Touring the Outdoor Retailer trade show last week, I was struck again by how much of the industry is littered with small, enthusiast run companies that are just copying others. Stand up paddle boards (SUP) were the most egregious example of a bunch of lemmings (Webster’s definition: a member of any large group following an unthinking course towards self destruction) who were all thinking that the explosion of this sport was going to continue unabated. Looking back at the history of many other once hot categories like snowboards, inline skates and Razor scooters, I can already predict what the SUP paddle board industry will look like in a few years. The bigger question is why does this seem to happen so frequently. I believe there are a few key drivers of this behavior. Continue reading
The outdoor and athletic industry bi-annual trade show, Outdoor Retailer, begins this week in Salt Lake City. Similar to many other consumer branded shows that have seen the lines blur across multiple sectors, OR is no exception. With athletic, sportswear, travel and foods brands all showing the latest and greatest product offerings, it’s a mecca for most gear heads.
What’s got the message boards really buzzing however? Show organizers say they are going to crack down on any drinking before 5PM each day. Glad to see that while the industry has grown and matured, the attendees have shown what they care most about….Free Beer!