Outdoor: Did you hear?…Sport Chalet expands into Arizona, plus Nemo Equipment, Outlast, Climbing Magazine, REI, MTI, Turtle Fur and more...

Sport Chalet celebrates three Arizona grand openings over weekend, Nemo Equipment donates $90K in tents to Pakistan relief, REI plans to open Greensboro, N.C., store, Fischer investment program will increase operational facilities, plus much more...
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For the week of Nov. 8-14

>> Sport Chalet had its party hat on over the weekend opening three new stores in Arizona -- its first foray into the state. The grand opening festivities included special guest appearances and on-site activities at the new locations in Phoenix, Chandler and Scottsdale. Craig Levra, chairman and CEO, said, "The new Arizona stores represent a major milestone in Sport Chalet's growth, marking our entrance into our third state, and into another important area outside our core Southern California market." The new stores bring Sport Chalet's total store count to 39.

>> With Pakistan reporting a shortage of winter tents and blankets, Nemo Equipment is hoping to help out homeless victims of the Pakistan earthquake, donating more than 130 four-season Tenshi tents. The donation of the remainder of its 2005 inventory is worth a retail value of $90,000. Upon arrival in Pakistan, Nemo has arranged a partnership with The Adventure Foundation of Pakistan (a non-profit organization focused on teaching outdoor survival skills and leadership) to establish and service a tent village for homeless families with small children in the region. FedEx and Pakistan International Airlines have donated the transportation of the tents from New Hampshire to Pakistan.  

>> Atlas Institute's "2004-2005 Online Holiday Shopping" report says Monday is the day when most online shoppers make their purchases, with noon to 3 p.m. getting the most traffic. Tuesday, with the same time slot, also gets a lot of hits. Researchers came up with three recommendations based on the data in the study: marketers should recognize the pattern and target shoppers with messaging that acknowledges the trend; e-tailers should work to make the transition from offline to online more seamless; marketers should further take advantage by tailoring e-mail campaigns and advertising messages to people in the workplace. In the five years since the report was first published, the peak of the online holiday shopping season delved further into December. The report places the busiest shopping day of the 2005 holiday season to occur on Monday, Dec. 12, though high traffic will continue as late as Dec. 19. Post-holiday shopping is expected to remain high in January. It was exceptionally strong in 2005, and e-tailers should see a repeat in early 2006. Atlas anonymously analyzed holiday shopping behavior from Nov. 22, 2004, to Jan. 31, 2005, across 96 e-commerce clients.

>> Outlast Technologies recently named Greg Roda as senior vice president of operations and business development and Heather Listoe as marketing manager. Roda comes from NatureWorks (formerly Cargill Dow) where he was business development manager responsible for growing the Ingeo fibers non-wovens business as well as establishing partnerships and alliances for Ingeo fiber production. Listoe returns to Outlast following her work on a company and product launch program for Planetary Design of Missoula, Mont., where she was retained as national sales director.

>> Climbing Magazine's Editor In Chief Jeff Achey is transitioning to an editor-at-large position to better serve the magazine's editorial needs. Achey has been contributing to Climbing Magazine since 1977 and served for two years as chief editor. Achey is assisting in the search and selection of the new editor. Once the position is filled, he'll continue to consult and contribute editorial content. For more information about the position, contact Greg Loomis at gregloomis@climbing.com.

>> REI plans to open its first store in Greensboro, N.C., at The Shops at Friendly Center in the fall of 2006. The 24,000 square-foot store, at West Friendly Avenue and Holden Road, will employ about 55 full- and part-time staff. The Greensboro store will be the fourth store in North Carolina following the recent opening of a store in North Raleigh. Currently, REI operates 81 retail stores.

 >> MTI Adventurewear/Palm USA has appointed Tom Jester of the Guadalupe Trading Company as its independent sales rep for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska. Jester, along with Coy Galloway, also represents Heritage Kayak, Cannon Paddles, Chota, Mulholland Brothers and Barbor. Jester is available at jester@ktc.com or 830-238-4192

>> SID Factor Seven, a Boulder, Colo.-based, design and product strategy company, has added Bob Africa to its team to drive the company's growth into new distribution channels and new product categories. Working with industry leading brands including his tenure at the Salomon Design Center in France and cycling/running leader Pearl Izumi, Africa is credited with the introduction of many notable product innovations to the marketplace in recent years. Prior to his arrival at SID Factor Seven, Africa served as executive vice president of the PICEU Corp., a high-end footwear brand based in New York City.

>> Lands' End is getting an image overhaul to connect with a modern new customer without alienating its core customer base. Put on hold when it was purchased by Sears in 2002, Lands' End is ready to finally move forward with a new lighthouse design as its corporate logo. The lighthouse logo will be implemented on packaging and product labels, and integrated across all media. Also, navy blue and white stripes will also become a signature of Lands' End packaging.

>> All existing styles of Malden Mills' Polartec fabric have received the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certification and all new styles will be tested for approval on a rolling basis. Textiles that have been tested and pass Oeko-Tex's criteria guarantee that they don't contain any harmful substances that could pose a risk to human health. It covers the finished fabric product including all added applications such as durable water repellents, anti-microbial treatments and wicking agents in addition to the actual yarn fibers. Oeko-Tex tests are carried out continually and at random to ensure continued compliance. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (www.oeko-tex.com) is an initiative by independent textile test institutes. The founders were Vienna-based Austrian Textile Research Institute and the German Hohenstein Research Institute.

>> The Turtle Fur Group, made up of the Turtle Fur and Nordic Gear brands, has selected True North Brand Group to handle its public relations and product placement campaign. Turtle Fur is in the process of launching a new lifestyle brand to strengthen its presence in the youth snowsports market.
 
>> Royal Robbins has appointed Scott Duer as its sales rep in Utah and Wyoming, and Michael Stepanek as the new rep for Colorado and New Mexico. Duer has been a sales rep in the outdoor industry for over 10 years, and Stepanek for over eight years.

>> For the 2005/2006 winter season, Chaos is the official headgear sponsor for Snowboard Outreach Society, a grassroots non-profit that works with at-risk kids. Its programs provide youth with an outdoor adventure experience within a framework that promotes resiliency characteristics and positive values. The Learn to Ride program not only teaches snowboarding but also core values. This year every participant graduating from the program will receive a custom SOS/Chaos beanie.

>> Fischer ski has announced a new investment program designed to increase operational facilities and to finance growth as the company faces market consolidation. Manufacturing output of Nordic skis, for which Fischer says it is the global market leader, will increase by 7 percent to 750,000 pairs from a current output of 700,000 pairs while Alpine ski production is due to increase 5 percent from the current 790,000 pairs to 830,000 –approximately 500,000 are sold under the Fischer brand. The company has also announced plans to double its output of ski boots to 60,000 pairs next year. Other unit sales for 2006 are: 230,000 Nordic bindings, up from 180,000 pairs, 360,000 pairs of Nordic ski boots, and 400,000 alpine ski bindings. 2005/06 sales are budgeted at Euro 170 million or approximately $200 million USD. --Courtesy of our European news partner, Outdoori
 

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