Outdoor Retailer keeps growing, and with Winter Market 2012 expected to set size records, there was no way for buyers and retailers to get to every booth on the show floor.
Enter Outdoor Retailer Hub, a website where manufacturers and retailers can continue to do business in the time between Summer and Winter Markets.
The site was created by Laguna Beach, Calif.-based Sparc. John Telfer, the company’s vice president of business development, told SNEWS the webiste has been in development for more than a year. While it was up for both Summer Market and Interbike 2011, the site officially launched at the Winter Market 2012.
Currently, 17 manufacturers are participating in the Hub. Ed Applebaum, Sparc’s president, said the Hub is most helpful in the months between the shows for two reasons. First, it allows manufacturers to release products on their own buying schedule. Second, it allows retailers to make educated choices when purchasing products at a time when they are being pressed to make orders sooner and sooner, often before the Outdoor Retailer shows.
Telfer described the site as “a place for brands to tell their latest brand or product stories to this audience before and after the show.” The Hub, he added, “gives them an opportunity to prepare for the show and review content afterward.”
“It’s really meant to be the OR asset that isn’t used during the show,” he said. “At the show there is a limited amount of time where buyers can meet people.”
The Hub, Applebaum said, allows show-goers to share information with colleagues who stayed home so they, too, can offer input on orders.
“It’s a digital compliment to the show, but more importantly it’s up 365 days a year, 24/7,” Applebaum said. “There are only four days of the show, twice a year, and the idea is to extend activity between the retailers and the brands throughout the entire year.”