Wednesday, December 26, 2007

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



o Polycarbonate water bottle debate heats up...
o Outdoor Footwear sales see impact from late
start to winter...
o Rock Creek Outfitters gets a new name...
o SIA: Snow sports sales decline in early season...
o Other Stories include One Percent for the Planet,
REI Wolverine World Wide, Gregory Mountain Products,
Decker's, SIA and many more...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Is Global Warming Real?

It looks like most of the Presidential contenders think so. In interviews to be broadcast this evening on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, all of the leading presidential contenders, except for Sen. Fred Thompson, acknowledge that global warming is happening. Each responded to the question, "Is the global warming threat overblown?" Only Sen. Fred Thompson and Gov. Mike Huckabee express any doubts about the overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is real, is happening, and is a result of human activity.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

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



o Confluence appoints new CEO...
o U.S. Forest Service launches conservation strategy...
o Gander Mountain Q3 slips into red on weather woes...
o Gander Mountain acquires Overtons...
o OR Winter Market creates new layout for 2008...
o MEC pulls polycarbonate plastic off shelves...
o Chaco moves U.S. manufacturing to China...
o American Rec parent company sees turnaround by 2008...
o The Walking Co. Thanksgiving comps jump 20%...
o SIA ramps up sustainability at SIA.08...
o Zumiez comps rise in the mid-singles in November...
o BOSS goes One-on-One with Columbia's Gert Boyle...
o Other Stories include Mountain Equipment Co-op,
180s, Billabong, SmartWool, Thule, Solstice Outdoor,
The Climbing Wall Association and many more...



Thursday, December 06, 2007

Finally an energy drink that does it all...

At least they're not making unrealistic claims...

Burton's Poach Story

Burton is pushing some buttons with the recent launch of its Poach story on (See above video). Burton is encouraging people to send in videos of themselves snowboarding at one of the four major North American ski resorts that still do not allow snowboarding.

In an e-mailed letter, Jake Burton points out that "Two of the four resorts operate on federal forest land, which makes this issue even more frustrating since the taxes of many snowboarders help finance these resorts."

He adds, "I'm confident that if these four resorts outlawed skiing tomorrow, there would be a protest long before 20 years passed, and rightfully so. I want to add that we have been careful not to break any laws, nor to encourage anyone to break any laws..."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Action Sport Legend's Final Fall

If action sports has anything to do with showmanship, airborne stunts and the threat of broken bones, Evel Knievel clearly paved a path for many of its future stars. He died last week at the age of 69. When he retired in 1980, he told reporters that he was “nothing but scar tissue and surgical steel.”


Thursday, November 29, 2007

REI's Jewell Talks Green to Forbes

REI's Sally Jewell talked to Forbes magazine about - what else? - the retailer's eco-policy. She also talked about her early years at Big Oil and why REI is staying out of Congress's debate over climate change.


Ex-Columbia Execs Launch Inspirational Collection

Beth Brownlee, former apparel sales director for Columbia Sportswear, and Ruth Nichols, also a former Columbia executive, have introduced "Trust Your Journey," an inspirational and eco-friendly apparel line. The brand's name was inspired by Brownlee's battle with breast cancer when a friend told her during chemotherapy to "trust your journey." Said Brownlee, "When I heard those words, it just hit me, 'You can beat this awful cancer, Beth, you just need to believe in this and have the courage to stay positive,' I said to myself. I knew at that point I would heal and one day give this inspiration back."


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

World Wildlife Fund Speaks Out on Global Warming & Skiing

The following was released by the World Wildlife Fund:

Ted Ligety:

“With the start of the 2007 ski season, it’s never been clearer that the sport I love is at risk. Global warming has made skiing conditions progressively worse -– the seasons are getting shorter and there seems to be less snow on the slopes. Without immediate action to halt global warming we could lose the sport as we know it all together. Scientists say we have less than 10 years to do something before it’s too late.

I encourage everyone to take action in their own lives to stop global warming, now. I’m teaming up with World Wildlife Fund because they’re working on multiple levels to find workable solutions to stop this global threat. You can help by making changes in your life to cut back on your carbon emissions. From switching to compact fluorescent bulbs to using energy-saving appliances, there are many ways you can help."

Julia Mancuso:

"Global warming is wreaking havoc on skiing -– it’s unbelievable how many race cancellations there have been due to mild temperatures. According to the City of Aspen, in Colorado alone average temperatures have increased by three degrees Fahrenheit in the last 25 years, and the amount of snow has decreased by 16 percent. If this trend continues, many of the slopes we love could be bare in the near future and scientists agree that man-made carbon emissions will be the cause.

"It’s time to take action. I’m teaming up with World Wildlife Fund to encourage everyone to curb their carbon emissions. There are many small steps you can take to make a big difference, like adjusting your thermostat or using energy-saving appliances."


Monday, November 26, 2007

Dick's Sporting Goods to Acquire Chick's Sporting Goods

Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. has entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement to acquire Chick's Sporting Goods. Under the terms of the agreement, Dick's has agreed to pay approximately $40 million in cash for the outstanding equity of Chick's. Including the assumption of approximately $31 million of indebtedness, the transaction values Chick's at approximately $71 million...


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Making Progress...

Some News from GoLite:

During a 30 minute meeting Secretary Kempthorne and Andrew Skurka discussed some of the Secretary's most important agenda items, most notably getting funding for the National Parks Centennial passed by this Congress, and their shared concerns about Americans' increasing detachment from the natural world, especially by the youth. The main focus for Skurka was to share his first-hand view of the effects of global warming on National Parks...

Monday, November 19, 2007

And you thought your commute was bad...

NPR is reporting that traffic was backed up 150 miles surrounding Paris this morning.

But it looks like there are some anti-union feelings in France.
According to the BBC, on Sunday thousands turned out for an anti-strike protest in Paris.

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



o Deckers looks to become a $750 million company.
o Johnson Outdoors posts fourth quarter profit.
o The Walking Company to acquire Florida's Natural
Comfort chain.
o Nielsen inks sales and marketing deal with ISPO China.
o Exel to shutter N.A. Operations; inks distribution deal
with Alpina.
o Columbia hosts winter showcase; offers new insights.
o Easton-Bell increases third quarter profits.
o Orange 21 sees strong Q3 turn-around.
o Luxottica and Oakley complete merger.
o Other Stories include Columbia, Under Armour, Lucy, TNF,
Osprey, Kellwood, TAPS, and many more...


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The New Top 25

This month we focused on the top 25 retailers in the outdoor industry. In the past, this issue focused on retailers by volume. This year we looked for the best.

It was a ton of research, but I am sure every sales manager, rep and retailer in the industry will learn something from it.

Click Here to subscribe to Outdoor Business or email us to get a copy of the November issue.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Going Green?

I recently went to a seminar held by OIA where Lorrie Vogel the GM of Nike's Considered program outlined her priorities in sustainability. Interestingly, her top priority isn't about recycling or reducing greenhouse gas. Her top priority is reducing and eliminating Toxins.

Nike's not the only one looking at this critical element of sustainability. We recently ran and Op-Ed by Nick Brown of Nikwax fame. Here it is...

Fluorochemicals in the Outdoor Industry

By Nick Brown, founder and managing director of Nikwax

Environmental Safety –With whom does the responsibility lie?

As a retailer, consumer, or gear manufacturer, how much responsibility do we have for avoiding the release into our environment of suspect materials? Should we leave everything to government legislation? In my opinion, the answer is no. Government can take a very long time to respond to scientific evidence. The use of perfluoroctyl chemicals is a case in point.

Perfluoroctyl (PFO) fluorocarbons are everywhere.

