 22 new stores in 2005. The new 55,000-square-foot stores, scheduled to open in April and May, will be located in: Beaumont, Texas; Spring (Houston), Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Sugarland (Houston), Texas; Duluth, Minn.; Terre Haute, Ind.; Kingston, N.Y.; and Thornton, Colo.

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