Outdoor Retailer shifts Winter Market dates up two weeks starting in 2016

Winter Market 2016 will begin on Wednesday Jan. 6 with the demo and continue Thursday, Jan. 7 to Sunday, Jan. 10 with the trade show.
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Outdoor Retailer is moving its dates up two weeks earlier in the winter trade show season as show organizers try to catch ever-earlier final ordering deadlines.

Starting with the 2016 Winter Market, the event in Salt Lake City will begin with the All Mountain Demo on Wednesday, Jan. 6 and continue with the trade show from Thursday, Jan. 7 to Sunday, Jan. 10.

The shift also represents a change back to the Wednesday-Sunday schedule (versus the Tuesday-Saturday of the past couple of years), to better accommodate hotel and housing options, show officials said.

Moving the show up to early January also avoids conflicts and housing issues with the Sundance Film Festival, and comes before the Martin Luther King Holiday, a key selling period for retailers. The shift also moves Outdoor Retailer further ahead of its competing trade shows (ISPO Munch, slated for Jan. 24-27 and the SIA Snow Show and On Snow Demo Jan. 28-Feb. 2.), not to say either of those events would now try to move up in the schedule as well.

Future Winter Market shows are slated to remain in the earlier time frame as well, with the 2017 show slated for Jan. 7-10 and the 2018 show scheduled for Jan. 6-9.

Summer Market's dates and time in the calendar -- early August -- are staying the same, for now, as well as remaining on the Tuesday-Saturday time frame, including this year's demo and tradeshow, scheduled for Aug. 4-8, 2015, and next year's show, scheduled for Aug. 2-6, 2016.

Outdoor Retailer Show Director Marisa Nicholson said the schedule changes are supported by the team's research conducted and sent to more than 6,000 specialty retailers and exhibitors earlier this year.

"The shift in the 2016 show date ensures that the industry trade show will best serve specialty retailers by launching ahead of final ordering deadlines," Nicholson said. "As a result, Outdoor Retailer will provide a better platform to finalize orders, identify marketing and merchandising collaborations, and develop programs to drive consumer sell-through. Newer suppliers and products will benefit from being seen and considered earlier in the sales cycle as well."

Outdoor Retailer has been feeling the pressure from earlier ordering deadlines and other regional shows for some time, but as SNEWS has reported, it's a game of cat-and-mouse as brands are likely to just shift ordering deadlines up even earlier.

Jennifer Mull, chair of the Outdoor Industry Association, which partners with Emerald Expositions to put on the Outdoor Retailer shows, said the show would never catch the early deadlines, but it hopes to at least get ahead of final deadlines.

"It gives retailers time to see final products at the show (prior to final deadlines) and to be more in front of the season with their business and marketing discussions," she said. "This is a positive step toward addressing the timing concerns expressed by some Outdoor Retailer attendees.”

Stay tuned to SNEWS for more on this breaking news

--David Clucas

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