Thursday, October 21, 2004

BackcountryBlog.com

BackcountryBlog.com
Big Sierra snows open Mammoth and Boreal in California

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Shane MConkey Signs With K2

Does adding Shane MConkey to the K2 roster with Seth Morrison, Glen Plake, and the Mayer brothers leave room for any other ski companies to build a team of legends. Or is the new game to build the best new school team like Armada.


Check out Powder Mag's quick interview with Shane.
60 seconds with Shane

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

We're #92!

Backcountry.com awarded Inc. 500 ranking of fastest growing companies

Backcountry.com has been named to Inc. Magazine's ranking of the fastest growing privately held companies in America. We ranked number 92 on this year’s Inc. 500 list. The Inc. 500 list is a prescient indicator of the companies and industries that are driving the economy forward. (Does anyone know what ‘prescient’ means?)

To read all the hoo-ha, go here.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Rumor Monger says Skiing Mag to be put to sleep

Now that the Nike/Patagonia/Burton rumor has been effectively killed, lets shed some light on another gossip item that has been floating about...That Mountain Sports Media is going to pull the plug on Skiing Magazine and in its place introduce a new title for skiing and snowboarding, you know the whole mountain culture lifestyle thing.

RM says "Hey, why not? Skiing has so many ex-Outside Mag editors on its staff that a kind of 'Outside Winter' lifestyle mag wouldn't be hard to pull off. It might look appealing to non-endemic advertisers and it would be easier for MSM to bundle that title into an overall ad buy."

I guess, but what snowboard company is going to advertise in that kind of magazine? Heck, what ski company is?

Remember people, it's all about THE LIFESTYLE. You're living it, even if you don't realize it.


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Friday, October 15, 2004

US Outdoor Companies are backing Kerry

In a letter to the American Citizens from Lee Fromson, GM of Cascade Designs, and 31 additional outdoor company managers, they came out with their endorsement for Senator Kerry. They agreed to jointly support Kerry because he shares their environmental values. With Kerry running the country they believe it allows all of us in the outdoor industry to remain competitive and protect our businesses. The letter was also signed by the following head honchos:
Peter Bragden, Vice President Columbia Sportswear – Michael Crooke, CEO Patagonia – Tim Leatherman, President Leatherman Tool Group – Roody Rasmussen, CEO Petzl – Dunham Gooding, President American Alpine Institute – Paul Fish, President Mountain Gear – Peter Metcalf, CEO Black Diamond – Steve Barker, CEO Eagle Creek Travel Gear – Mike Wallenfels, Vice President Mountain Hardware – Tony Post, President Vibram

My thoughts? Kudos to those higher ups willing to stand up for the environment and take a stand against those unwilling to protect it. It is where all of us hike, camp, ski, run, bike, board, skate, climb, paddle and find our peace. To quote Edward Abbey “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” I know, I know, but environmental issues get me a bit fired up.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Backcountry.com Recognized by BizRate.com

I know it's a long Blog- but thought you all would want to read it. Nice work everyone!

Backcountry.com has been recognized by BizRate.com as a “Circle of Excellence” Platinum Award winner for customer satisfaction. The Circle of Excellence Platinum Award recognizes the very best merchants in customer satisfaction, as judged by previous buyers from those merchants.
Founded in 1996, BizRate.com is one of the largest, fastest and most accurate shopping search engines on the Web. With an index of over 25 million product offers from more than 48,000 stores, the site is widely respected as the most complete and authoritative source of online shopping information.
“This is one of our biggest accomplishments. Since the beginning in 1996, we've been focused on creating the smoothest and best online gear shopping experience, period,” said Jim Holland, Backcountry.com’s chief operating officer. “We’re focused on actually surprising our customers by how knowledgeable we are about the gear we sell, and by how quickly we spring into action to address their questions and concerns, and to send their order rocketing to their doorstep. While we will always seek to be better, this recognition tells us that we're on the right track, and it's something we're all proud of. “
Online stores were awarded Circle of Excellence Platinum awards based on above average performance on seven key satisfaction metrics including: Overall Satisfaction, Product Selection, Ease of Finding Product, Repurchase Intent, Product Met Expectations, On-time Delivery, and Customer Support.
To qualify for the award, retailers had to be a BizRate Customer Certified Merchant and represent the top five percent of completed surveys, in terms of volume, from September 1, 2003 to August 31, 2004. Online buyers complete the surveys at the point of sale and after delivery of goods in order to accurately measure the in-store shopping experience and to monitor the store’s post-transaction performance.
"Online spending will keep growing as long as online retailers stay committed to providing the best customer service," said Chuck Davis, president and CEO of BizRate.com. "We are particularly proud of Platinum Award winning merchants because, day-in and day-out, these merchants make it a priority to make every purchaser feel special. In return, they will reap the rewards this Holiday season and beyond."

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Nike looking for new acquisitions....

