How Sustainability Stole the Show at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market

The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market wrapped up in Denver, Colo. this weekend after a successful year of trade shows and conventions. For more than 36 years, the trade show has been bringing together the best of the best from manufacturers, retail buyers, and the outdoor community.

Outdoor Retailer Vice President and Show Director Marisa Nicholson expressed enthusiasm regarding the show’s projected attendance numbers and exciting new exhibits at this year’s Winter Market Show.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market was held before the winter season this year.

“Outdoor Retailer Winter Market is the third of three shows this year in Denver, and it wraps up a very successful first year in the city. Right now, as this show is about to begin, the ratio of retailers to brands attending is approximately 10 to one and stores are bringing, on average, five buyers per store,” Nicholson said before the show.

The outdoor retail market is an $887+ billion industry according to the conference and event organizers added new elements to this year’s show to increase exposure.

“We’re launching the new show cycle this week, and Winter Market marks the first time the show sits at the front of the winter buying season. The goal is to create a more efficient and engaging trade show experience…to serve the marketplace’s buying and selling cycles, to serve companies’ needs, and in the time frame that the cycle really begins,” Nicholson noted.

Along with the new show cycle that helps give merchants and buyers each a head start on the season, a number of new products will be on display that reflect arguably the biggest trend in outdoors retail—sustainability.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2018 was held from Nov. 8-11 in Denver.

“Sustainability remains a key focus for outdoor apparel, footwear and gear. Consumers are making conscious buying decisions, and brands are taking action by evaluating the materials used and the whole life cycle of products,” Nicholson said.

At Outdoor Retailer Winter Market this week, several unique companies showcased their own sustainable innovations. Some of the products making eco-friendly strides include a biodegradable insulation from PrimaLoft, United By Blue’s Bison Collection, and Mountain Khakis’ debut of their SeaWool line made from crushed oyster shells, among other products.

The outdoor retail industry has always been focused on making products that provide superior performance for any environment. Consumers are always looking for gear that is lighter, faster, stronger, and that demand drives the innovation,” Nicholson said.

With its inaugural Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award Show, the organization did something different to recognize the talent driving these new advancements.

“We have an opportunity to celebrate the products and retail services making an impact…This year, it seems the spirit of innovation is bringing a new kind of energy to the event.” Nicholson said.

The organization will return to Denver for shows in 2019.


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