The outdoor industry - the apparel/footwear categories in particular - makes use of a class of chemical compounds called perfluoroctyl (PFO) fluorocarbons for the specific purpose of providing water-repellency on the exterior surface of jackets, footwear and bags of all kinds. There is a rapidly growing awareness that these compounds can biodegrade to a chemical called PFOA, which is highly persistent in the environment and in the human body. It is defined as a human carcinogen by the EPA and is a suspected cause of birth defects. This is a sensitive issue for people in the outdoor industry. We are supposedly environmentally friendly, yet we continue to use materials that have been shown to be risky.

Some History:

The first wake up call for me came in 2000, when 3M removed their entire range of perfluoroctyl products from the market, cutting out hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. I believe it was a highly responsible action on their part. Subsequently, most outdoor brands have continued to use PFO products on their garments sourced from other manufacturers. In the last seven years, however, the weight of evidence for the harmful nature of PFOs has continued to grow. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has called for the total elimination of all PFO products by 2015. Some well-known major outdoor brands have noted this evidence and are actively pursuing PFO alternatives for their own products.

PFO is not appropriate to take into the home as a liquid.

Personally, I do not think that there is a significant risk to a wearer of garments that have been treated with PFO products in a factory. However, I do believe there is a risk associated with having these chemicals in a liquid form in the home as an aftercare treatment for water-repellency. As a manufacturer Nikwax could have chosen this technology, but we rejected it. I did not want to bear the responsibility of putting small liquid packages of fluorocarbon into homes where it was being used unsupervised, potentially in a food area, and perhaps being spilled and ingested or directly inhaled.

Fluorocarbons may be dangerous to unborn children.

Recent research in both the USA and Denmark has linked head dimension of newborn babies to the amount of a perfluoroctyl material, PFOA, found in their umbilical cords. In other words, even extremely low levels of PFOA may negatively affect human growth. PFOA, which is persistent in human tissue, has a half-life of eight years. All humans now have PFOA in their blood.


What is the responsibility born by individuals, manufacturers and retailers? As individuals we have the right to take risks with our own lives and bodies. But as manufacturers and retailers, we have to be much more careful about the risks that we take for the individuals who use our products. We can never be fully aware of what all those risks are. However, when we become aware of them, we most certainly should not try to cover them up and act as if they do not exist. It is always better to jump before you are pushed!

The Casualties of Nordic Walking in North America...

Exel Sports will be closing down their company run North American distribution centers effective January 2009...


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

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



o SIA.10 heads to Denver...
o Timberland continues to see declines in Q3...
o LaCrosse Q3 sales and earnings climb...
o Idaho Mountain Touring joins Grassroots
Outdoor Alliance
o Crocs shares plunge on forward guidance...
o Jarden margins slip following K2 acquisition...
o Luxottica sees North America as a bright spot...
o Big 5 expects flat Q3 comps to continue into Q4...
o Pacific Cycle Q3 sales inch up; earning slip...
o OIA keeps momentum going on Capitol Hill...
o Volcom shares fall on guidance; posts strong Q3...
o Garmin sees strong Q3 Fitness/Outdoor sales...
o Cabela's Q3 earnings slip on pre-opening expenses...
o Other Stories include The North Face, Kahtoola,
Sport Chalet, Reef, CenterStone, Garmont, and many more...



Thursday, November 01, 2007

Welcome to the Conversation...

Cara has had her blog for SGB up and running for a few weeks now - and she has talent! (she created the virtual video tour of Under Armour's new retail store herself...)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Best Micro Brews in SLC

Yes I know it's only 3.2%, but we're stuck with it and we might as well drink the best of what's available. All joking aside, in spite of the draconian Utah alcohol laws, there are some fine brewmasters in SLC. Vote on the best Lager, Pilsner, Ale, Porter and Stout in the surveys to your right...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Carolina Blue

I'm a climber, so normally the Carolina Blue skies my state is known for are a welcome sight. It means the rock is dry and the bouldering landing zones aren't soggy.

This Summer was a different story. We had 140 consecutive days without any measurable rainfall. We are in the middle of the worst drought NC has seen in its recorded history. Some of the lake levels in the area are down 30%.

So, am I climbing any better with all of this dry weather? Unfortunately, we've also had a near record number of days with triple-digit temperatures. Ditto for days in the 90's. So, the answer is no...

Today, the sky is full of clouds. It's a welcome sight.

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



o Paddlesports look positive for 2008...
o Oakley sees double-digit Q3 growth...
o Nautilus puts Pearl Izumi on the block;
posts Q3 loss...
o VF Corp. raises guidance on strong Q3 results...
o Investor Conference provides more market insight...
o Jacques Lavertue loses battle with cancer...
o Other Stories include Vans, REI, Spyder,
lucy, Huffy, Columbia, Patagonia Europe,
and many more...



Friday, October 19, 2007

VF Does it Again

VF Corporation third quarter revenues rose 15% to a record $2,073.2 million, compared with $1,810.1 million in the third quarter of 2006, driven by higher revenues across the Outdoor, Jeanswear and Imagewear businesses and from revenues from 2007 acquisitions. Earnings per share from continuing operations rose 13%, to a record $1.86 from $1.64 last year. Net income was $207.2 million, or $1.84 per share, compared with $197.7 million, or $1.75 per share in the prior year quarter...


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is Outdoor Cool Again?

Some interesting, decidedly outdoor-inspired footwear is hitting the fashion scene...

Via Cool Hunting

A Sad Day...

Jacques Lavertue Passes Away

On October 13, 2007, Jacques Lavertue passed away at home surrounded by his family after a courageous eight-month battle with cancer. He was 53. Jacques is survived by his loving wife, Caroline; son, Alexander; sister, Lise and father, Armand. With his deep passion for adventure and keen business acumen, Jacques lived many a lifetime in one that ended too soon.


Monday, October 15, 2007

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

Most of you have probably already read this since we're doing a marketing push this month, but here it is:



o REI's new prototype store in boulder focuses on
community and green design...
o Grassroots Outdoor Alliance members top the Outdoor
Business 25 best retailers list...
o Rutabaga's Weidman to focus on non-profit involvement...
o Garmin inks deal to acquire Danish distributor...
o West Marine begins to turn the boat around in Q3...
o The Conservation Alliance distributes $400,000 in grants...
o Other Stories include Cabela's, Osprey, Jet Boil,
Patagonia, ExOfficio, Quiksilver, and many more...


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Black is the New Green

Heap Media created a black version of of Google, called Blackle, which will, according to calculations, save roughly 750 mega watt/hours per year with the exact same functions as the standard Google version.


six degrees of seperation...

Looks like Warren Buffet is reading SGB now.

A letter from Russell...


Hi! So sorry for the delay in reaching out to you! Fantastic article. Doug sent it to Warren Bufffet. Thanks for taking the time to do such a comprehensive story. We’ve received a lot of calls from the Industry. I think it may be one of your best interviews!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007


Cabela's newest store in Chicago was "decorated" with 42 semi trailer loads of "dead stuff"

Quote of the week...

"We have 75 plus models now out of different types of Crocs. Stuff that is not even ugly anymore..."

Ron Snyder, president & CEO of Crocs

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

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



o EMS ramps up expansion plans...
o Green Steps to be donated to OIA...
o prAna to open new retail store in boulder...
o Head inks partnership with Cool Earth...
o Bikes Belong gains additional Interbike support...
o Wagner Custom licenses Winterstick brand and designs...
o One-on-One with Mountain Hardwear president and
New OIA Chairman Mike Wallenfels...
o Other Stories include VF Corp., Rocky Brands, 180s,
Timberland, Helly Hansen, and many more...


