Outdoor Prolink and SNEWS® establish strategic partnership to benefit retail employees

Outdoor Prolink (www.OutdoorProlink.com) and SNEWS® (www.snewsnet.com) have entered into a strategic partnership to ensure that qualified outdoor industry retail staff will benefit from direct access to industry news and information, as well as easy access to professional prices from a wide variety of leading outdoor industry brands.
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Outdoor Prolink (www.OutdoorProlink.com) and SNEWS® (www.snewsnet.com) have entered into a strategic partnership to ensure that qualified outdoor industry retail staff will benefit from direct access to industry news and information, as well as easy access to professional prices from a wide variety of leading outdoor industry brands.

As a result of the partnership agreement, outdoor specialty retailers who have been qualified by SNEWS® to receive either a paid or free access SNEWS® subscription will be able to easily activate a Outdoor Prolink membership without having to go through additional steps of employment verification. In addition, retailers activating qualified memberships through Outdoor Prolink who are not current SNEWS® subscribers will receive immediate and direct approval to activate a SNEWS® sub without additional background checking by SNEWS®.

"It is only through encouraging the purchase and use of as wide a variety of outdoor gear as possible that we, as an industry, can expect our most valued members, the retail staff working the floor, to be sufficiently well versed in product knowledge," said Michael Hodgson, president of SNEWS® LLC. "It is only through being outdoors and actually using the gear the outdoor industry is producing, and not necessarily just the brands each store is currently selling, that a store employee can reasonably be expected to serve a customer exceptionally well through personal product knowledge and a breadth of outdoor experiences."

Outdoor Prolink provides an ideal solution for both manufacturers and retailers who are either overwhelmed or, even underwhelmed by the traditional concept of pro deals, according to company founder and president Gareth Richards. Outdoor Prolink focuses on high-end outdoor specialty equipment and provides a single point of order entry for registered users to place pro deal orders with multiple brands. In addition, it provides numerous other industry benefits, including the potential for manufacturers to directly offer season-ending closeouts first to retail staff rather than the consumer.

"Outdoor Prolink provides one of the most efficient means for retail staff and other industry professionals who have been pre-qualified by our team to acquire outdoor gear and apparel directly from manufacturers at a reduced professional rate," said Gareth Richards, founder and president of Outdoor Prolink. "In addition, we run checks on the purchasing habits of our users, watching for purchases out of the size range and/or gender of each user to virtually eliminate the possibility of purchasing abuse…certainly, a concern for not only our manufacturing partners, but also the retail owners and management who allow their staff access to our site."

Added Richards, "We are excited to be partnering with SNEWS® not only because of their great team, their industry connections and their commitment to industry training, but because it is the one place where everyone in the industry goes when they need to know what is going on…and we want to be sure our retail members have access to that kind of team, passion and information."

Membership in Outdoor Prolink is free and the database of current manufacturers is growing each month. Current manufacturer members making product available for pro purchase in Outdoor Prolink include: Adventure Medical Kits, Backcountry Access, CAMP USA, Cascade Designs, Crescent Moon, Darn Tough, Franklin Holds, GoLite Footwear, Gregory, Ground, Highgear, Horny Toad, Jetboil, Julbo, Katadyn, Kelty, Kestrel, La Sportiva, MRock, Macpac, Mammut, Mion, MSR, New Balance - Sport Monitors, Optic Nerve, Optimus, Pacific Outdoor Equipment, Prijon, Primus, Princeton Tec, Rudy Project, SealLine, Sierra Designs, SmartWool, Solstice, SteriPen, Thermarest, Timberland OP, Ultimate Direction and Wildwasser Sport.

Outdoor industry professionals applying for membership must complete a detailed application for extensive verification by Outdoor Prolink administrators. Only when an application is approved can a pro deal purchase be made.

Tommy Knoll, president of CAMP USA, has been utilizing Outdoor Prolink since 2004. "Outdoor Prolink is an authentic gear resource primarily focused on offering the best value to industry professionals and guides available. CAMP USA is not in a position to service this market effectively, and Prolink is a perfect link between us and the industry professionals."

To learn more about the Outdoor Prolink program, contact Gareth Richards, at 720-836-2102 or gareth@outdoorprolink.com. Richards was formerly vice president of sales at Mountainsmith, vice president of marketing and sales at Lowe Alpine, the director of Outdoor Prolink at PlanetOutdoors.com, and an Adventure Education faculty member at Prescott College in Arizona. Outdoor Prolink is headquartered in Boulder, Colo.

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