2008 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market has Strong Finish

$289 Billion Industry Shows Resilience, Solidarity and Leadership in Innovation; Over 200 new exhibitors add to energy of 17,000+ in attendance
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Ending an energetic week in Salt Lake City that included a preview of fall '08 apparel, gear and accessories, plenty of natural snow, and fashion shows packed to capacity, Outdoor Retailer Winter Market closed on a high note showing a resilient industry continuing to grow and to lead in innovation. Over 200 new exhibitors joined the international bi-annual gathering to conduct business in a celebratory environment. Technology was front and center, along with a commitment to sustainability and the clear pledge to grow participation in the industry by appealing to the next generation of consumers. In addition Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the premier trade association for the active outdoor lifestyle industry, and Nielsen Business Media (NBM), parent company of Outdoor Retailer, announced a 15-year strategic alliance that will boost efforts to ensure the long-term success and growth of the $289 billion outdoor industry. Over the next 15 years, new benefits to the industry will include increased support for industry projects and programs to sustain industry health and an increase in discounts and services to Outdoor Industry Association members.

“The celebration and festival aspect of this year's show has never been stronger,” said Kenji Haroutunian, show director. “The crowd at Backcountry Base Camp, the product demo day prior to the show, showed that backcountry, nordic and alpine touring are surging as a vital component for outdoor winter activity, capturing younger consumers. With strong attendance on par with last year's record breaker, this show proved that the industry has never been more vibrant. Companies are celebrating their passion and partnering in unprecedented ways to ensure future success in the market, and of the market.”

Technology continues to play an important role as many manufacturers are incorporating everyday comforts into their product lines, for example heated jackets and gloves, hats with speakers and Bluetooth-enabled ski helmets.

“The Outdoor Retailer Show continues to impress me as a growing and diverse venue that helps our company stay focused on differentiation and unique product offerings for our customers,” said Will Manzer, president and CEO of Eastern Mountain Sports. “We are increasingly sending larger numbers of our people to this show because of its usefulness and relevance.”

Wool is making a very strong comeback in base and midlayers with the industry developing its own certification standards for place of origin and authenticity. Sustainability continues to be top of mind for product managers in footwear, gear and apparel.

“The show is always great in that in just a few days you see many customers and friends and acquire lots of information, something you definitely couldn't do in months on your own,” said Skip Yowell, co-founder of JanSport.

“The show was excellent,” said Colin R. Sanders, vice president of sales and marketing, Lorpen North America, Inc. “It's a great opportunity for us to meet with customers, new prospects and our own strategic vendor partners. We'll be back. Probably one of the best trade shows we attend.”

About Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor Retailer, produced by the Nielsen Sports Group division of Nielsen Business Media, is the leading outdoor industry business-to-business trade event, bringing together top manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of the recreational outdoors. Currently in its 26th successful year, OR gathers approximately 40,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for both Fall/Winter/Holiday and Spring/Summer markets. The Nielsen Sports Group, headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and its predecessor companies have been in the exposition and conference business for over 35 years.

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