$900,000 for Lobbying... the first half.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Rifle Association spent $900,000 to lobby the federal government in the first half of 2007, according to a recent disclosure form.

The group lobbied on various pieces of legislation including those dealing with concealed weapons, law enforcement officer safety, a ban on assault weapons and other matters, according to the form posted online Aug. 13 by the Senate's public records office.

The NRA has about 4 million members, including about three-quarters of gun maker Smith & Wesson Holdings Corp.'s 800 employees.

Besides Congress, the NRA lobbied the White House and the departments of Justice and Interior.

Under a federal law enacted in 1995, lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches. They must register with Congress within 45 days of being hired or engaging in lobbying.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

'Pop' Goes the Private Equity Bubble...

From the NY Times Dealbook Blog:

Hear that sound? That was the private-equity bubble finally getting pricked on Thursday, as the market for debt — the jet fuel that had propelled it to dizzying heights — slammed shut.


What does this mean for the outdoor and snow sports industry?

From the folks I've spoken with, it means that the astronomical valuations for acquisitions are a thing of the past. If you own a small business, and you've been waiting for the right deal to cash out, you're probably too late. At this time last year, if your company had $20 million in sales, it would not be unreasonable to see $25 up to even $40 million from a private equity firm, if they thought the future growth and cash flow were right. Today, you'll be lucky to get $21 to $22 million.

This also means the door is wide open for strategic buyers - folks like Jarden (k2's parent now) and Timberland, who are acquiring smaller brands for strategic purposes (other than making loads of cash for their investors).

In an interesting side note, Dick Heckman, former president of K2, filed an amended statement with the SEC regarding his "blank check" IPO. He now expects to raise over $400 million for an acquisition war chest with no firm targets. Basically, he is asking Wall Street investors for a $400 million check to buy whichever company he sees fit. There's no word on whether or not he'll be returning to the outdoor or snow sports industry with this money, but we'll be keeping our eyes on him.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

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



o OR Summer Market: Footwear blends outdoor and
action sports...
o The New Green Consumer...
o Zumiez increases guidance on strong second quarter...
o Kästle brand re-launches with new investors...
o Gander Mountain Q2 loss wider despite comp sales gain...
o Shimano sees balance first half growth...
o Dick’s SG ups guidance; “private brands” gain momentum...
o Other Stories include Spyder, Tecnica, Superfeet,
Giro, Pacific Brands, and many more...



Monday, August 27, 2007

Looks Like the life of a PR Hack ain't so bad after all

from Inc.

Tree House: Carson Stanwood traded his dark log house for a light-filled home in the trees.

Now this is interesting...

Senior Designer - Nike ACG - Dick's Sporting Goods - 8/20/2007
Department / Location: Product Development / Corporate Office Reports To: Director of Design Fully responsible for entire product design process for the larger and more complex brands to include market research, mood board creation, designing, sketching, specing and fit. Responsible for researching global markets in order to identify new trends and innovation.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Quote of the week...

“Historically, we haven’t seen many of our new hires leave after the holiday period. We do this huge hiring to get ready for the season, and it gets super busy. Then when January and February come around, it doesn’t return to the pre-holiday level. It slows down a little bit, but what happens is we make the majority of our seasonal employees full-time. When I started in January of 2005, we had 112 people. Today we have about 375. We are poised to hire all of our seasonal help shortly and I am projecting that by first quarter of 2008, we will have a sustained headcount of about 550.”

Charla Brown - HR Director for

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Life with Daily Deadlines...

Here is the OR daily crew in CD's (Denny Ink.) "VIP" Shuttle returning to and from the Open Air Demo in SLC. Lou and I joined them all for the ride and we were all fighting car sickness and deadlines on the return trip.

Monday, August 06, 2007

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



o OIA and SIA get win in latest ITC report...
o Jarden sees strong Q2 in Outdoor Solutions segment...
o Under Armour sees solid across-the-board Q2 gains...
o Sport Chalet sees challenging fiscal Q1...
o Dorel Q2 driven by Pacific Cycle bike sales...
o Timberland continues to struggle in Q2...
o Sierra Club economic report reinforces OIA findings...
o Big 5 second quarter net income hurt by macro trends...
o LaCrosse Q2 driven by outdoor...
o Cabela's Q2 income soars in spite of slow comps...
o K2 Inc. settles merger-related litigation...
o FDA warns outdoor retailers about botulism contamination...
o Other Stories include REI, Hot Chilly's, Mountainsmith,
Columbia, Unifi, Hestra, Osprey, and many more...



Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Highway To Mt. Everest?

The Associated press is reporting that Tibet has halted plans to build a highway to Mt. Everest.


Tibet has put on hold plans to build a highway on the side of Mount Everest to ease the Olympic torch's journey to its peak, a government official said Friday.

The project, budgeted at 150 million yuan (US$19.7 million; euro14.7 million), was to have turned a 108-kilometer (67-mile) rough path into a blacktop highway that snaked from the foot of the mountain to a base camp at 5,200 meters (17,060 feet)...

In April, organizers for the Beijing Summer Olympics announced ambitious plans for the longest torch relay in Olympic history -- an 85,000-mile, 130-day route that would cross five continents and reach the 29,035-foot summit of Everest, the world's highest peak.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

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



o Marmot launches new marketing and branding campaign...
o Columbia Q2 income doubles on international strength...
o Johnson Outdoors fiscal Q3 earnings climb; watercraft
impacted by settlement...
o LaSportiva N.A. promotes Jonathan Lantz to president...
o Deckers increases guidance on strong Q2...
o Rocky Brands Q2 revenues inch ahead...
o Crocs raises guidance again on triple-digit growth...
o Volcom Q2 income slips...
o Mike Egeck returns to VF Corp. as new Contemporary
Brands Coalition chief...
o West Marine struggles with weak boat market...
o OR's Open Air Demo relocates...
o SportsOneSource expands team again...
o Other Stories include Confluence, Buzz-off, Cocona,
Valandre, Kokotat, VF Corp., and many more...



Thursday, July 26, 2007

I hate to brag but...

We called it:

Posted: 6/25/2007

At the Reuter’s consumer and retail conference in New York, VF Corp. Chairman and CEO Mackey McDonald said that the company is ready to pursue more acquisitions and focus on outdoor and sportswear brands that cater to the women’s market... In the women’s sportswear arena, there are several potential acquisition targets for VFC, including two vertically integrated retailers - lucy and Title Nine.


VF Corp. Acquires lucy and Seven for All Mankind

Harry Potter Fans

Now you can hide the fact you are reading a children's book...

(click image to read the jacket)

This is one of the cleaner versions.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

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



o OIA Retail Audit: Industry sales up 11.3% in 2006...
o VF Corp sees continued strength in Outdoor Coalition...
o Oakley sees double-digit growth in second quarter...
o LA Port Strike could wreak havoc on holiday deliveries...
o FFR sees strong attendance growth...
o Bushnell acquired by PE firm...
o Pearl iZUMi is the only bright spot in Nautilus' Q2...
o Orange 21 looks to acquire No Fear retail stores...
o Other Stories include Gramicci, Easton-Bell, Centerstone,
REI, GSI Commerce, American Skiing Company, Garmin,
Kahtoola, Inov-8, Crocs and many more...



Thursday, July 19, 2007

Word on the street... that a small retail chain in the southeast brought in a truck load of pink TNF Denali jackets at the beginning of July.

Last week they sold out.

Average temps in July in my neck of the woods have been hovering in the mid 90's.

Who needs seasonal merchandising when you have pent-up demand like that?

