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...)