Outdoor Retailer - May 2021 - 10
The Magic of the
The thrill of being back live and in-person will help
the outdoor industry lead the charge when it comes to
economic recovery in the U.S. By Chris Goddard
I'M A BOSTON RED SOX FAN, AND THIS SPRING, A BIG GREEN INFIELD, THE ROAR OF THE CROWD,
the cadence of a baseball game, and a Fenway Frank drowned in mustard has a special magic.
The simple pleasures of attending a baseball game (albeit at reduced capacity) are a source of tremendous comfort, not only for us fans, but also for those just yearning for some sense of normal.
And that guarded in-person optimism represents an economic surge-with the outdoor industry at the forefront.
As vaccination rates increase across the U.S., consumers are grinding toward what was familiar in ways we could not possibly have imagined a year ago. Sweatpants sales are declining, and
retailers are seeing an uptick in high heels. " After a full year of stay-at-home orders, quarantines,
and business closures and restrictions, consumers have a lot of pent-up emotions. Their solution? " Revenge shopping, " says Blake Morgan, a senior contributor at Forbes. Armed with stimulus checks, many consumers are eager to get back to shopping, especially browsing in person, as
stores and malls reopen. With more people going out to dinner, traveling, and returning to work
in an office, shoppers will likely spend more money on apparel.
The National Retail Federation predicts that retail sales will grow between 6.5% and 8.2% in
2021, which would be the fastest growth since 2004. This comes after retail sales declined for the
last three months of 2020, which is typically a big shopping season. There should be an even bigger boom for outdoor retailers.
Big box retailers continue to circle the outdoor industry wagons because they know a good
thing when they see it. Last year, Walmart, via Moosejaw, introduced Allforth and Lithic, outdoor gear and apparel brands with inclusive sizing and lower
price points. According to WWD: " seeking to sustain moA return to live baseball feels
mentum in its burgeoning active- and casualwear categories,
like a return to normal.
[Kohl's] will start carrying the Eddie Bauer brand at hundreds of stores and online beginning this fall. " Kohl's said it
will offer a wide array of women's, men's and kids' apparel from
Eddie Bauer, the 100-year-old brand known for its outdooractive orientation. Seasonal and core year-round Eddie Bauer
items-in an inclusive range of sizes-will be sold in as many as
500 Kohl's stores.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is advocating for
alternative modes of transportation, fueling the hopes of e-bike
manufacturers, who are already on fire. Rad Power Bikes, the
largest e-bike company in the U.S., saw sales triple last year.
According to a The New York Times story on Rad Power Bikes in
August 2020: " What had been a niche product for Humboldt's
aging hippies heading to Burning Man has become a mainstream option for Everyman. ... Guidehouse Insights, a market
10 OUTDOOR RETAILER
/ May 2021
research firm, conservatively forecasts that
electric bike sales in the United States will
grow to nearly a million by 2023, up from
650,000 this year. "
ACCORDING TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL,
" Consumer confidence in the U.S. rose in
March to its highest level since the pandemic
started a year ago, with Americans expressing
more optimism about business and labormarket conditions in the coming months. "
And perhaps a sure sign that things are
looking up was Pepsi's announcement that
it partnered with Peeps for a new limitededition soda. According to the announcement, the Pepsi x Peeps drink " combines the
crisp, refreshing taste of Pepsi-Cola with the
pillowy-soft and sweet Peeps Marshmallow
flavor. " The soda's 7.5-ounce mini-cans came
in three colors: pink, blue and yellow, just like
Peeps' signature marshmallow chicks. Clever,
not going to lie.
But, honestly, if I had a choice between
a Fenway Frank with yellow mustard or a
Pepsi Peeps Marshmallow, I would choose
the Fenway Frank every day, not just because
it tastes better, but because there is no way
you can beat the magic and that distinct
crazy energy of a Boston Red Sox Opening
And for that, we are most grateful. O.R.
-Chris Goddard is president of CGPR .
Clark Van Der Beken/Unsplash
Outdoor Retailer - May 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - May 2021
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