Monday, July 16, 2007

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



o Obōz comes out of Bozeman with Connolly at the helm...
o prAna goes on the block as Liz Claiborne restructures...
o Wolverine sees strong Q2 outdoor performance...
o Johnson Outdoors & Confluence settle lawsuit...
o Sports Direct acquires U.K. outdoor retail chain...
o Zumiez June comps soar...
o Gander Mountain wins direct marketing trademarks
back from Cabela’s...
o Garmont acquires Life-Link...
o Big 5’s 11-year comps run comes to an end...
o Lululemon shrinks IPO offering...
o Jansport’s Corvino killed in auto accident...
o Under Armour sees hedge fund buy large stake...
o Performance Bike acquired by PE firm...
o EORA shifts CT show dates...
o Other Stories include Yakima, GoLite, Cabela’s,
Timberland, GSI Commerce,, Scarpa,
Polartec, Amer Sports, Liberty Mountain and many more...



Friday, July 06, 2007

Under Armour

Well it looks like the UA rally yesterday was actually caused by private equity, not speculation.

From Barrons

LONE PINE CAPITAL HAS FOUND A SNUG fit in shares of Under Armour, a maker of performance apparel and accessories. The $8 billion hedge fund led by Stephen Mandel Jr. disclosed a 7.8% stake in Under Armour shares in a late Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Word on the street...

is that Garmont just acquired Life Link.

More info on Monday.

Under Armour is also rumored to be a takeover target for someone (Nike?) - and Wall Street is taking this one seriously. The stock price was up over 10% today on mere speculation.

Monday, July 02, 2007

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



o Outdoor Industry Foundation takes an in-depth
look at the next generation...
o First Quarter vendor and retailer review...
o Timberland continues to struggle with urban sales...
o Confluence ramps-up personnel, quality control
and deliveries...
o Outdoor Retailer shifts show dates for 2009...
o MSR delays Reactor Stove deliveries...
o Other Stories include Reef, Tubbs, Injinji,
Moving Comfort, Movement Skis, OIWC, nuun and
Deuter, and many more...



Friday, June 29, 2007

Quote of the Week

Yes, Captain Queeg is on the deck of the Bounty here with my steel ball bearings in my hand; and I'm walking around in a little tight uniform.

Jeffrey Swartz - The Timberland Company - President, CEO

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Need a Blank Check? How about $500 Million will that work?

Heckmann Forms Buyout Firm
SportsOneSource Media Posted: 6/28/2007
Richard Heckmann, who will soon resign as CEO of K2 Inc. with its sale to Jarden, has formed a new buyout firm called Heckmann Corp. The new company intends to sell 62.5 million shares of stock for $8 each, or $500 million, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. But the filing doesn't specify what will happen with the money.

The SEC filing says only that Heckmann Corp. was formed May 29 "to acquire or acquire control of one or more operating businesses" and those efforts "will not be limited to a particular industry."

Such companies are referred to as "blank-check" IPOs.

Among the members on Heckmann Corp's board are Dan Quayle, former Vice President and current chairman of global investments for the Wall Street investment fund Cerberus Capital Management; as well as retired Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz; and Alfred Osborne, an associate dean in the University of California-Los Angeles Anderson School of Management. All three served on K2's board.

Heckmann, according to the filing, is planning on leaving K2 by August 1.

A Shift in Power?

Today, The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 96-year-old ban on minimum pricing agreements between manufacturers and retailers. The 5-to-4 decision shifts the balance of power to brands, giving them the right to set minimum prices and reshaping the relationship between vendors and retailers...

How will this impact the outdoor industry?
Will this impact the outdoor industry?

We'll have to wait and see...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Doesn't sound so hard anymore with grades pushing into the 5.15 stratosphere. I can still remember when Jibe sent 'To Bolt of Not to Be' at Smith. Today, there are plenty of 13-year olds climbing 13, but just try it at age 59 - now that's impressive.

This just in from Rab...

Rab Carrington, the renowned British mountaineer and founder of Rab, England’s premiere manufacturer of mountaineering and climbing apparel and gear, has successfully climbed his first 8a (5.13b) sport route at the age of 59.

Carrington started climbing in the ultra-traditional Scottish scene in the 1960’s. Although best known internationally for his high profile ascents in the European Alps, Himalaya and Andes (first ascent Rouse/Carrington route on the Pelerins, first Alpine ascent of Jannu in Nepal, many technical first ascents in Peru), Carrington has always considered himself first and foremost to be a rock climber.

Living in Sheffield on the edge of the Peak District has allowed Carrington to maintain a high standard on both gritstone and limestone while spending 20 years creating and building the Rab brand. While he remains an important design consultant to the brand that bears his name, the sale of Rab to Equip Outdoor Technologies, ltd. in 2003 allowed Carrington to focus more energy on his original passion for hard rock climbing. This has clearly paid off for Carrington who, in May, sent his first 8a (5.13b) with an ascent of New Age Traveler at Malham Cove in Yorkshire. This is likely but a milestone in his illustrious climbing career, as it has been only two years since he broke through the 7c barrier.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You...

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



o Royal Robbins finds a new home at American Rec.
o World Kayak formed with goal to double whitewater
o VF Corp. eyes more acquisitions; Reef gets into
women's apparel.
o Lululemon first quarter comps jump 20%.
o Yue Yuen sees balanced Q2 growth.
o SGMA: PEP funding kept alive in Congress.
o Oxbow to make return to the U.S. market.
o Kaiser & Joy form New England rep agency.
o SSL adds new stockholders at annual board meeting.
o Luxottica acquires Oakley in $2 billion deal.
o BOB & Baby Jogger head to court.
o Guest Editorial: The future we make.
o Other Stories include nuun, Innes, Yakima,
Smartwool, Keen, and many more...

Some Excerpts:

After two and a half years under the ownership of the Phoenix Footwear group, Royal Robbins has found a new home in Kellwood’s American Recreation division.Phoenix will realize a net pretax gain of approximately $23 million from the transaction, which will allow the company to pay down the majority of its long-term debt, bringing it down to the low-to-mid-teen levels, post closing...


At the Reuter’s consumer and retail conference in New York, VF Corp. CEO Mackey MacDonald said that the company is ready to pursue more acquisitions and focus on outdoor and sportswear brands that cater to the women’s market...
In the women’s sportswear arena, there are several potential acquisition targets for VFC, including two vertically integrated retailers - lucy and Title Nine...


Guest Editorial: The Future We Make…

By Drew Simmons

...But take a look around. The outdoor lifestyle is not the only option out there - far from it. There are single corporations that do more business than every brand on the Outdoor Retailer show floor combined, and would they love it if we all starting waffling and self-doubting and hand-wringing and worrying about the fact that we’re doing too well, and selling too much product, and encouraging people to acquire, acquire, acquire. They’d love to co-opt our genuine spirit as their own, and take over a solid foundation that’s been built nice and square...


Thursday, June 21, 2007

How Low Can He Go?

Directly from a Newsweek Release:

In 19 months, George W. Bush will leave the White House for the last time. The latest NEWSWEEK Poll suggests that he faces a steep climb if he hopes to coax the country back to his side before he goes. In the new poll, conducted Monday and Tuesday nights, President Bush's approval rating has reached a record low. Only 26 percent of Americans, just over one in four, approve of the job the 43rd president is doing; while, a record 65 percent disapprove, including nearly a third of Republicans.

The new numbers -- a 2 point drop from the last NEWSWEEK Poll at the beginning of May -- are statistically unchanged, given the poll's 4 point margin of error. But the 26 percent rating puts Bush lower than Jimmy Carter, who sunk to his nadir of 28 percent in a Gallup poll in June 1979. In fact, the only president in the last 35 years to score lower than Bush is Richard Nixon. Nixon's approval rating tumbled to 23 percent in January 1974, seven months before his resignation over the botched Watergate break-in.

