Outdoor: Did you hear?...

TNF works to pull product from Costco, CamelBak's future still a mystery, Industry donates $35K in gear to SoCal firefighters, ispo creates ski/outdoor crossover hall, REI takes a gamble on Vegas, Deckers 3Q sees 40.4% increase, plus much more...
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>> SNEWS called Mike Egeck, president of The North Face, on Nov. 3 in response to several calls from retailers who noticed TNF product selling in the Costco in Boise, Idaho, over the weekend. Egeck confirmed that he was aware of the products, a Nuptse down vest and a fleece, which are selling in the Boise Costco and also in a Costco in Alaska. No, TNF does not sell to Costco, and it is not an authorized dealer. Egeck tells us they have traced the source and are in the process of closing down two accounts that apparently gray-marketed the goods to Costco. "We have a zero tolerance policy here," said Egeck. He also told us TNF is on a witch hunt to find any account taking part in gray marketing. TNF has contacted Costco to buy back the goods, but has been told Costco is not interested. SNEWS View: As long as Egeck is pres, TNF will no way ever sell to Costco. And you can take that to the bank. We've learned from several retailers that Costco buyers are even contacting those retailers trying to obtain TNF-branded product to sell. Apparently, even though TNF will not open Costco, that doesn't stop the retail giant. Unbelievable!

>> SNEWS has been getting numerous emails asking about the recent www.thedeal.com proclamation that Bear Stearns Merchant Banking is close to clinching a $200 million deal to buy CamelBak. We have been aware for some time that the sale is a possibility, but the fact is neither CamelBak or Bear Stearns can comment until a deal is signed, and it is not signed yet -- which is why we have remained mum on the prospect. Rest assured that SNEWS will have all the inside skinny for you even as the ink is drying on whatever deal gets done.

>> Adventure 16's president, John Mead, called to say that following the story in SNEWS regarding A16 seeking product donations, the industry stepped up big time during the Southern California Cedar Fire in San Diego County. Cascade Designs overnighted 300 Therm-a-rest camping mattresses; Kelty shipped 16 tents and numerous sleeping bags; Wigwam, Fox River and Dahlgren sent over 1,000 pairs of socks; and Adventure 16 pulled stock from the store's shelves -- all donated to assist over 3,000 firefighters who had been sleeping on the ground, under trucks and in shelters, and wearing work-ravaged socks with their toes sticking out. Mead told us, "When we delivered the products to Base Camp at Gillespie Field on October 29, we were met with hundreds of firefighters who showed their appreciation in a very sincere and touching way. They had been to hell and back and were so thankful for the way the community pulled together to help make them more comfortable." In all, $35,000 of camping products was donated to firefighters. Additionally, as a result of the news coverage about the industry's donations, others in the community learned of the firefighters' needs and began donation drives, including a local Girl Scout troop that launched a pillow drive.

>> GERMANY -- The 60th anniversary ispo show, the winter show from Feb. 1-4, 2004, expects more than 1,500 exhibitors from more than 40 countries. An addition this year will be a new "Crossover Hall" for Ski and Outdoor -- one we hope that allows exhibitors who in the past have been required to staff two booths and sprint back and forth between them to actually stay in one booth. The main themes in the hall are telemark, cross-country skiing and ski-touring. A telemark/backcountry forum will be created at the center of the hall in cooperation with partners from the branch. In addition, the Volvo SportsDesign Forum will be held the day before the start of the ispo and will be titled, "The Challenges of Snow and Ice -- particular influences of cold elements on products and brands, and the demands of extreme sports athletes." For more information, go to www.ispo.com.

>> REI plans to open a store in April 2004 in the Las Vegas area in a new lifestyle center called the Shops at Green Valley Ranch at the intersection of Interstate 215 and Green Valley Parkway in Henderson, Nev. This is REI's first store in the Las Vegas area. REI's Reno store opened in 1999. REI has 2,500 active members in the Las Vegas area. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay a one-time $15 fee and receive a share in the company's profits through an annual patronage refund based on their purchases. The 22,500-square-foot store will employ 50 full- and part-time staff.

