Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 47

yearslong efforts to install sustainability in its
own branded products.
"We've been able to use our own private label
to understand both the challenges and opportunities of making sustainable outdoor gear,"
says Matt Thurston, REI Co-op's director of
sustainability. "That work has informed how
we approach sustainability."
"An opportunity for us to give them
more of the goat."

BACKCOUNTRY
PARK CITY, UT, FOUNDED 1996

WHILE IT MAY BE AN ONLINE SHOP COMPETing with specialty brick-and-mortar, there's
a lot to learn from Backcountry's private label
venture. After all, that white goat is everywhere.
More than 20 years ago, Backcountry launched
as a fledgling online discount retailer selling
avalanche beacons. Today it stocks more than
1,500 brands and ranks as specialty outdoor
retail's shop-slaying disruptor. And now it has
its own branded line of products. In early April
the 1,500-employee online juggernaut unveiled
its first-ever in-house private label line, with
mountain bike and lifestyle collections as well
as backcountry touring gear made in collaboration with Flylow, Smartwool, Black Diamond,
and DPS Skis. With 180 specifically crafted
styles across five lines, this is more than goatstamped clothes.
Backcountry's proprietary products include

shirts, jackets, camping gear like tents and sleeping bags, and urban-inspired lifestyle clothing.
Backcountry worked with manufacturers to create six lines of branded products, five of which the
company will produce itself.
Of course, Backcountry has already been
making products for several years, under the
Basin + Range and Stoic labels. And, according to Diana Seung, Backcountry's executive
vice president of merchandising, that process created a learning ground that helped to refine internal operations and best practices. However, the
company's ultimate goal was always to launch
a Backcountry-branded line. "We took our time

BOUND TO SUCCEED
Feral Mountain Co.'s
Jimmy Funkhouser
hopes his Basecamp
Journal will inspire
customers to seek
adventure.

"IT'S EASIER FOR A RETAIL STORE TO MOBILIZE AROUND A RETAIL
IDEA BECAUSE WE SEE, HEAR, AND FEEL THOSE IDEAS EVERY DAY."
-JIMMY FUNKHOUSER, FERAL MOUNTAIN CO.

getting there because you only have one chance
to launch your namesake brand and you have to
do it right the first time," Seung says.
Furthermore, Backcountry has an ardent
cadre of savvy "Gearheads," service reps who
work with Backcountry customers-more than
5 million times a year-to guide purchases and
discuss different aspects of outdoor gear. Put all
these factors together and Seung feels the company already possessed all the knowledge and
structure to launch its own branded lines.
"We needed to ensure we incorporated
Gearheads in every step of the process because
of their gear and apparel expertise and the rich

customer insights they have," she says. "Their
feedback, along with a strong assortment segmentation and marketing strategy, set us up for
success." Backcountry's most loyal brands-
many that have helped the company become a
retail phenomenon-supported the plan for a
private label. Some "jumped at the opportunity
to build collab products with us," says Seung,
noting that partner manufacturers recognized
it was only a matter of time before Backcountry
launched a namesake brand.
"Many of them even asked us what took so
long," she says. "Our intent was not to create
a competing brand, rather one that would be
complementary to our existing portfolio of
brands. We don't win by cannibalizing sales
from our existing brands, we win when we see
growth across the whole spectrum. We see our
goat logo stickers everywhere, and launching
Backcountry gear and apparel was an opportunity for us to give them more of the goat and
have a deeper connection with the brand."
"The real way to have exclusivity is to create it."

FERAL MOUNTAIN CO
Carlo Nasisse (top), courtesy REI (bottom)

DENVER, CO, FOUNDED 2016

PLENTY OF ROOM
Retailers believe
there's enough
space in the outdoor
market for privatelabel brands to
coexist alongside
established names.

FROM HIS CROOKED-FLOORED CABIN SHOP
on Denver's bustling Tennyson Street, Jimmy
Funkhouser is bent on a singular mission:
Create adventure. His ample supply of used gear
opens the outdoors to a wider community. His
well-stocked rental closet enables first-timers
to sample the outdoors minus the big spend. His
Summer 2018 / OUTDOOR RETAILER 47



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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