The war in Iraq continues to drag Bush down. A record 73 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Bush has done handling Iraq. Despite "the surge" in U.S. forces into Baghdad and Iraq's western Anbar province, a record-low 23 percent of Americans approve of the president's actions in Iraq, down 5 points since the end of March.

But the White House cannot pin his rating on the war alone. Bush scores record or near record lows on every major issue: from the economy (34 percent approve, 60 percent disapprove) to health care (28 percent approve, 61 percent disapprove) to immigration (23 percent approve, 63 percent disapprove). And-in the worst news, perhaps, for the crowded field of Republicans hoping to succeed Bush in 2008-50 percent of Americans disapprove of the president's handling of terrorism and homeland security. Only 43 percent approve, on an issue that has been the GOP's trump card in national elections since 9/11.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

American Rec: Kelty, Sierra Designs, Slumberjack, Wenger, Wenzel.... and Royal Robbins

Kellwood to Acquire Royal Robbins for $40 Million
SportsOneSource Media Posted: 6/19/2007
Kellwood Company signed an agreement to acquire Royal Robbins, Inc., a division of Phoenix Footwear Group, Inc. In October 2003, the company was acquired by Phoenix Footwear. Sales for Royal Robbins in calendar year 2006 were approximately $30 million. The transaction is expected to close by early July. Kellwood is purchasing Royal Robbins for approximately $40 million. The Company does not anticipate the acquisition will significantly impact 2007 results.

Phoenix Footwear expects to report a net pre-tax gain of approximately $23 million on the sale including transaction costs. Phoenix Footwear acquired Royal Robbins on October 31, 2003 for a total of $11.7 million...


Phoenix has been talking about a deal like this for at least two quarters. After all, its Phoenix FOOTWEAR and the company was never able to successfully extend the Royal Robbins brand into the footwear category, in spite of talking about it for the past three years.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Power of a CEO

Shortly after Angel Martinez took over at Deckers after leaving Keen, the stock price bottomed out at $21.27. That was in April of 2005. Since then, Mr. Martinez has given stockholders a 344% return on their investment and the stock is trading at over $93.

Some people say that there is too much money pouring into the outdoor industry and we can't keep up with Wall Street's expectations. If we can keep turning out CEO's like Angel, and brands like Teva, Ugg and Simple, I'd say we're surpassing expectations...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

SGMA Spring Market

The show was apparently a worthy trade show for the sporting goods industry. However, word on the street is that the nude woman in the chocolate fondue-filled bathtub stole the show.
In the first week of June, the summer episodes of RSN Outdoors went live, bringing a blend of outdoor tips, special features, and real-time local weather and conditions to more than 100 RSN Resort Television affiliates nationwide.

Filmed in late May at RSN studios in Portland, Maine, the shows also feature a series of in-studio outdoor gear and fashion segments, keeping American outdoor enthusiasts engaged and entertained through the profile of more than 45 new products for the summer season.

Produced and hosted by Drew Simmons of Pale Morning Media, LLC, the special gear segments include some of the most stylish, innovative, and legendary names in the outdoor world.

“Our goal is to key on major trends in outdoor equipment and fashion, to highlight some exemplary pieces, and to drive traffic to the specialty retailers that live near the RSN affiliate network,” said Simmons. “With their national reach, RSN Television is the only media opportunity in the outdoor world that can provide such a massive amount of impressions within such a focused community.”

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wasteful Swag...

From E.L.

“One editor here recalled that for its Windows 95 launch, Microsoft sent out a full-size window - with a window frame, sash and molding - that took two delivery guys to drop off,”


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

Burton at OR?

We heard several rumors floating around that Burton would be at Summer OR with their lifestyle apparel line. While this seems like a great fit for the company - and a good sign for the health of OR, we just confirmed that they were just rumors and Burton will not be in Salt Lake City this summer...

Too bad.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Leaders in CSR

Nike just released their latest CSR report and I've been going through the 100+ page document all morning. They are really ramping up their efforts on nearly every front.

Most impressive is the transparency they are offering. There are basically no closed doors in their sustainability effort.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

April was busy...

I just did a quick word count for April.

I ended up having 25,091 words published in the various newsletters and magazines we own.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nau are we walking the walk?

Is someone finally addressing the issue of the U.S. becoming a "disposable society" and designing a business plan around buying less?

"What Galbraith came up with was a line of durable yet stylish clothing, in a palette of muted colors, that can last for 10 years. The idea was to encourage shoppers to buy a few pieces that didn't follow the latest trends but were well enough designed and tailored to be a mainstay in a wardrobe year after year."


Outside-The Stereotypes

Okay, so it may be a little cheesy, but you've gotta give Coleman some recognition for launching a nation-wide TV media campaign promoting outdoor recreation.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Powers That Be...

In the most recent issue of The Economist, Chevron paid a pretty penny for a two page spread promoting their new website,

The headline reads, "There are 193 countries in the world. None of them are energy independent."

It goes on to claim, "...even regions with plenty of raw resources import some form of energy. Saudi Arabia, for example, the world's largest oil exporter, imports refined petroleum products like gasoline.
"So if energy independence is an unrealistic goal, how does everyone get the fuel they need..."

To me, this is a massive jump in logic. They are setting this ad up as an if-then statement, but they fail to connect the dots. Just because no country is energy independent today does not mean it is not a goal worth pursuing. And it certainly does not mean it is an unrealistic goal.

The ad also goes on to draw parallels between energy independence and isolationism. The decision to invest more of our government's money into R&D for domestically-produced energy like wind, solar, and even ethanol (yes, it has it's drawbacks, but it's still better than drilling) instead of subsidies for oil companies (Chevron) is not a move towards isolationism. It is a move towards improving our domestic capabilities and making them more attractive that their foreign counterparts.

In the end, I don't think this ad could ever convince anyone of Chevron's position (find more traditional fuels). It shows just how scared the company is about the fact that Capitol Hill is finally taking the term "energy independence" seriously. It really comes across as a desperate cry for help rather than a call to action.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Former CIA Director: America is Trading National Security for Cheap Oil

America is trading national security and a cooler climate for cheap oil, said James Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in his keynote speech on Tuesday at the Clean Energy Venture Summit in Austin, Texas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Quote of the Week

It looks like some more deals are in the pipeline:

"The market is absolutely crazy and everyone is for sale. I am floored at how many deals are in the market."

- Anonymous Financial Consultant

Monday, May 14, 2007

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



o owners sell majority stake to Liberty Media.
o Head Q1 loss expands.
o Garmin Ltd to acquire German distributor.
o Rocky Q1 earnings decline on lower margins.
o Gregory parent to be acquired by BAE systems.
o OIA looks for Board nominations.
o Big Dog Holdings gets Q1 lift from The Walking Company.
o Backpacker magazine could be on the block.
o Other Stories include Polartec, Isis, Slumberjack, Zumiez,
DSW, Giro, Oakley, Reef, and many more...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

REI Gets Foolish

"With a (very) long-term business plan, lots of room for growth, solid financials, and dominant positioning in a profitable niche, REI would be a great stock to own if it was publicly traded. In fact, it possesses some of the criteria that Fool co-founder Tom Gardner and the Motley Fool Hidden Gems team look for when they recommend stocks to subscribers."


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mountain Hardwear Trends Retreat

So, I attended the first Mountain Hardwear Trends Retreat in Boulder along with some editors from Backpacker, Climbing, Gear Trends and a ton of freelance writers. I have to say - it was an excellent event.

Whenever a writer hears "retreat sponsored by XYZ company" it usually means an endless parade of new products with "this amazing new zipper" or "this amazing new coating" or even "this really cool draw string."

