Day 2 Retailer Report

5 shop buyers on what gear has them most excited, trade show fatigue, and where to have the most fun on the show floor.
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Eric Sheldon

RetailerReport_Eric

Heartland America, Chaska, MN

1. What new-to-you brand or product has you most excited?

There’s a sock company called Dissent. Their socks are pretty winter outdoor activity-focused.

2. There is a lot of discussion going on right now about the number of trade shows every year. How many can you afford to send staff to every year?

We go to, at most, two per year. Pick the biggest. I feel like there are too many of these, but that’s just me.

3. What's the most fun place on the show floor?

Wandering any aisle I haven’t been down yet, looking for giveaways and demos.

Lisa Martens

RetailerReportLisa

Nat’s Outdoor Sports, Bowling Green, KY

1. What new-to-you brand or product has you most excited?

I did a lot of my work at Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, so most of the brands I'm seeing are current vendors. I’m mostly wrapping up most of what I've already begun. We haven’t carried Obermeyer in a while though, so I’m excited to check that out.

2. There is a lot of discussion going on right now about the number of trade shows every year. How many can you afford to send staff to every year?

Timing is mostly the issue. We’re a small business with no separate buying staff, so I can't spend that much time gone. We couldn’t come in November because that's our peak season.

3. What's the most fun place on the show floor?

I'm going to the new product areas, like Venture Out, looking for something new. That’s always fun.

Phil Shettig

RetailerReport_Phil

Podium Sports, Frisco, CO

1. What new-to-you brand or product has you most excited?

I know it's niche, but Bishop Telemark bindings. Amazing engineering, and they’re local.

2. There's a lot of discussion about the number of trade shows right now. How can you afford to send staff to every year?

We're more or less local, so it's easy for us to come to OR. And then well do the regional shows. But reps also come to us, so shows aren’t as much of a focus—we could probably do 90 percent of our business without them. If it wasn't local, we probably couldn't come.

3. What's the most fun place on the show floor?

Definitely the Venture Out area. But they need more seating.

Lynn Jones

RetailerReport_Lynn

Colorado Gearlab, Woodland Park, CO

1. What new-to-you brand or product has you most excited?

UST has an eating set that is eco-friendly and cheap. It won't last forever, but I think it would work for longer trips.

2. There is a lot of discussion going on right now about the number of trade shows every year. How many can you afford to send staff to every year?

For me as a new retailer, I have enjoyed having multiple shows. We're still looking for a lot of product, so it's nice to be able to come to as many as possible at this stage.

3. What's the most fun place on the show floor?

Nikwax. Their raffle has lots of awesome prizes, tickets carry over, the beer is great, and I always win. Did I mention beer?

Tom Finn

RetailerReport_Tom

Village Skis & Bikes, Woodbridge, VA

1. What new-to-you brand or product has you most excited?

One of the most unique products that people don't look at is KneeBindings. They help prevent injuries by releasing laterally at the heel. I'm a convert.

2. There's a lot of discussion about the number of trade shows right now. How many can you afford to send staff to every year?

This is the only one we come to because we can really get everything we need in one spot. I can find out a lot about other products in other ways, but the demo is key.

3. What's the most fun place on the show floor?

The Rapid Reboot booth has these air-massage cuff things that you can demo. It's cool.

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