Buyers Drawn to Winter Market’s Innovative Products, Show Features

The Outdoor Retailer audience feels optimistic about 2010 selling season
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San Juan Capistrano, Calif. - Jan. 28, 2010 - Outdoor Retailer Winter Market (OR) closed on Sunday with greater industry participation than last year after four days of show features, categories and vendor offerings new to the 2010 trade show, held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Retailers came to this year's Winter Market ready to place orders because they have righted the inventory problems of early 2009 and feel a strong sense of optimism,” said Kenji Haroutunian, Outdoor Retailer show director. “That optimism is not hollow hopefulness; it's based on hundreds of brands maintaining real growth in 2009 and strong innovation fueling better products for consumers in 2010-11.”

Among Winter Market's more than 800 brands and nearly 170 new exhibitors were companies on the cutting edge of outdoor-focused technology.

One among them is Dew Active Gear that manufactures carrying and remote control devices that allow active people to conveniently enjoy their portable music devices while participating in their sport.

“As a new product category, we knew we needed to be at Outdoor Retailer to identify distribution channels and buyers in North America,” said Fred Bloudin, president of Dew. “This has been our debut event and has allowed us to define our product space and communications strategy.”

Columbia Sportswear, returning to the show floor after not being represented at Winter Market in 2009, used this show to debut its suite of Omni-Heat technologies, materials with reflective, insulating and electric fabric properties used in winter apparel.

“Being at Winter Market is really valuable and we have great meetings here that we wouldn't anywhere else,” said Alan Kissell, Columbia national sales manager. “Our technology is being received very well. It is nice being back in the fold.”

Shops like Mountain Gear of Spokane, Washington attended 2010 Winter Market with more buyers than they've ever brought to the show.

“We brought 11 buyers and they have found this Winter Market to be a very energetic show where vendors are really receptive to new ideas,” said Paul Fish, Mountain Gear founder. “There is a high level of excitement here that is even stronger than a year ago, and lots of well-found optimism. Shops missing this are missing a great opportunity to change their businesses for the better.”

Outdoor Retailer strengthened the industry's optimism by adding new features to Winter Market that fostered networking, education and inclusivity of peripheral winter sports.

New events centered around the show floor's different zones, such as the Designer/Supplier Speed Dating hosted by the OR Design Center, supported OR's niche segments within the broader OR community.

OR also helped attendees and exhibitors learn about how social media is changing the online market place in the panel discussion, “The Media is Dead. Long Live Media.” OR reinforced this message, with the support of Channel Signal, by using screens around the show displaying the outdoor industry's conversation about Winter Market happening on the ORWinter Twitter feed.

New partnerships with Protect Our Winters, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding competition and the X-Dance film festival after party were some of OR's initial efforts to create a more inclusive winter sports community at Winter Market.

“We worked hard to put new programs on the ground at Winter Market that increased the show's value to attendees,” Haroutunian said. “The industry will see these initiatives continue at Summer Market.”

About Outdoor Retailer Outdoor Retailer (OR), produced by Nielsen Business Media of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., is a full service trade show company that creates, markets and produces high-quality expos and educational conferences. OR is the leading outdoor industry business-to-business event management company, bringing together manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation. Now celebrating more than 25 years of successful events, Outdoor Retailer (www.outdoorretailer.com) gathers approximately 40,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for its Winter and Summer Market shows. The next opportunity to preview the future of the outdoor industry will start at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, which will bring the best of spring/summer product offerings to Salt Lake City, Utah at the Open Air Demo on August 2, 2010 and the Trade Show from August 3-6, 2010.

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MEDIA CONTACTS Maura Lansford, SOAR Communications, 801.523.3730(w), 817.929.8123(c),
mlansford@soarcomm.com or Chip Smith, SOAR Communications, 801.523.3730(w), 801.597.7515(c), csmith@soarcomm.com

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