This was not the case last week.

Mike Wallenfels sat down with all of the editors and basically let us know the challenges, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses of the outdoor industry.

Michelle Barnes with OIA sat down with us and did the same.

It's very refreshing to see some honesty and not just some more marketing hype and spin. On top of that the discussion that came out of the realties facing the industry was very productive. Nearly every journalist was involved, asking questions, making points, arguing pros and cons. The presentations usually evolved into open ended debates that kept everyone thinking and responding.

So, to Paige, Mike, Chris, and Val - Congrats! It was a great event.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

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



o Jarden to acquire K2 Inc. for $1.2 billion.
o K2 sees balanced Q1 sales drive earnings.
o Coleman Q1 profits climb on lower sales volume.
o Deckers ups 2007 guidance on strong Q1.
o Gander Mountain goes green.
o Cabela's cashes in WV development bonds.
o Columbia Q1 profits jump on strong sportswear sales.
o OR and FFR find a new director.
o Johnson Outdoors first quarter profits slip.
o Amer Sports Q1 hit by winter sports slow-down.
o Exel restructures North American operations.
o Volcom's new product lines fuel double-digit Q1 gains.
o Timberland acquires eco-friendly skate brand.
o VF Corp. leverages outdoor strength in Q1.
o Other Stories include Mountain Hardwear, Cervelo,
Omega Pacific, Coalision, Quiksilver, Smartwool,
and many more...


To say it was a big week this week would be an understatement.

The newsletter was over 8,000 words with nine major public companies reporting, and quite possibly, the biggest acquisition the outdoor industry has seen in the past decade.

Some excerpts:

“The opportunity here is on two levels. At the retail level, it's in the specialty space and in the international channels. On the specialty side, I mean, there are some specific opportunities where we really do bring things to the table for K2, and there are some specific opportunities where they bring opportunities to us.”
-Jarden CEO, Martin Franklin


Salomon sales were down 10% during the first quarter and down 8% in local currencies. Salomon made the strategic decision to exit the in-line skate business last year, and sales would have been flat this year excluding those numbers from last year’s results. In spite of the decline in sales, the division’s EBIT loss was basically flat...


Mountain Hardwear sales grew 9.9% to $17.7 million during the first quarter. Mike Wallenfels, MTH president, told BOSS that Q1 2007 was the first quarter in which sportswear shipments surpassed outerwear shipments...


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Quote of the Week

“I would say that as the K2 management team, if we were going to pick two businesses that we thought would be perfect fits for us in the retail channel and give us the kind of leverage we'd want to have in that channel, they were Coleman and Pure Fishing and we tried to buy them both and just didn't have the capital structure to do it,” said K2 Chairman, Dick Heckman. “Because they were such good fits with us and such good fits with what the retailers really want. The retailers want bigger, stronger, fewer vendors and they want quality branded vendors, and the conversations that I had yesterday were very positive.”

That's not all folks...

Timberland Acquires Ipath

Looks like they found something to replace the Yellow Boot's lagging urban sales...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I didn't see this one coming...

I knew Jarden (currently owns Coleman) was on the prowl for a big acquisition, but I never thought it would be K2...

Jarden to Acquire K2 for $1.2 Billion

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Outdoor Business April/May

The magazine should be in everyone's mailboxes by now. We certainly worked hard on this one, but the final edit/ship process went smoother than ever. As always, I am interested in any constructive criticism out there. We are working hard to make this THE trade magazine for outdoor retailers.

I'd also like to thank Jay Young (many of you know him as j_ung at for all of his help with the photos in this issue. His art really made the stories come to life.

Monday, April 23, 2007

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



o OIA's Capitol Summit charges ahead.
o Wolverine Worldwide gets another solid quarter from
Outdoor Group; lifts guidance.
o Orange 21 sees net loss double on double digit sales
o Oakley starts 2007 with strong first quarter.
o LiquidLogic-Legacy merger complete.
o New Executives appointed at several outdoor and
snowsports companies...
o New Participation Study will come out of four-way partnership.
o Other Stories include Life is Good, Rock Creek Outfitters,
IMBA, Eastern Mountain Sports, Kellwood, ATTA, and many more...


Friday, April 20, 2007

Quote of the week...

"At the heart of our (explanation) why this all happened is really simply - and I hate to sound offensive - but we just made the wrong product and lots of it."

Mark Simo, Orange 21 Co-Chairman, CEO

Crocs Banned...

Swedish health officials at the Blekinge Hospital in Karlkrona have banned staff from wearing Crocs slippers after it was discovered the footwear can produce so much static electricity, it can interfere with medical equipment.

The footwear was the culprit of two respiratory machines turning off for no apparent reason. The machines were assisting two premature babies breathe. The Crocs slippers are popular across Sweden, and worn by most health workers.

It was found that the slippers could charge a maximum of 25,000 volts. Hospital spokesperson Bjorn Lofqvist, said: "Everybody generates static electricity. But it usually loses its charge, either by disappearing through one's shoes or elsewhere."


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Noise Reducing Headphones

Considering the new neighbors, this is the best $14.99 I've ever spent...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pro Global Warming?

Our local NPR station, WFAE, just interviewed a politician who claims to be pro global warming. Apparently, he has some tight ties to some power companies that are heavily invested in coal. His argument was that global warming would be a net benefit to the human race. I believe his exact words were, "Yes, millions of people would be displaced in the Asia-Pacific region, but think of all of the new farm-land we would have in northern Russia..."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Tough times for cycling...

It looks like the cycling world is having a hard time coping with the post-Lance era and the recent drug scandals. According to Carlton over at Bike Biz, Nike is dropping its cycling program entirely

At the same time, the Tour of Utah will be postponed due to lack of sponsorship support and the Executive Director of the tour resigned.

There are also rumors of other U.S. stage races having funding difficulties. Makes me wonder how much longer VS will carry their full schedule of races every Sunday...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kyoto Accord in Action

From the UK's Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs:


* It is provisionally estimated that, in 2006, emissions of the total 'basket' of six greenhouse gases1 covered by the Kyoto Protocol were around 15 per cent below the base year, down from 775.2 to 658.1 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. (The base year is 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, and 1995 for fluorinated compounds.) To meet its commitment to the Protocol, the UK has agreed to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 121/2 per cent relative to the base year over the period 2008-2012.

* Net emissions of carbon dioxide during the year have provisionally been estimated at around 560.6 million tonnes, about 51/4 per cent lower than the 1990 level of 592.1 million tonnes. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas, accounting for around 84 per cent of all emissions in the "basket" in 2005, the latest year for which final results are available.

* The provisional estimate of 2006 carbon dioxide emissions is around 11/4 per cent higher than the 2005 figure. This increase was primarily as a result of fuel switching from natural gas to coal for electricity generation. This has also resulted in an estimated increase of 1/2 per cent in emissions from the total basket of gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol for the year.

* Aside from the Kyoto target, the UK aims to move towards its own domestic goal of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010. Under the Government's Climate Change Bill, which is currently at draft stage, it is now also proposed that the UK puts itself on a path towards a legally binding target of a 60 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions below 1990 levels by 2050. The Bill also incorporates an interim requirement of a reduction of between 26 and 32 per cent over the period 2018-2022.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Problem with NASCAR

in North Carolina is that its everywhere. You just can't avoid it. People say that its gone more "upscale" in the past five years, but the majority of the "sport" still revolves around drinking and throwing fried chicken bones at whichever driver has fallen out of favor.

My bitterness is probably coming from our new neighbors. We just had one of the NASCAR teams move in next door with a shop and some kind of museum to one of their "legendary drivers." If you've never heard an un-muffled 600 HP engine revving at 9,000 RPM, I don't recommend it - especially during working hours.