>> Timberland (NYSE:TBL) reported 3Q revenues up 6.6 percent to $444 million, thanks to international sales growth of 12.2 percent in constant dollars, which offset a dip in U.S. sales of 1.7 percent. International sales now account for 40 percent of Timberland's revenues. Globally, footwear revenue increased 8.4 percent to $331.8 million. Global apparel and accessories grew 2.6 percent to $98.4 million, attributed to growth in the U.S. wholesale and Asian business. Company CEO Jeffrey Swartz continues to project sales growth for the year in the mid to high single-digits. For more information about Timberland's financial reports, as well as to view stock prices updated every 15 minutes, visit the SNEWS® Stock Market Updates. Click on: www.snewsnet.com/cgi-bin/snews/stock_report.html.

>> Climb High, the U.S. distributor of Mammut, will once again join forces with Outward Bound to offer a second annual Outdoor Appreciation Scholarship award in 2004. The scholarship recipient will be awarded the full tuition for an Outward Bound classic course of their choosing, roundtrip airfare, and full outfitting in Mammut alpine clothing and gear. Aspiring outdoor adventurers can submit their application between Nov. 1, 2003, and April 15, 2004, with the winning application announced on April 30. Applications can be obtained online at www.climbhigh.com and www.outwardbound.org.

>> Deckers (Nasdaq: DECK) reported that 3Q net sales increased 40.4 percent to a record $24.9 million compared to $17.7 million in the same period last year. Net earnings for the quarter were $481,000 compared to a net loss of $2,547,000 for the same period last year. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2003, net sales increased 16.3 percent to $85.3 million compared to $73.4 million in the same period last year. Net earnings for the first nine months of fiscal 2003 increased to $6,690,000. Teva sales carried the ball, climbing $9 million over the same period the year prior, to $45.7 million. Closed-toe footwear accounted for a large percentage of the increase. Ugg sales increased from $9.8 million to $14.1 million. Deckers expects 2003 sales to range between $113 million and $115 million, with Teva sales accounting for $75 million and Ugg for $32 million. For more information about Decker's financial reports, as well as to view stock prices updated every 15 minutes, visit the SNEWS® Stock Market Updates. Click on: www.snewsnet.com/cgi-bin/snews/stock_report.html.

>> The U.S. cross-country, jumping and Nordic combined skiers will wear Swix Apparel this season, expanding the level of official sponsorship Swix has enjoyed for years. In addition to waxes, Swix also provides tuning accessories and ski poles to U.S. alpine, Nordic and snowboard teams.

>> Mountainsmith has partnered with the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation (USBSF) to become the team's official backpack and luggage supplier. The three-year agreement is effective immediately and will continue through the 2006 winter Olympics.

>> Brunton has added Ed Viesturs to the company's growing list of athletes and professionals endorsing Brunton equipment. Viesters navigates with the help of Brunton's Eclipse Compass and he also relies on Brunton optics. His entire expedition team benefits from Brunton's portable power devices for running laptops and satellite phones.

>> W.L. Gore has extended the supplier's multi-year partnership with The Weather Channel through 2005. The agreement will encompass advertising and content on both the cable network and weather.com, the website of The Weather Channel. As part of the agreement, Gore will remain the outerwear outfitter for The Weather Channel Severe Weather Team. When tracking severe weather, the cable network's weather reporting team will continue to don the now recognizable "The Weather Channel blue" custom-made Gore-Tex jackets out in the field.

>> En-R-G Foods Inc., makers of Honey Stinger energy bars and gels, recently announced a two-year sponsorship agreement with the Subaru Factory Team. The company will continue its support of the elite Nordic ski racing team through 2005 as official bar and gel supplier and Bronze Level Sponsor.

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