With the success they have had with the purchase of Converse (they took the hands off approach) Nike is eyeing Burton and Patagonia as possible acquisitions. They believe Burton (who just bought up Forum, Four Square, Genius, and Special Blend) to be a good score to get in with the Gen X'ers and Patagonia to legitimize them with the specialty outdoor retailers. Would this mix work? Would Burton be considered a sell out to Nike and lose the Gen X'ers anyway? And Patagonia under the same umbrella as Burton? What? Not sure about this acquisition. We'll see how it pans out.


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VF moving Jansport Equipment to San Leandro

Vanity Fair, the parent company of Jansport, is moving the Jansport Equipment Division to San Leandro, same location as The North Face which is also under the Vanity Fair umbrella. Mike Egeck, Pres of VF Outdoor, believes it to be a good thing and a way to share capabilities and skills. Some employees are relocating, others are out of a job. What will come out of this move- a Jansport Tadpole? A combo labeled TNF/Jansport pack? Will they keep the separation in tact? We'll find out soon enough- the move will be done by the end of 2nd qtr 2005.

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Monday, October 11, 2004

It's not that bad to share.

Mtn Hardwear has offered an exclusive 1 year invitation to Big Agnes to use it's Atlas Pole System with their tents. This system features a floating pole connector which joins two identical pole sections so a broken pole can easily be repaired on the trail. Smart move by Mtn Hardwear, with 2 strong tent companies behing the innovation it will only gain more credibility within the industry. Way to partner up.

www.bigagnes.com
www.mountainhardwear.com

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Arc'teryx going into bike apparel market

Speaking of Arc'teryx's new president, he was seen prowling the halls of Interbike, all but confirming the rumors that the high performance apparel manufacturer will be introducing a line of cycling apparel next year.

This will be tricky for them for a couple of reasons:
1) No distribution channels (specialty outdoor is not the same as an independent bike dealer). One option would be to leverage Mavic's (another addidas-Salomon property) sales guys to move the product into IBD.
2) Unless they are targeting the small market of high end roadies that drop $5,000 on the latest road rig, they will have a tough time convincing the notoriously budget conscious cycling consumer to pay premium prices, no matter how nice the apparel is.

My guess is that the bean counters at addidas-Salomon are expecting double-digit growth from Arc'teryx next year and to realize those goals, Arc'teryx feels they have to enter new markets. I'm not sure cycling is the answer to their challenge. Just look at how Salomon's cycling stuff has done. What? You didn't know Salomon had a mountain biking line? Exactly.

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It's on: study says online shoppers lead the charge for early holiday shopping

From The National Retail Federation

"Online retailers will have plenty to be cheery about during the holiday season, according to a new survey of online shoppers and retailers. The 2004 Shop.org/BizRate.com Online Holiday Mood Study found that 98 percent of merchants are anticipating online growth this holiday season. Also, 32 percent of consumers plan to do more of their holiday shopping online this year."

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Friday, October 08, 2004

G3 makes skis

G3 is now making skis now. They are expected to be delivered Nov 15th. Not sure how they ski but you can check them out at
www.genuineguidegear.com. They were developed with Paul Parker and he knows telemark but does he know new telemark? I hope they don't ski like their skins worked out of the gate.

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Annual Utah Avalanche Fundraising Party raised $30,000!

Hosted once again by Black Diamond and Uinta Brewing, the Utah Avalanche Fundraising Party was a hit. They raised $30,000 and had 750 people attend - fun party! Great silent auctions, good music and tasty food provided by Rico. All the local backcountry users turned up to support the cause and to kick off the upcoming Winter season. We'll look forward to a safe season and another gathering next Fall. Nice job Colleen.

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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Restructuring of Jansport Sales Force

Jansport has restructured their sales force. The reps are now exclusive to Jansport only. They now rep the apparel and bag lines of Jansport that includes the JSWorks and Modus lines as well. Jansport is part of VF and they are taking on the same rep force structure as The North Face has which is also a part of VF. We are happy that our rep Paul Smith made the cut and will continue to work with us.

Unconfirmed rumors are that the Senior management group may be relocating to San Leandro where the TNF offices are. Remember just rumors.



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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Outdoor Industries Womens Coalition Plans for the Future

Being at 11,000 feet didn't stop the creative minds of the OIWC (Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition) Board of Directors. The annual board retreat was held last weekend at Vail Pass. The Board planned for the future and for imminent growth. The bike industry and the snowsport industry have now partnered with the OIWC by providing events and seminars at their specific tradeshows. Watch for a big push by the OIWC to provide additional education to women within the industry through regional events, seminars and scholarships. The OIWC is the only Nat'l organization supporting women in the outdoor industries by providing opportunities for mentoring, networking, and education. The Board encompasses ladies from the top companies in the industry, such as Black Diamond, Mtn Hardwear, Burton, Kelty, Tubbs and Horny Toad.

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Friday, October 01, 2004

Arc'teryx has a new president

Tyler Jordan will take over Tom Herbst as president of Arc'Teryx. Tyler has been with the company for 10 years and is one of oldest employees with them. He worked under Jeremy Guard to create the revelotionary Vapor Harness. Tyler is a passionate climber and outdoors man. He is super energetic and knows how to get things done. Watchout because Arc'Teryx will be rolling harder than ever.

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