Making Some Noise

An article Lou wrote in March's Outdoor Business is getting some attention.


He featured three PR firms that have experience working with retailers in a "tips from the pros" article on the strategy and implementation of a retail PR brand building campaign. It could have easily run for a few more pages...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Now This is interesting...

Lebron James Buys Stake in Cannondale

NBA star Lebron James has acquired a minority ownership of Cannondale, the Bethel-CT based manufacturer of high-performance bicycles. James' ownership stake in Cannondale was not disclosed... (3/26/2007)


Monday, March 26, 2007

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

o Yakima moves ahead with new leadership...
o Woolrich announces succession plans.
o New markets and acquisitions play a central role in
five-year growth plans.
o Forzani continues to see upside from repositioning
in spite of weather woes.
o Helly Hansen restructures North American management
o sees 56% sales growth in 2006.
o Cloudveil opens first retail store.
o SIA: Snow Sports sales declines level off in January.
o Other Stories include 3point5, ATTA, Burton, The Walking
Co., Cabela's, Ulu, Outdoor Industry Foundation, and many more...

Some Excerpts:

While Heinlen admits the company has seen some difficulties over the past
year, he is already seeing the benefits from these initiatives. “A lot of the story around the industry regarding Yakima in 2006 was that we hit some rough spots. I know that in the first half of the year there were some weak deliveries, some delayed launches, and some inconsistent product availability. The last six months of these initiatives has put us in an excellent position for 2007,” said Heinlen. “We made some changes in our logistics system and our transit times are shorter, and today I believe 75% or more of our products ship the same day. We’ve also cut our transit times in half...


At its peak, Simple was close to $40 million in revenues. In 2005, the brand did about $8 million. Since launching the Green Toe initiative, Simple has started to grow again with 2006 sales up 58% for the year...


One of the primary drivers of revenues for VF will be owned-retail. At the end of 2006 VFC had 538 owned-retail locations. Management sees the opportunity to add about 75 to 100 new stores per year over the coming years. Those new doors would mean that retail would grow from about 13% of total sales in 2006 to 18% or more in a few years. In 2007, VFC expects retail to contribute roughly $1 billion to the top line...

LINK 2006 sales increased 56% to $82 million from $52 million in 2005. The company recorded its busiest day on December 11, one week after Cyber Monday when the company shipped nearly 12,000 orders...


Thursday, March 22, 2007


NAU will be opening their first brick & mortar location this Tuesday, March 27 in Boulder...

VF CEO McDonald Receives $12.4M in 2006


The chief executive of clothing and jean maker VF Corp. received 2006 compensation the company valued at nearly $9.3 million, according to a regulatory filing Thursday.

Mackey J. McDonald got a salary of approximately $1.1 million and non-equity incentive plan compensation of some $1.5 million. He did not receive a bonus.

All other compensation totaled $80,510 and included $12,500 in matching contributions to a savings plan, $10,900 for financial planning, $18,740 for personal aircraft use and a $23,400 car allowance. Dues and subscriptions totaled $2,247, while tax gross up, which occurs when a company pays the taxes on an executive perks, came in at $12,723.

McDonald, 59, also received stock and option awards valued at about $6.6 million

Monday, March 19, 2007

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

o Canoecopia continues a spring tradition in 2007.
o Dick's SG posts first billion dollar quarter; beats
o Polartec, LLC acquires Malden Mills' assets.
o Quiksilver shareholder group gets restless.
o SIA.08 dates overlap with ISPO.
o Zumiez fourth quarter net jumps on 12% comps gain.
o Pacific Cycle transformed into recreation brand.
o Eddie Bauer posts Q4 profit.
o American Recreation sees healthy Q4.
o B.O.S.S. goes one-on-one with Merrell Apparel
creative director Tobin Teichgraeber.

On Friday, March 2nd, a late winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow across much of the Midwest. Seven days later, on the first day of Rutabaga’s 26th annual Canoecopia show in Madison, WI, the temperatures reached 50 degrees. Even Mother Nature cooperates with paddlers.
Launched in 1981 and now called, “the world’s paddlesports expo,” the three-day event featured almost 200 boat companies, accessory brands, outfitters, tourism promoters and non-profit organizations. Teko, Sierra Club National Outings, Sierra Club River Touring and Sierra Magazine sponsored the 2007 event. By 9:15 am on Saturday, the convention center’s main parking lot was filled and parking attendees were directing a steady stream of cars to two overflow lots.
For the first time, attendees were introduced to carbon offsets. Entering the main show door, a large poster from Teko invited them to learn how to be carbon neutral traveler. Bush reports, “I received good feedback from vendors, but there is little consumer understanding about the concept.”


During an exclusive interview with The BOSS Report Spillane said that the biggest change will be shifting his mindset from running a troubled company to running a healthy company. “We completed 25 loan amendments in 27 months. That really tends to keep you distracted from running an effective business,” he said. “Now, we can move ahead with a strong balance sheet and focus on building the brand, research and development, and expanding our global platform.”


The letter also stated, “As skiers, we faced deep deception with the negative performance of the Rossignol management team created by Mr Mariette. Total lack of charisma, local political corruption in Moirans, non performance of the winter call-center, total retirement from prestige, brand promotion, racing effectiveness, quality advertising, product design, poor relationships with the European retailers, (and) weakness in new markets opening…”


Tuesday, March 13, 2007


A Must Read

This Just In...

...from the Sierra Club

"The Sierra Club applauds Reps. Markey and Platts for moving forward with a bill that will make our environment, economy, and the nation as a whole safer and more secure. Making our cars and light trucks go farther on a gallon of gas is the single biggest step we can take toward saving American families money at the pump, ending our dangerous addiction to oil, and curbing global warming.

"In January the President proposed increasing CAFE standards at a rate of 4% per year. The Markey-Platts bill does just that. The common sense approach of ambitious but achievable goals set out in the bill enjoys strong bipartisan support--including five original cosponsors who voted against increasing CAFE standards when the House last took up the matter in 2005. With even noted environmental critic Sen. Ted Stevens introducing his own 40 miles per gallon bill for cars in the Senate, it is clear that the time has come for Congress to raise fuel economy standards for the first time since it originally set them in 1975.

"This bill will not only save consumers money and help us fight global warming, but it will also help us break our addiction to oil. Within 15 years, this bill will save us as much oil as we now import from the Persian Gulf. Making cars go further on each gallon of gas is like drilling for oil under Detroit instead of our sensitive coasts and lands. Raising fuel economy standards is the cleanest, cheapest, and safest way for America to reduce its dependence on oil.

"It is time for automakers to get off their tailpipe and get into gear to do their fair share to curb global warming and our oil addiction. They need to take the technology gathering dust on Detroit’s shelves and put it to work to help America tackle some of its most urgent problems. Requiring the American auto industry to make more fuel-efficient vehicles is auto mechanics, not rocket science. It will force them to compete with foreign automakers like Honda and Toyota who have used hybrids and other efficient vehicles to remake their brands and cruise to record profits while the Big Three teeter on the brink of insolvency."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Quote of the Week

“I think the industry is very healthy right now. There are always exceptions regionally and there are really different ways to measure health. This time of year, the most significant measurement is how many people we have on credit hold because the winter is ending and all of the bills are coming due. The credit hold list we have this year is tiny, I mean I can count the number of retailers on one hand. So I think the health of the business is good in terms of retailers managing their businesses efficiently.”

Peter Metcalf

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...

All wrapped up in one conference call...

