ROI's 3rd annual Early Buying Show met with enthusiasm - SNEWS

ROI's 3rd annual Early Buying Show met with enthusiasm

The Retailers of the Outdoor Industry (ROI) Early Buying Show moved to Utah this year, with 26 retailers and 30 vendors meeting at Snowbird ski resort, just outside of Salt Lake City from June 15 to 18.

The Retailers of the Outdoor Industry (ROI) Early Buying Show moved to Utah this year, with 26 retailers and 30 vendors meeting at Snowbird ski resort, just outside of Salt Lake City from June 15 to 18.

Getting into the ROI buying show is a somewhat competitive affair for vendors. Currently, of the nearly 60 vendors who participate with ROI members, only 30 are invited to attend each year.

"Scheduling constraints and space dictate we have a maximum of 30 vendors at our show," Dave Matz, president of ROI, told SNEWS. "We pick the vendors and try to invite new vendors that did not get to participate the year before. This year, we had 11 new vendors."

The greatest benefit to a vendor, besides getting quality time with their leading specialty accounts, is the fact that ROI promises every member retailer will sit down with each vendor, whether they currently carry that company's brands or not.

Dan Burden of Brunton, a new vendor to the ROI Early Show, told us he was "extremely happy with the time spent." He even went so far as to tell us one retailer, who previously did not carry Brunton, was opening the company up with a significant order.

Manufacturers also point out that being able to show their new line to key specialty retailers provides a bellwether to gauge interest and how successful a product might be.

"As vendors, (the ROI show) gives us a perspective that is different from the historical early showing to the big retailers," said Peter Sachs, president of Lowa USA. "We get a more well-rounded and balanced perspective at the end of the day that gives me a lot more basis and rational for moving a price point, changing a color or adding a model between now and Outdoor Retailer."

ROI member retailers are using the time more and more to put together their assortment planning during the one-hour meetings with the vendors, putting a bit more pressure on the presentations.

And that is changing the way trade shows are being used. Several retailers, who asked us not to specifically quote them, told SNEWS they would not be going to Outdoor Retailer this year as they had already put together their buying plan for nearly 50 percent of their mix and would fill in the rest by going to EORA instead.

Other retailers told us they would be going to Outdoor Retailer, but with less buyers and for a shorter duration so they could scope out new brands and product lines that might be of interest. They too, told us they were pretty set already on their assortment and buy from their key brands.

While several vendors told SNEWS they'd like to see more retailers, Matz points out that being an ROI member is not as easy as just saying they want to join.

"We're always looking for new members, but the financial cornerstone of the organization is that you have to pay all of your bills on time, all the time, and that is critically important to our members and our vendors," Matz said.

If you are a retailer interested in joining ROI, Matz does want to hear from you. Email him at Just be prepared to guarantee you will pay all your bills on time, with no exceptions.

SNEWS View: This is our second Early Show we've been able to attend, and we're smiling again. Great venue, great format. For the retailers and their buyers, the ROI show provides an unrushed format where everyone -- retailers, reps and vendors -- are eating, meeting, sleeping and playing in the same location, creating the opportunity for more in-depth discussions about business practices between retailers and manufacturers that often happen over a drink or during dinner. What shows like ROI's offer, you simply can't get from a large trade show environment like OR or SIA. And that's what makes these kinds of events essential to the health of our industry. Of course, that's not to say there isn't room for improvement. Some retailers want more time with vendors, others less. Some vendors want more time with retailers, but not all, so the scheduling challenges continue. Vendors also want more ROI member buyers at the show, instead of the requisite two and that makes sense. A number of times, we sat in on meetings where the buyer meeting with the vendor was not the buyer in charge of the product category the vendor was selling -- that's not a great way to do biz and sure doesn't make a vendor too happy. And while a few other vendors told SNEWS that the ROI Early Show was, essentially, an expensive "grip and grin" they also said that, if one adds up all the dollars the ROI membership stores generate, ROI is a significant retail force and one that demands the attention.


ROI's 2nd Annual Early Buying Show meets with enthusiasm

The Retailers of the Outdoor Industry (ROI) Early Buying Show moved to the east coast this year, with retailers and manufacturers meeting outside Blacksburg, Virg., June 11- 14. For David Matz, president of ROI, bringing together 27 retailers and 25 vendors was the culmination of more

ROI Early Show offers up early preview of hot new products

As we have in past years, the SNEWS® team was on hand to cover the goings on at the ROI Early Show, held June 12-15 at Snowbird resort, just south of Salt Lake City, Utah. This year, 31 vendor companies, along with 75 staff (reps, sales managers and company executives) met with more


Grassroots Outdoor Alliance's Early Show offers early preview of trends and potential top sellers

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance's Early Show, held last week in Salt Lake City at the Snowbird resort, brought together 31 retail stores and 26 vendor companies. GOA President David Matz told SNEWS®, "Each year, the shows get better and this year is no different. I think what more

Grassroots Early Show evolves along with mission of the former ROI

The seventh annual Early Show, hosted by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Early Show (formerly ROI), took place during the week of June 11. The Early Show is evolving along with the expanded mission statement of Grassroots with this year’s show offering a much more interactive format more


Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Early Show kicks off season with optimism

The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Early Show, held last week in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Snowbird resort, brought together 32 retail stores and 30 vendor companies for what Grassroots president David Matz described as, "Our best show ever." "The vendors came fully sampled and more


Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Early Show celebrates 10th year

The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Early Show, held June 7-10 at Snowbird Resort in Utah, marked the 10th anniversary of the Early Show -- and by all accounts, it was the best one ever. The 215 in attendance included SNEWS®, 35 Grassroots Outdoor Alliance member retail stores and more

ROI becomes Grassroots Outdoor Alliance with expanded, clearer mission

As SNEWS® reported in its June 5 story, "Retailers of the Outdoor Industry: Not your typical buying group," ROI has been undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts for more than a year. Though by no means complete, the transformation from what most industry folks thought was simply an more

Retailers of the Outdoor Industry: Not your typical buying group

As the Retailers of the Outdoor Industry (ROI) members head toward their annual buying show on June 12, it is with a collective eye cast well beyond the horizon as it seeks a vision that will define the group's future. Now 31 members strong, this association or collection of more

Annual HFB show survey shows mostly satisfaction, show dates to be considered

Showing nearly the same satisfaction level as a year ago, the annual survey of retailers and attendees done by management of the Health & Fitness Business Expo nevertheless offered a look at areas the show has or will address. "In general, the survey has told us we're doing the more