Summit Sales NW Top Highlights for 2018

1 . We added new brands to the portfolio

GoLite is our newest brand that we are going to be working with for 2019. At the core of GoLite is the concept of minimizing impact. Whether that is thoughtful weight savings for athletic and travel pursuits or making the world a better place by integrating humanitarian and environmental sustainability initiatives directly into the business model. We are looking forward to the first delivery of product this spring!

MEX9840+%281%29.jpg

2. Team Retreat

After our team strategy meeting, we had the chance to head to the desert for a little climbing. It was the perfect opportunity to do some more brainstorming about 2019 and get some sunny climbing in.


edited.jpg

3. 2nd Annual Osprey Retailer Event Series

In our second iteration of our Osprey event series we partnered with 10 retailers to teach people how to Lightweight Backpack. In total we saw over 600 consumer attend the series with the most money raised from any event series that we have done yet.

4.  The Portland Boulder Rally

 We had a chance to participate at the Portland Boulder Rally. SCARPA athlete Alannah Yip took the win and also helped spread the SCARPA stoke at the demo.

5. The Essentials for Backcountry Skiing event retailer tour

This year included 10 stops spread across Washington, Oregon, and Montana. During the event, we had the chance to educate newer backcountry skiers on some of the differences between boots, bindings, skis, and skins options. We also included a component about other safety gear and required avy education. Most importantly, we were able to raise over $3k collectively for various non-profits of our retailer’s choosing.

6. Gear Awards

We are fortunate enough to work with the best brands in the industry. With that comes a numerous amount of awards. Here’s a few of our favorites :

 Osprey Transporter Duffel

 Therm-a-Rest Uberlite

 SCARPA Maestrale RS and Alien RS Editor Choice Award

7. Athlete Visits at the Northwest Boulderfest

Sean McColl and Alannah Yip joined us at the NW Boulderfest to hang out and chat SCARPA. It’s always rewarding to see young competitors get excited about meeting their favorite athletes.

8. Pacific Crest Trail Days

Osprey and The Landmark Project were sponsors of the event this year. One of the highlights included a panel discussion with some Osprey Thru Hike Syndicate ambassadors. It was really interesting to get a more in depth look to life on the trail.

9. 2018 Buyer’s Perspectives

We truly value our retailers opinions and knowledge. Luckily, they are willing to share some of that knowledge. Here are the buyer’s perspectives from this year.

 

10.  Our New Office

While we did not move very far away, we did move our office this year. Our favorite part about it, is all the space we now have to put up more prints from The Landmark Project!

poster%2B2+%281%29.jpg

The Buyer's Perspective | Mountain Gear

15380362_10105878181184688_8580258225461656357_n.jpg

Just as we want our backpacking and hiking packs to be dependable, the same sentiment holds true for our luggage. Which is why Osprey has paid so much attention to the travel category. By taking some of the learnings from our technical packs, we can create high-quality, dependable travel packs and luggage

Mountain Gear is one of our retail partners that has been putting in some added focus around the travel segment of the business. We check in with Jill (hardgoods and footwear buyer) on how they approach the travel side of the business, why it’s important, and their reason for stocking Osprey travel packs and luggage.


Q : What is your name and role with Mountain Gear?

Jill Yotz, aka "Jungle Yogi" Hardgoods buyer for climbing, backpacking/camping, and performance footwear. Sometimes verbose (you've been warned).

Q : What sort of buying patterns are you noticing from consumers these days?

To keep it relatively succinct: I'm seeing an overall increase in the buying power of the millennial consumer, and their values are having a growing impact on retail sales. There have been several studies over the past few years showing that millennials prefer to buy “experiences” over “things”. The outdoor industry- and packs in particular!- is uniquely suited to this trend: the products we offer are in the position to support the experiences that customers seek. My favorite part of working in retail sales is getting to help a customer prepare for a life-changing experience, whether it’s backpacking through Europe, scaling Denali, or going on their first camping trip.

In a bit more depth: This same buying group seems particularly interested in durability and versatility. With their growing buying power, it feels more important than ever to understand that the millennial consumer entered the job market around the time of a financial recession; they were in the midst of the rise of social media and ecommerce, and are facing the potential of serious environmental breakdown during their lifetime. It isn't surprising when these factors contribute purchasing patterns, nor is it a surprise that durability and versatility are recurring characteristics that customers ask of their gear. We’ll always have gearheads who want the latest niche products (which is one of the fun aspects to my job, so thank you!), but I’m seeing far more interest in products that can support a variety of experiences, have a story and meaning in a disconnected world, and won’t end up in a landfill after a couple of uses.

