Thursday, December 21, 2006

It looks like at least someone on Wall St. has finally seen the light...

The Worst Stock for 2007: Crocs

By Matt Koppenheffer
December 21, 2006

Let me start out with a couple blasts from the past:

  • Pet Rock
  • Platform shoes
  • Jelly shoes
  • Slap bracelets
  • L.A. Gear
  • Beanie Babies, Reebok Pumps, Bellbottoms, Lava Lamps, Koosh balls &

Monday, December 18, 2006

Organic, Fair Trade, and Locally Grown...

I had been planning on writing a post about an article I read in The Economist while I was waiting for my flight to be canceled in Portland, but it looks like Drew beat me to it.

Anyway, here are my two cents. The Economists made some great points, especially concerning locally grown produce. For example, They found an interesting fact that more than 50% of fuel used in food transportation is used by consumers driving to the market. Therefore, driving further to buy locally grown produce at a farmers market uses much more fuel than driving down the street to the supermarket. As it turns out transporting large quantities of food in 18-wheelers is the most efficient model for fuel economy.

However, their arguments against organic produce and fair trade produce cancel each other out, in my opinion. On one hand, The Economists claim that organic produce is worse because it is inefficient and uses too much land. On the other hand, they claim fair trade produce doesn't work because it rewards farmers who are already creating an over-supply of their crops. Wouldn't going organic create some inefficiencies and stop the over-supply problems?

I am sure there are some pieces to the puzzle I am missing, but then again, the arguments against organic farming in the Economist did not take into account the massive algae bloom in the Gulf of Mexico (caused by synthetic fertilizers) that is killing most of the sea life and destroying the shrimp industry...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Off to Portland... check out the latest from Merrell.

What a great city - even if it is raining.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rumor Confirmed...

Columbia Pulls Out of OR, MAGIC, & WSA
SportsOneSource Media Posted: 12/12/2006

Columbia will not have a booth at OR, MAGIC or WSA in 2007. According to a company spokesperson, this decision was made because buying is happening earlier in the season and at a faster pace, so the timing of OR no longer coincides with Columbia's selling window. The company will have a meeting room for PR and Investor Relations meetings but no booth.

Monday, December 11, 2006

OIA Scores...

Congress has approved legislation that for the first-time provides a permanent source of funding for local parks and trails. The precedent-setting legislation establishes a direct source of funding for the Stateside Land and Water Conservation Fund that would not be subject to the whims of the appropriations process.

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has achieved two major trade victories for the outdoor industry. In the closing hours of the 109th Congress, the House and Senate passed trade legislation containing several OIA-crafted provisions that would eliminate import tariffs on certain kinds of athletic footwear.

The legislation would also grant permanent normalized trade relations (PNTR) for Vietnam. Both were top priorities for this first year of the OIA trade program. The twelve footwear tariff relief measures will apply to certain footwear that incorporates a laminated or coated textile fabric. Ten eliminate tariff rates on these products, some as high as 37.5%, and two would reduce tariff rates to 12.8 and 15.2%.



Mitch over a recently blanked out his news section to hype a piece of news that he claimed will be talked about "a decade from now." The news went live at midnight (MST) on Friday December 8th and as it turns out, Black Diamond is working on a telemark boot/binding interface that is step-in, and releasable. TelemarkTips claimed it is the "Holy Grail" of telemark, and indeed, I would have to agree. Anyone who has stooped over with frozen hands struggling to get into a telemark binding while your alpine skier friends clip in with a single stomp knows how important a system like this could become.

I have to say, Mitch's plan was absolutely brilliant. It was an old trick, but it played out perfectly.

And apparently someone named Tyrone is pissed that he got scooped.

This Week in The B.O.S.S. Report

The news was short but sweet this week. Here are some excerpts.

Overall outerwear sales from the retailers covered by SportScanINFO are up in the mid-20’s for the month of November, including “Black Friday.” All of this increase came from outdoor inspired outerwear. The outdoor outerwear category saw sales increase in the upper 60% range

Snow Sports outerwear saw sales decline in the double-digits for the month, however, this category remains more evenly distributed between brands. Columbia controls the largest part of the market share, but Spyder Active Sports, TNF, Pacific Trail, Arc’Teryx, and Burton are making considerable strides in both sales and market share in the category.

