Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 Best of Booth Awards

SNEWS Merchandising Editor Robin Enright breaks down the decision-making for this year's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Best of Booth award winners.

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 was visual merchandising on steroids with a plethora of eye-catching booths, displays and innovation.

Ample fodder was available during the SNEWS/Outdoor Retailer visual merchandising tours and SNEWS Merchandising Editor Robin Enright’s Outdoor University seminar, “Visual Merchandising is a Seduction: How sexy are you?” For the first time ever, we included a “People’s Choice Best of Booth Winner,” which was decided via voting on Facebook. We think you will agree that the level of merchandising excitement this show hit new heights!

Overall BOB: Mammut
Sophisticated simplicity and crisp clean lines combined with a compelling palette, and oversized graphics garnered Mammut the top spot at the podium of this year’s BOB awards.

Mammut’s new booth was introduced at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2013, but made us stop in our tracks at Summer Market with it’s enormous exterior backlit graphic measuring 170-by-115 inches. The photo composition included an impossible-to-ignore powerful repeat of the color red in tops worn by the athletes in the photo, and was the key visual to launch Mammut’s trail running line. Side graphics highlighted other product categories and Mammut’s core disciplines. The “Absolutely Alpine” marketing tagline is stunningly interpreted via graphics.

Mammut was founded in 1862 as a rope manufacturer and is a global brand based out of Switzerland. The 30-by-60-foot booth was designed to be smart with space while utilizing design elements from the larger 50-by-90-foot used in its home country. Elements include suggesting a storefront mentality and utilization of the corporate colors of gray, black and red.


The booth was two years in the making and was designed and manufactured by Atmosphere Studios with collaboration from Mammut Marketing Manager Gribbin Loring, Mammut USA CEO Bill Supple and Swiss Mammut colleagues, Michael Gyssler and Zelinda Pahl.

Most Improved BOB: Cascade Designs
One of the key goals for Cascade Designs with its new booth was to visually tell the story of company as the parent to multiple leading outdoor brands that includes MSR, Therm-a-rest and Platypus to name a few, as well as concisely express who Cascade Designs is.

Design elements utilized to tell the story include merchandising by category versus brand, utilizing cues from iconic products which includes incorporating the pattern used in the Therm-a-rest Ridgerest on the feature display walls and basing the design of the stanchions on the leg lines of the MSR stove line. The padded vinyl faux concrete floor and factory feel of the booth reflect Cascade Designs’ Seattle office.


Atmosphere Studios designed the booth with Designer Kurt Damschroder and Account Manager Eric Cochran.

Interactive BOB: Gerber Legendary Blades
Hello Trouble! Gerber Legendary Blades created an interactive booth intended to give visitors a hands-on experience with their knives and other products that are usually kept in a display case in the retail environment. The booth was modeled after adventurer Bear Grylls’ garage and coincides with the launch of Gerber’s independent dealer program and display fixture available to retailers with a $2,500 buy-in and assortment guidance. The new open outdoorsy feel made it hard for us to leave the booth!


Bachiero Event Services built the 30-by-50-foot booth with graphics by Visual Marketing Source.

High Energy BOB: High Sierra
High Sierra’s new 40-by-50 booth added excitement with energetic angles and enormous slanted backlit graphic images printed on fabric. Modern and clean lines in fixtures create a feeling of surprise and draw attention through product lines. High Sierra’s new tagline, “Adventure This Way,” is reflected in the strong impact booth. The new environment incorporates and open feel to encourage people to celebrate High Sierra’s product and feel welcome inside. A new color palette also generates an updated feel for the growing brand, which began in 1978 with travel bags and travel accessories.


The booth can knock down to 20-by-20 feet and was designed by Hill & Partner with key players from High Sierra including, Vice President and General Manager Dawn Sicco, Vice President of Design Scott Vermillion, Vice President of Design and Product Development Scott Vermillion and Creative Director Kurt Moriwaki, as well as Samsonite Director of Marketing and Communications Stephanie Goldman.

Environmental BOB: Sunski Sunglasses
Making its second appearance at Outdoor Retailer, Sunski was launched through Kickstarter with fun, quality sunglasses at an affordable price. The booth reflects the fun feel constructed with 6-by-6-by-12-foot boxes, which were placed together like Lego blocks. At a cost of 10 cents per box, booth materials cost totaled $50 for the 250 boxes needed. Boxes are repurposed at the end of the show for exhibitors who need boxes to ship or padding/fill for their containers. Whatever is not needed is recycled at the end of the show. Sunski normally ships the boxes they need for booth construction for $45 and has the advantage of being able to fly with them when they miss the shipping deadline as they did for Summer Market.


Booth was designed and built by Sunski.

Simply Stunning BOB: Grayl
This clean, elegant, clutter-free and calm booth is a direct reflection of the design properties in Grayl’s product, a water filtration cup that will ship in November. The stunning booth features a floating shelf and island top that were surprisingly made of Styrofoam with a cement-based skim coat that mimics the look and feel of granite. Flooring was gray recycled rubber, and bamboo and cork were added to the space to warm up the modern feel. The attention to detail and simplicity in design of the 10-by-20-foot space is mirrored in the design and manufacture of Grayl’s merchandise.

This was Grayl’s first Outdoor Retailer and given the amount of attention their “Zen booth” received, we suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of them.


Booth was a collaborative effort between company founder Nancie Weston, Corin McDonald of Partner Ship Studio, Brice Butler and Rainier Graphics. Interesting side note: Weston and co-founder Travis Merrigan transported the booth themselves to the tradeshow from Seattle in a rented truck!

Change it up BOB: Brooks Sports
Brooks Sports shook it up again at Summer Market after winning Best of Booth at Winter Market 2013 with a mid-show swap in key booth features to introduce new footwear, the Brooks Transcend. Three key merchandising areas were changed up the night of Day Two and to our knowledge, this kind of change up was a first. Bravo, Brooks Sports for raising the bar once again!


People’s Choice BOB: Mountainsmith
For the first time ever, we introduced a People’s Choice Best of Booth Award with submissions and voting 100% driven by attendees and exhibitors. Booth photos were uploaded to our fan page and the voting began. Mountainsmith had some tough competition from Costa Sunglasses and Gerber Legendary Blades, but won with 73 votes. One voter commented, “Using beetle kill pine to upgrade their booth design, not only made their booth flow better, it also made their product more eye catching to people passing by. No brainer for a people's choice best of booth.”


Display Divas are awarded based on detail-rich elements that cause foot traffic to slow and demand a second look. This show’s winners are:

Horny Toad - Detail rich display with outdoor elements sideways on the wall was impossible to ignore.


Patagonia - The story and personal quote from yoga-practicing Patagonia climbing ambassador made this display feel more intimate.


Smith Optics - If you want to promote a product that enhances the visual experience of color, why not do so with ... color!


Teva - Display that visually evoked the Teva ethos and culture and wall covered with bright and colorful circle of sandals were impossible to walk by without noticing.


We wish a hearty congratulations to all BOB winners and can’t wait to see you at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2014!

SNEWS Merchandising Editor Robin Enright
is the founder of Merchandising Matters, 
which provides merchandising support to brands, retailers and their agencies.

Reach her via email at 
with questions, ideas and suggestions.



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