Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 48

vast library of maps can steal hours from a day.
And, while Feral Mountain Co.-soon to expand
to a second location in historic Idaho Springs-
sells big-name brands, Funkhouser is also pushing to establish Feral as a brand, an entity beyond
what's on the racks.
"What I wanted to attack from the start was
building an identity independent of the brands
we work with," says Funkhouser, who abandoned a decade-long career in corporate retail
to open his backpacking dream shop.
He had the shop's t-shirts, beanies, and water-bottles on shelves the day he opened. After
a few months, he huddled with his team to conjure the next step in building the Feral brand.
They came up with the Basecamp Journal. The
hope is the paperback-or leather-bound-
handmade journals inspire customers to explore and record adventures in a creative way.
With a national park checklist and packing lists
for a host of forays, the grid-papered journals
filled a hole Funkhouser saw in the adventuresupply business.
"Rather than wait around for someone else to
do it, we went for it," he says.
Some brands are really good at staying connected with their customers, largely through
their own brick-and-mortar stores. But many
have several layers between them and their
shoppers. Retail shop owners spend all day,
every day with customers. As outdoor junkies
themselves, they can identify opportunity gaps.
"It's easier for a retail store to mobilize around
a retail idea because we see, hear, and feel those
ideas every day," says Funkhouser, hinting that
more proprietary Feral products are in the pipeline and coming soon.
As online markets thrive and brands sell di-

48 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ Summer 2018

rectly to consumers through their own stores,
independent specialty outdoor retailers like
Feral Mountain Co. need to provide products
that can't be found elsewhere.
"The real way to have exclusivity is to create
it," Funkhouser says. "How can we do things that
Amazon can never do? For us, that's events, experiences, and customer services. But when you
are creating exclusive products, you are carving
out a market that Amazon can never touch. The
bigger guys understand that, and it's up to us
small guys to mobilize and make that happen.
You can only survive the next five years if you are
doing things that Amazon can never do."
"Surviving and thriving in retail is
all about differentiation."

MOOSEJAW

MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, FOUNDED 1992

ONE OF OUTDOOR'S LEADING ONLINE REtailers with 10 brick-and-mortar stores carrying more than 400 brands drew the eye of
the world's top retailer last year. Walmart
paid $51 million for Moosejaw as the monolithic retailer ramps up to battle Amazon for
online dominance.
Moosejaw, while offering logo-stamped products since the early 1990s, grew into branded
gear and outerwear in 2008, with packs, outerwear, fleece, and, of course, a wide selection of
t-shirts, hoodies, caps, and beanies. Today the
company has hundreds of branded items.
"The planning really involved looking at
our existing assortment and where we could
add something new and different for our customers," says Moosejaw chief executive Eoin

"Yet another way for us to have that curated,
unique assortment of products."

EVO

SEATTLE, WA, FOUNDED 2001

THIS YEAR SEATTLE E-TAILER TURNED CLICKand-mortar pioneer evo partnered with a pair
of Armada Skis apparel veterans to create an
urban-influenced, mountain-ready lifestyle
line of clothing and accessories, the first for the
17-year-old retailer. "Evo has always been at the
intersection of mountain technicality and city
lifestyle," says evo's marketing boss Graham
Gephart of the new Ballard Collection, which
includes technical yet sleek jackets with highend materials like Allied Down and Polartec.
"We wanted something with a little more of
a style that would fit well in both the city and
mountains. We have always been big fans of the
experiential and service element in retail, and a
lot of what our customers look to us for is a mix
of style, travel, and culture brought together.
This line is intended to reflect a lot of that."
The new Ballard line-made in partnership
with former Armada designers Jeff Russell and
Anthony Boronowski-also filled an inventory
hole in evo's offerings, says the company's head
of merchandising, Steve Osborn. It fits well

Adrian Busse / courtesy evo

EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS
Looking to appeal to its
Seattle, Portand, and Denver
customers' sensibilities, evo
blended style and technicality
in its Ballard Collection.

Comerford. "We were looking for gaps in price
points or capabilities for particular product
categories. We didn't want to just offer knockoffs of best-selling styles at lower prices. That's
a race to the bottom."
Comerford says Moosejaw's longtime brands
were fine with the company's plan to develop its
own gear, so long as the Moosejaw wasn't pursuing a discount price strategy that could undercut their pricing. "Most brands understand
that private brands are just part of the business,"
Comerford says. "Also, the growth of our private
brand was around the same time that our suppliers started going direct in a big way."
Specialty retailers across the continent are reacting to that direct-to-consumer trend and to
giants like Amazon with an increasingly diverse
strategy. Yet every maneuver seems oriented toward survival in a changing world dominated
by giants. "Surviving and thriving in retail is all
about differentiation," Comerford says. "If all
you're doing is selling the same product at the
same price in the same way with average customer service, you're dead. Private brand is just
another way to have a differentiated offering."



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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