Head N.V. reported their fourth quarter results, and apparently they were below what their shareholders expected. During a conference call with Analysts, shareholders and the media that I covered this week, Head's CEO, Johan Eliasch butted heads with a few shareholders...

Rupert Heinrich Stahler

Yes, I do have a couple of questions. First, greetings to Mr. Eliasch and Mr. Bernhardt. My name is Rupert Heinrich Stahler. So before I'm going to ask a couple of questions, I would like to thank all of the successful top professional athletes of Head. I ask you Mr. Eliasch, do our athletes deserve that the annual report of Head is prepared unlovingly and colorless like it was the last two years. What I mean, for a Company which wants to be successful in the leisure and sports business, an annual report without a single picture is embarrassing and, in my opinion, nearly ridiculous. So Mr. Eliasch, will you improve our annual report 2006, or must we understand it in such a way that you perhaps don't appreciate your shareholders very much? So that is my question, my first question, please.

Johan Eliasch

Well, the answer to that is that if you go onto our website, there are plenty of athletes and all kinds of information. And in today's world, people usually go onto websites to look at annual reports.

Rupert Heinrich Stahler

So, then I have but one more question, Mr. Eliasch. Do you really think that we had a strong year? Of course, there was a certain improvement in terms of operating profits, but we still have an EBIT margin of only 5.45%. So in my opinion, that is rather weak, for sure it is not strong enough. So my clear question is what is your personal goal for our operating profit margin for 2007 and, of course, for the next years to come, please?

Johan Eliasch

Well, I don't have a crystal ball, so I can't give you -- I can't give you a clear statement on that. And also there are legal boundaries which restricts that kind of information. That is the first thing. Secondly, I think you probably heard my statement with regards to 2007, and that is that it is going to be tough conditions. It is too early to tell and it is not possible to speculate at this early stage what the rest of the year might have.

After a series of other questions that dug into Head's independent auditors, sales by region, and stock options, the same shareholder asked one final question...

Rupert Heinrich Stahler

Okay. Next question. It is what it is. Very interesting. Question number seven. I have one more technical question to Mr. Bernhardt. In August 2006, the Company transferred some 237,000 shares with an original cost of -- let me have a look -- EUR 0.5 million -- to Mr. Eliasch and family. Did we obtain any capital gains from this transaction?

Johan Eliasch

This administers the total of the option plans of the participants and of the stock option plans. It is not...

Ralf Bernhart (Head NV CFO)

This stock thing does not belong to Mr. Eliasch or his family.

Johan Eliasch

Yes, it does not belong to me -- if you read the annual report -- but maybe you haven't read it because we haven't put pictures into it...

Monday, February 26, 2007

More News: REI's Fiscal 2006 Net Income Climbs 23% on 9.5% Comps


REI will distribute $58 million to its active members through the annual patronage refund based on the co-op's 2006 sales of $1.18 billion. For the year, REI's operating income increased 22.8% from $86 million to $105.5 million, and net income increased from $32.7 million to $40.3 million, or 23%. REI's comp store sales remained high in 2006 at 9.5%, marking two consecutive years of 9.5% or higher. The company's direct sales channel, which includes online and catalog sales, gained 19%. These record financials mark the second consecutive year where sales rose more than 15%.

Based on 2006 results, the outdoor retailer will dedicate $3.6 million through its grants program in support of conservation and recreational access around the country in the coming year.



We finally brought a couple of new faces on-board after growing the company significantly over the past year. It will be nice to have some more help with the on-line reporting and Tom Ryan certainly has the background to bring us up the the next level. I worked with him this week and he's a quick study and an excellent reporter.

I have yet to meet Stephen Jones, but I know our ad sales staff has a ton of momentum behind it right now and was looking for some new talent.

Welcome aboard to both of you.

Sam Wender was promoted to Publisher of of all print, newsletter and online properties. Sam has really been stepping up and taking on a ton of responsibility on the publishing side and its great to have him heading the team.

Judy Leand, our editor in chief of all of the print magazines, was also promoted to editorial director in charge of the entire media group. Working with Judy over the past six months has been an educational experience for all of us and she has really pushed us to the next level in print. I'm looking forward to her input on the on-line and newsletter side of our editorial development.

I've had a lot of questions about who is doing what. Just to clarify, the rest of the team has responsibilities that span across all of our publications. Nearly all of us contribute is some way, shape or form to every publication. I'll have the entire list up shortly...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Politics and Ethics...

seem to be like oil and water...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for tighter ethics rules in federal agencies Wednesday after government officials approved the purchase of a $980,000 vacation home by a top Justice Department lawyer with an oil company lobbyist.

Pelosi's criticism followed an Associated Press report last week that department ethics officials did not object when Sue Ellen Wooldridge, then head of the environment division, was buying a South Carolina beach house with Donald R. Duncan, the top Washington lobbyist for ConocoPhillips.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Off to NYC again...

for the next issue of Outdoor Business and Performance Sports Retailer...

Monday, February 19, 2007

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

o Amer Sports sees warm winter weather impact equipment sales.
o Garmin fourth quarter sales and income double.
o Interbike looks at timing and venue options.
o Coleman continues growth under Jarden umbrella.
o GSI Commerce sees on-line merchandise sales nearly double.
o SSL adds new members.
o American Skiing Co. sells off two more resorts.
o SIA sees weather impact sales at specialty retail.
o Other Stories include Sugoi, Boa Technologies, Adventure 16, Crocs, Johnson Outdoors, and many more...

Some Excerpts:

Salomon Q4 sales increased 11% to €282.1 million ($363.8 mm) versus €255.2 million ($303.6 mm) last year. The company saw a 6% increase in winter sports hardgoods during Q4 to €188.6 mm ($243.2 mm). Apparel sales were the strongest during the quarter, with a 30% increase to €67.3 million ($82.1 mm)...

Amer’s management dedicated the majority of their presentation to analyzing the current conditions in the snow sports market given the warm weather and varying levels of inventory at retail. According to their analysis, most mountain retailers were able to move through the majority of their pre-season inventory. While some urban retailers have been able to clear out these pre-season orders, most of these retailers – in both the U.S. and Europe - have been hit hardest by the weather. Because of this, Amer’s management feels that it is evident that the industry will see lower pre-season bookings in 2008...

During the tenth annual Bicycle Leadership Conference, Interbike hosted a breakfast presentation titled "Guiding Our Future" in which show director Lance Camisasca shared post-Interbike survey results. The roundtable discussion that followed covered several issues that are crucial to the future venue and timing of Interbike. The survey provided some interesting data points - 69% of retailers would prefer Interbike to be held between September 1 and October 31; when asked to identify which city would best suit their business needs, 61% of retailers chose Las Vegas while 50% of exhibitors chose Salt Lake City, Utah....

The warm weather retailers and vendors have been talking about finally worked its way through the food chain and showed up in SIA’s monthly retail audit. With almost no snow in the Eastern and Midwestern regions during December – the month that accounts for roughly half of the seasonal SnowSports revenue – both chain and specialty SnowSports sales declined...

“Coleman, in our view, has been a company that [has] been stripped - asset stripped for years before we came into the business, and again... it's ready to go from defense to offense. I think there's going to be a multiple layer of benefits that will come from making positive acquisitions in that business, and we're actively working in that area,” Franklin said. “On the Outdoor Solutions front, (we will be) pushing into the specialty channel."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What does it take...

to grow from a $1 billion company to a $1.8 billion company in one year? According to Garmin's CEO, Dr. Min Kao, who just pulled this off this year, quite a bit.

We added 1700 associates in 2006, including 250 in engineering; 950 in manufacturing, mostly for the new factory; and 175 in marketing, including customer support for our second call center to handle the increased call volume...