Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) announced today that the three winners of the Reinvent Retail Innovation Contest are TREW Gear, The Outdoor Source, and Gear to Go Outfitters.
As part of OIA’s Outdoor Retail of the Future initiative, the contest was launched at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market to inspire members to share how they are using key insights from IDEO’s research on outdoor consumers to implement new and innovative retail practices. The winners developed business strategies around one or more of the following opportunity areas to connect with a broader base of outdoor consumers: social+connected, experiential, inclusive and accessible.
During the 2013-14 winter, TREW launched a mobile retail store to expand their reach. A renovated recreational vehicle (RV) toured the country for six months, visiting outdoor specialty retailers and attending outdoor industry events, building brand visibility by being on the road and in front of the expanded target market.
“First, we wanted to create an exceptional experience for customers, both new and existing, by crafting an environment that allow us to highlight our products,” says Trip Frey, president,
TREW. “Second, we wanted to partner with brick and mortar retail shops to educate the staff and perhaps more importantly, assist in achieving positive sell-through.”
Faced with increased competition from nationally known outdoor retailers, The Outdoor Source in Columbus, OH hosted in-store events and classes to strengthen customer relationships and inspire them to shop at their store.
“Women’s Nights” and “Beer and Gear” events attract big crowds. “We have events that bring customers into the store and our guest speakers are a big hit,” says owner, Andy Graham. “Our introduction clinics help the first timer get familiar with our store, the equipment and what to expect from that activity.”
To inspire urban consumers to get outdoors, Gear to Go Outfitters has launched the Trail Taxi service. With very few hikes accessible by public transportation, the Trail Taxi will take people to trailheads outside of the city and come back to pick them up.
“Combining a full service in-store experience with innovative tactics for broader consumer reach, like the Trail Taxi service, is paying dividends for the store,” said Kevin Rosenberg, Gear to Go founder. “This inclusive, accessible and experiential business strategy is also a key differentiator from the more established outdoor retailers in the area.”
“TREW Gear, The Outdoor Source, and Gear to Go Outfitters are great examples of companies who are stepping outside the traditional retail practices to engage new consumers,” said Christie Hickman, OIA’s Vice President of Market & Consumer Insights. “By recognizing the need for innovation in a time of big change for our industry, they are proactively welcoming a larger audience of consumers into the world of outdoor recreation through education and services that align with their lifestyles.”
Logo courtesy Outdoor Industry Association