Since OIA acquired Outdoor University in January, the organization has been working with retailers, manufacturers, and sales reps to see how best to shape this program to meet the needs of the industry. Previously the program was designed exclusively to help retail floor staff learn about gear and retail floor sales strategies. Now the program will be re-focused to fill a vital gap in the talent pipeline between floor staff and management.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Quote of the Week

"First of all, The Mervin Snowboard factory near Canada on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State only makes snowboards. We do make a huge variety of different models. The snowboards you are referring to are longer and much narrower than traditional snowboards. People who ride them mount ski bindings on them and ride two of them at a time, one per leg. We call them Lib Tech NAS which stands for “Narrow Ass Snowboards.”

Greg Hughes
Mervin Mfg

EPA Honors (a few) outdoor companies

The EPA announced award recipients for several green energy market leaders. Among the companies honored were prAna, Aspen, and Vail. While several big outdoor and snowsports names were noticeably absent from the list, there was one bit of good news in the release.

According to a new report released this week by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, at the end of 2005, more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new renewables capacity was being used to supply green power markets. This represents a 10-fold increase from the year 2000.


The Poseur's Guide to Snowboarding

This means nearly everything you wear to the mountain should be made specifically for use while snowboarding or skiing. If the store has underwear for skiing or riding, buy it, wear it, and tell all your friends. Plaster name brands like Rossignol, Salomon, and Burton all over your person.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

An Interview with Frank Yohannan, President & CEO of the Sea Otter Classic.

Frank discusses Sea Otter's recent strategic partnership with Eurobike.

Howies Speaks


"Even though we had been lucky to find some funding through Finance Wales, we both felt getting further Venture Capital would put too much pressure on us to grow and, maybe, force us to start cutting corners that we would have found hard to live with.

So the answer for both of us was clear and that was to find a like-minded company to help howies become brilliant at being howies."

Monday, December 04, 2006

This Week in The B.O.S.S. Report

We spoke with nearly all of the major outdoor e-commerce folks to see who was selling what and when.

Here's the Link

We also had the Howies story mentioned below. This company has been on a few radars for quite a while now and it should be interesting to see what Timberland does. The announcement of this acquisition sure silenced anyone who though TBL was looking to sell off to a private equity company. I'm still not convinced that an MBO isn't a possibility though. The bottom line is that Mr. Swartz is building an impressive holding company focused on eco-friendly brands. Howies is certainly a welcome addition.

other stories included:

o Garmin acquires Dynastream.
o Quiksilver inks JV in Mexico.
o Zumiez November comps jump 12%.
o U.S. Supreme Court hears CO2 regulation case.
o Eurobike partners with Sea Otter Festival.
o Easton-Bell Sports integration progresses.
o Thule's Sportrack acquisition changes Canadian
o Orange 21 struggles with LEM acquisition.
o TSA lands eight Copelands leases.
o Oakley acquires military eyewear company.
o OIF searches for Outdoor Idols.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Timberland Acquires Howies

The Timberland Company has acquired Howies Limited, an active sports brand founded on the idea of designing and manufacturing clothing for the inspired action sports and outdoor customer. Howies was created to serve as a voice and mechanism for communicating a core environmental and social conscience, to ask a different question and show the world that there is another way to do business. Howies will continue to be led by its local management team in Cardigan Bay, Wales, U.K.

"We are excited and inspired by the brand potential we see in Howies and are pleased to welcome them to the Timberland family," said Jeffrey Swartz, Timberland's President and CEO. "We look to invest in like-minded brands that are focused on innovation, authenticity and integrity, and Howies encompasses all of these core values. Together we will leverage our complementary strengths to bring our brands to new consumers and new markets."

David Hieatt, Howies' co-founder, shared, "Following our initial contact with Timberland, we had a clear vision of the compatibility between the companies. Timberland is progressive, committed to the concept of making a difference in all that they do and their values matched ours. They understood why we do business our way. It's their way too."

Check out this week's BOSS for the full story...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Quote of the Week

“We sell more units of the men’s and women’s Denali jacket than any other item we have by a ratio of 20 to one. I wouldn’t say that those are being sold to our target audience though. The hard-core participant that we target isn’t buying those. At some point there will be too many kids on campus wearing The North Face and they won’t want to wear it anymore. We’ve seen a few of the College papers writing about it and basically bashing that look. That’s basically an early indicator that at some point, that look is going to go away. It may be next year or the year after. When that happens, it’s going to be a huge shift in all of our businesses. Basically its four SKU’s that make up a big part of our business that will just fall out of favor.”

- Anonymous Outdoor Retailer