Keep up by reading Industry Buzz. Here are today's top headlines:
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- If you haven't heard of Pattie Gonia by now, you're missing out. This backpacking drag queen is promoting inclusivity in the outdoors and rocking 6-inch heels.
- Outdoor Industry Association released a letter—backed by 34 industry leaders—in response to the mixed reviews over November's quiet Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. "It should have been a smashing success, but attendance was below expectations." The letter lists reasons why November is the right show and January "is still too late." Snowsports Industries America was surprised by the letter, especially after such a successful show with 29,000 attendees, and believes it's inaccurate to call the January show is "unsustainable."
- On Dec. 4, L.L.Bean reached a personal record. The Maine-based retailer topped 315,000 orders in 24 hours. Talk about a boost to confidence over the holiday sales season.
- Another big retailer, REI, is expanding its rental department. This month, 70 stores are offering snowshoe rentals for kids and adults. “Factors such as price and storage space can be barriers to getting outdoors," says Peter Whitcomb, director of new business development and head of REI’s rental program. "Offering rental gear makes it that much easier for people to learn a new hobby, check out new gear, connect with friends, and get outside.”
- Warren Miller Entertainment's Long Underwear podcast aims to strip off the layers and get to know the skiers and snowboarders underneath the ski gear. Ther one rule? After introductions, there are no more mentions of skiing and snowboarding allowed. The podcast is hosted by pro skier Amie Engerbretson and it just wrapped up its first season with its eighth episode. Have a listen here.
- While polar explorer Eric Larsen is off trying ski to the South Pole in a record time, his family was in the spotlight the other night. His wife, Maria Hennessey, and two kiddos, and their adventures at home in Crested Butte, were featured in a sweet video by 9NEWS.
- Sufferfest named Chris Strain as president. He hails from the beverage and outdoor sports industries, where he previously held key sales, marketing, and brand strategy roles with PepsiCo, Vans, and CamelBak.
- Osprey Packs hired on Brian Mecham as senior director of sales. Mecham will manage the sales, marketing and service strategies of Osprey’s domestic wholesale business. Most recently, Mecham served as Vice President of Sales for Spyder Active Sports.
- Columbia Sportswear hired Peter Ruppe, a footwear industry veteran most recently at Under Armour, as VP of footwear. Ruppe joined Under Armour in January 2015 as SVP of footwear after a nearly 25-year career at Nike. He left last July as a number of senior executives exited the firm in a restructuring phase.