Icebreaker Expands Running Presence

Icebreaker, the New Zealand outdoor merino wool apparel category pioneer, is expanding its presence into the running category with the introduction of its new GT Base Layer product at the Outdoor Retailer and at ISPO.
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Icebreaker Expands Running Presence

- 100% year-on-year growth for key retailers reported; running business expected to triple as consumers seek natural fiber alternatives -

- New GT Baselayer line set to debut at winter outdoor tradeshows -


Wellington, New Zealand (20 January 2010) – Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, is expanding its presence into the running category with the introduction of its new GT Base Layer product at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market January 21-24, 2010 and at the ISPO trade fair February 7-10 in Munich.

In the United States, Icebreaker is now sold in 35 leading running stores and is on track to triple this penetration over the next 12 months, reports Deb Boswell, director of marketing for North America. Boswell said Icebreaker's top running accounts are experiencing more than 100% growth in sell thru from FW08 to FW09.

“Our leading Run doors have identified that Icebreaker is the new story they need in apparel – not only is Icebreaker made from natural pure merino, our Baacode traceability program offers socially-committed runners with a unique and way of understanding our commitment to sustainability,” said Boswell. “Icebreaker is continuing to broaden it's Run product range based on consumer insights and growing demand.”

At the winter outdoor tradeshows, Icebreaker will debut its new GT Base Layer range, which offers a natural alternative technical base layer – designed for high aerobic sports including running and a technically minded consumer. Icebreaker GT Base Layer comes in a variety of weights: ultralite, lightweight, midweight and expedition weight.

Icebreaker_GT styles feature cutting-edge fabric design technology to increase comfort, fit and performance. Special features include flatlock seams to reduce chafing, eyelet fabric for ventilation, and reflective graphics.

Icebreaker has participated in running expos at the New York City and Chicago marathons and San Francisco's “Bay to Breakers.” In October, Icebreaker ran a promotion at Paragon Sports' New York City flagship stores, offering to turn customers' synthetic (plastic) shirts into shoe bags for free, and giving them a 26.2% (the length of a marathon) discount on an Icebreaker purchase and a free pair of socks. The promotion was a resounding success, increasing brand buzz and resulting in a 60% increase on Icebreaker sales year on year.

Dave Zimmer at Fleet Feet Chicago confirms that runners are looking for more environmentally friendly options like Icebreaker natural and sustainable merino. “Runners look at the outdoors as our own natural playground. Anything we have the ability to do to help sustain that is top of mind.”

In an interview with NBC News in Chicago he said, “Polyesters have a tendency to hold onto bacteria and odor; wools don't. So you can run in that, go out to dinner in that, go on the plane while not offending the people you're sitting next to. These things are here, let's just re-think what we're doing.” See: http://www.nbcchicago.com/station/as-seen-on/Run__But_Leave_No_Footprint_Behind_Chicago.html?__source=Facebook

Editors Please Note: Dave Zimmer at Fleet Feet is available for interviews at +1 (773) 305-3338 x231.


About Icebreaker
Launched in 1994, Icebreaker was the first company in the world to develop a merino fiber layering system for the outdoors. It was also the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. There are now 10 distinct pure merino fabrics in the Icebreaker system, covering underwear, mid layer, and outerwear.

Icebreaker is sold in more than 2,000 stores in 24 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Icebreaker uses only pure merino hand-picked from 120 high country stations in the country's Southern Alps to create edgy outdoor clothing that combines nature's work with human technology and design. The company is committed to sustainability, ethical manufacturing and animal welfare. In 2008 the company launched “Icebreaker Baacode,” a pioneering supply chain transparency and traceability program. Each Icebreaker includes a unique Baacode, which enables customers to trace the garment online from rearing the sheep through to each stage of the supply chain process.
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