Q : Have you seen a lot of growth coming from the travel categories of the business?

I have definitely seen an increase in organic sales and assortment proportion for this category at Mountain Gear and in the industry as a whole.

Over the past few decades, travel has become in some ways easier (more access) and in some ways more of a pain (TSA lines, luggage restrictions, etc.). The traditional luggage industry appears to be experiencing some shake-ups itself, and we’re seeing new players enter the arena whose goals are to make air travel easier. I believe there is a lot of opportunity for adventure travel gear to grow in market share, since it has years of experience in making the process of transporting our stuff easier.

Q : What's the most frequently asked question pack questions that you receive from customers and how do you address it?

“I’m looking for the perfect pack: a backpack that is lightweight, durable, versatile, and not expensive. I want to use it for work/school, traveling through Europe, and on a multiday hike.”

The runner-up question might be: “why is that backpack so expensive?”

How I address most questions pertaining to outdoor gear: Education and excellent customer service! I’ve long believed that the greatest value of a local gear shop is the people who work there. They can take a customer on an in-depth tour of complex gear and help refine the customer’s priorities so that they find the REAL “perfect” pack. During this process, the customer often changes their outlook on cost from "expensive" to "investment".

Q : What made you pick Osprey travel packs to add to your pack wall?

Osprey specializes in helping people transport their stuff efficiently and comfortably for nearly every task in nearly all conditions. I trust the brand for its details, durability, and fit. The quality of the product makes it clear that Osprey invests as much time and attention into their travel bags as they do for their technical packs. I can’t walk through an airport or bus terminal without seeing the Osprey logo. It only makes sense to build my travel category around Osprey product.

Q : Any other Osprey models even outside of the travel category that you stock that you find works well for Mountain Gear?

Our best-selling models are the Aether/Ariel and the Atmos/Aura. We’re a backpacking and mountaineering company at heart, and those packs speak to our core values. Of course, nothing sells quite as fast as a sub-$100 black daypack!

Q : Any upcoming or past adventures that you're particularly stoked about?

I was lucky last year: in the fall I had the opportunity to explore and ski several active(!) Chilean volcanoes with my father. I also managed to get in some solid ice and mixed climbing laps beside some premier climbers (shout-out to the buyers who joined me there!) in my first "foray to Ouray" last winter.

This year I'm hoping to attend either the Michigan or Mt. Washington ice fests since I haven't been to either one yet. If you haven't been to an ice fest, I suggest dropping everything and attending one immediately. The atmosphere and the people are amazing.

A few other plans in the works:

-One of my best friends and I are working on "SUP'ing All Year", and have had some beautiful, chilly paddles so far.

- My sister is getting married in Kona in January, and I'm hoping the weather works out so that I can bring skis to hike/ski Mauna Kea. I'm sure she's rolling her eyes if she's reading this.

- I'm in my first year of ski patrolling. I work in a cubicle most of the time and am pretty stoked that I get to help people in tandem with being outside and sliding on snow!

The Essentials for Backcountry Skiing 2018 Retailer Tour

We recently wrapped up our 2018 retailer Essentials for Backcountry Skiing tour sponsored by G3 and SCARPA. This year included 10 stops spread across Washington, Oregon, and Montana. During the event, we had the chance to educate newer backcountry skiers on some of the differences between boots, bindings, skis and skins options. We also included a component about other safety gear and required avy education. Most importantly, we were able to raise over $3k collectively for various non-profits of our retailer’s choosing. A special thanks to all our retailer partners for giving us the opportunity to showcase some SCARPA and G3 product to your customers. Now, all we need is a little snow so we can get out and do some skiing!


Team Climbing Retreat | Vantage

We had plans to head to Mt Rainier National Park for a team backpacking trip. Unfortunately, our plan was ultimately thwarted by the weather. Instead we decided to make our way to Vantage for some sunshine and climbing (not a bad backup plan whatsoever). This provided the perfect opportunity to start strategizing together for our 2019 plans, get some time playing outside and test out some gear from our favorite brands. Below is a little photo recap from the trip.


Portland Boulder Rally 2018

We had a blast joining The Circuit Bouldering Gym and Next Adventure for the 2018 Portland Boulder Rally. It was a good chance to chat SCARPA with a few folks. A special thanks to SCARPA athlete Alannah Yip for joining us for a demo the next day and running a few mini clinics. She also happened to take the win in the new Furia S too! Now to start thinking ski season…