Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 46

Feature .03
COMPLETE CONTROL
This spring, REI rolled out
product-sustainabilty
standards for all the brands it
sells. It can easily highlight
that commitment in its
house-brand products like
this Bluesign-approved
Co-op Down Jacket.

PRIVATE LABEL PARITY
Independent outdoor retailers face more and more pressure from online
leviathans and manufacturers intent on opening outlet stores or siphoning off
customers with direct sales. But some are fighting back by creating their very
own branded apparel and gear built with the knowledge that only comes from
decades of working with those customers in the flesh. By Jason Blevins

46 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ Summer 2018

"Sustainabile outdoor gear"

REI

SEATTLE, WA, FOUNDED 1938

LET'S START WITH THE OBVIOUS. THE
venerable co-op-with $2.6 billion in sales and
17 million members in 2017-boasts one of the
largest outdoor product lines in the world. The
retail giant redesigned its REI house brand in
2016, with new products, technical materials,
and reengineered gear aiming to establish REI
as a top-shelf brand more than capable of competing against the industry's premium players-
not just a bargain alternative. In early April, the
co-op debuted product-sustainability standards for each of its more than 1,000 brands,
outlining expectations for how companies
balance environmental and social impacts of
production. The effort stemmed from REI's

Courtesy REI

T

HE FIGHT IS ON: E-COMMERCE CONTINUES TO SUCK AWAY BUSINESS. MORE AND
more manufacturers continue to open brick-and-mortar outlet stores and sell
directly to customers. To counter these moves, outdoor retailers have elevated themselves as community hubs. They provide experiential offerings-clinics, movies,
concerts, fundraising events. They have forged unlikely partnerships and championed their vital services and exclusive, often locally made offerings that can't be
found online or in big brand outlets.
And as more manufacturers and online giants usurp the role of independent shop owners,
outdoor retailers are fighting back by moving into their ballparks: Many are creating private
label brands. Moving far beyond the t-shirt, keychain, and ball cap marketing swag, many bigger retailers are crafting technical apparel and gear forged from their years on the front lines
of customer service and anchored in their relationships with shoppers.
This is not a new trend, especially in the grocery business, where just about every product is
available as a private label. The grocery shelves have inspired specialty retailers both large and
small-from Cabela's, REI, and Backcountry to smaller shops like Feral Mountain and Iron
and Resin-to establish their store or website as a product-developing brand capable of nimbly
addressing customer needs based on longstanding and, in some cases, personal relationships.
And the products are not discounted or in any way lesser than those offered by major brands.
Your local outdoor shop's private brand can easily go head-to-head with major manufacturers.
Here's a snapshot of six retailers-large and small-finding vitality with in-house brands.



Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018

OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2018
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MERCHANDISING
MARKETING
BIG PICTURE
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
CHRISTIAN DE LA IGLESIA
SHIRA EPSTEIN
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
RESEARCH
SAWYER LAND + SEA
DISASTER STRIKES
BE THE BRAND
BREAD+BUTTER
PADDLING HARDGOODS
THE RENEWAL WORKSHOP
BROWN GIRLS CLIMB
COUNTER CULTURE
THE VIEW
HOW I GOT HERE
FROM THE ROAD
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2018
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - MERCHANDISING
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BIG PICTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 18
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 22
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CHRISTIAN DE LA IGLESIA
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - SHIRA EPSTEIN
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - RESEARCH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - SAWYER LAND + SEA
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 38
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - DISASTER STRIKES
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 43
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 44
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BE THE BRAND
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 48
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BREAD+BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - PADDLING HARDGOODS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE RENEWAL WORKSHOP
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BROWN GIRLS CLIMB
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - COUNTER CULTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - HOW I GOT HERE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 69
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover4
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