All season? All good. The presence of all season apparel and footwear was evident at the latest edition of Outdoor Retailer (Jan. 7-10) in Salt Lake City, according to Cowen and Company.
In Cowen’s show recap, the financial services firm picked up on lighter than usual traffic, but described the vibe to be noticeably more positive compared to the summer show in August 2015.
The show’s mood may have been lightened by the amount of brands placing safer bets on transitional products instead of performance products. By focusing on year round product, Cowen said brands are offering a “lower risk of retail markdowns by presenting innovative merchandise that transitions from season to season and backs away from extreme performance.”
Skechers landed on Cowen’s radar with new innovations in its walk and lifestyle categories, and for its slimmer silhouettes. In particular, Cowen said Skechers’ golf category shows a significant growth opportunity for the brand with attractive $100 price points. The report noted that consumers who generally use the brand for comfortable walking shoes are adopting it for the activity.
In apparel, Cowen reported that numerous vendors played it safely by presenting updated versions of successful technology franchises in expanded product range. Others introduced technologies with a good track record into entirely new product lines. Lightweight innovations trended, with vendors like Gore-Tex and Polartec incorporating more packability into products. Cowen said more companies are in favor of sustainable down procurement.