SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Tyler Smelley, Alabama Outdoors

The subject of this week's SNEWS Qs is Tyler Smelley, store manager at Alabama Outdoors.

Tyler Smelley

Manager, Alabama Outdoors

Birmingham, Ala.



What are the most popular items in your store?

Chaco sandals are doing very well for us. Our hot, humid climate ensures that Chaco moves year-round, but the summer break and bright new spring colors are a hit. ENO hammocks are also popular right now. The minimalist movement has carried over to shelters. We also hang brightly colored hammocks outside for an attractive display and interactive traffic boost.

Out of all the new technologies coming out from manufacturers, what is your favorite and why?

I'm really stoked to see the advances in LED technology from both flashlight and headlamp manufacturers. A lot goes into regulating the power and really optimizing the beam, and we've seen that with the Black Diamond Storm and are looking forward to seeing it with the Petzl NAO soon. Ultimately it means a more useful piece of gear for the customer at a more favorable price point, or some really exciting possibilities for the more advanced consumer.

What summer gear do you think needs the most innovation and why?

Consumables. Think insect repellant and SPF rated sun protection that isn't cost-prohibitive, messy, slimy, smelly, environmentally questionable or short-lasting. Giant black garbage bags don't count. I'd like to be able to breathe.

Which items are popular this summer that weren’t last summer?

Mobile electronic accessories and cases have really taken off. Otterbox and Pelican are returning heavy-hitters with increased volume. New on shelves, LifeProof waterproof iPhone cases have been very strong. As technology continues to allow us to document and share our trips right from the trail, the protection for that technology will continue to advance. This is an area that we expect to grow for Fall-Winter '12 and Spring-Summer '13 as well.

What is your favorite thing about working in the outdoor industry?

This industry is nothing without great people. The best part of working in the outdoor industry is no different. From customers, coworkers, reps and manufacturers that share your passion, there is no shortage of incredible personalities and stories.

--Compiled by Ana Trujillo



SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Sarah Merrell, Diamond Brand Outdoors

Sarah MerrellDiamond Brand Outdoor Arden, N.C., 828-684-6262 What are some of the most popular items in your store? Osprey packs have been a hot seller for us; we are actually one of only six retailers that have an Osprey Pro Shop.  ENO hammocks are not only popular, but ENO also more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Brandon Boyette, Outdoor Trails

Brandon Boyette Outdoor Trails, Lynchburg, Va. (434) 386-4302 What are the most popular items in your store? Keen sandals. What are some trends you’re noticing among new equipment and apparel? The weight issue is great. They’re making things lighter and lighter, which is awesome more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Rich Huskey, The Alpine Shop

Rich Huskey General Manager, Alpine Shop 1-888-347-2879 What are some of the most popular items in your store? GoPro and Contour cameras continue to garner a ton of interest. People love being able to show off the cool stuff they do. We've gotten videos of kayaking, mountain more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Peter Chamberlin, Natick Outdoor Store

Peter Chamberlin Manager at Natick Outdoors Store, Natick, Mass. What are some items that are selling really well right now?  You know what winter’s been like in New England? It hasn’t. There’s been so little selling regarding the season. The strong items are same strong items more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Micky Schlagel, HealthStyles

Micky Schlagel, store manager HealthStyles Park Meadows Store 303-790-9870 Of all the new technology coming from fitness manufacturers these days, what is your favorite and why? The entertainment side of technology coming from companies like Netpulse and TechnoGym, where you can more


SNEWS Qs, Fitness Edition: Dai Manuel, Fitness Town

Dai Manuel, COO Fitness Town Vancouver, Canada What do you think fitness retailers need to do to remain relevant and profitable in the future? Personally, I believe that retailers in the specialty channel need to be that: specialized. We need to walk the talk when it comes to more


SNEWS Qs: David Kappele of Tilley Endurables

David Kappele Tilley Endurables Tell us about the history of your company and its products: It was 1980 and Alex Tilley couldn’t stand losing his hats when he went sailing in Lake Ontario. Knowing nothing about hat making he set out to build the best. He began selling hats at more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Bart Cappabianca, Southeastern Fitness Equipment

Bart Cappabianca Owner, Southeastern Fitness Equipment Orlando, Fla. What have you found to be the most popular items so far in 2012?I believe ellipticals have shown to be very popular so far, and we carry the new Helix machine, which we have had early success with thus far.What more


SNEWS Qs, Manufacturer Edition: Sprout Watches

Ashley Jones, director of public relations Marcella Maselli, creative director Sprout Watches Tell us about your brands and products? Simply put, our mission at Sprout watches is to make the most eco-friendly timepiece we possibly can. Both watch and packaging are constructed more