Industry News 9/19/2004

ASR September Show Wrap-Up

ASR Results in Rapid Returns on Investment for Brands and Retailers
Established companies and emerging brands see great results with new accounts and massive exposure

Laguna Beach, CA (September 13, 2004) – The rising tide of action sport’s popularity worldwide in concert with creative events brought together in a business environment result in one of the strongest ASRs ever. Coming off a solid back-to-school season buyers came ready to write orders with thriving established and hot, new companies at ASR, September 10-12th in San Diego. Tapping into the energy and resources of a strong industry, brands came to the show with creative Spring 2005 lines.
“We are happy to see retailer and manufacturers relying on ASR as an important part of their business plan,” says Kevin Flanagan, ASR Show Director. “Brands are investing in new booths, exciting events and using the show as a platform to launch new lines while buyers are utilizing the show to make big purchasing decisions.”

The 10% increase in booth space gave the industry an early indication that the industry is growing and ASR is the first step many brands choose to take. Contributing to the increase were 60 new brands including Insight, Plain Jane Couture, WE, and West.

Not only was there traffic and energy in the aisles, but booths were packed were packed with people viewing new lines and writing orders. Mike Glenn, Marketing Manager for O’Neill confirmed this firsthand, “This time it seemed like people were doing business, writing a ton of orders, this is the way the show is supposed to be run.” An emphasis by ASR to bring in quality attendees, those who need to be there to do business, not just a sheer quantity of people on the floor was immediately appreciated by both brands on the floor and hard working retailers. “There were a lot more retailers here, and more importantly, they were here to do business,” says Roy Cox, sales for Zoo York. Mikke Pierson, co-owner of ZJ’s Boarding House, confirms that from the buyer side, “More people are coming to do business and having a good time doing business – both the brands and shops are bringing a great sense of involvement to build brands as a partnership.”

Universally retailers look to ASR as a learning experience. Milo Meyers and his shop Hanger 94 attend ASR to find everything from trends, new brands, even shifts in design and fabric all under one roof. “We learn from what is happening in the aisles, the buzz, what the kid’s are wearing,” Meyers says. He points to the emergence of a heavy metal influence and the continued presence of art in fashion beyond T-shirts into wovens and denim at brands like Low and Jedidiah as some of next season’s hotter fashion shifts.

Beyond the buying and business within booths, many retailers really look at the value ASR provides for networking with other retailers. Duke Edukas, co-owner of Surfside Sports in Newport Beach, found the show to be well set up and appreciated the user friendliness of ASR. He sends his buyers to the show to write orders and finds ASR to be the prime platform to look at the bigger picture, “It is a great opportunity for us to share thoughts and network with other retailers who are in similar business situations, get new ideas, while resolving issues with brands we currently work with in person.” Taking the practical and making it tactical, retailers took advantage of complimentary business advice and networking opportunities at various seminars over the weekend with shops sometimes dedicating one employee just to attend.

Zoo York who launched a full women’s clothing collection at ASR and Analog, which debuted at ASR last year, made the notables list for retailer Bill Wright of the Wright Life in Ft. Collins, CO, who was looking for, “companies pushing the edges – moving streetwear to the boutique category, while still offering credibility.” Many buyers were impressed with the direction of skate companies, including French retailer, Jerome Sutter from Ride Spirits who highlighted Giant and Dwindle for going the right way and used his first ASR to make appointments, which he found very efficient, and meet contacts in person.

Swim was buzzing with energy, feeding off ASR Splash, the 05 swim fashion show, hot first time brands like Love Surf Love and established players like Vitamin A and L*Space. La Jolla based Salinas was busy through the final show hours opening a bunch of new accounts including big names like Hobie and Sun Diego.

New to ASR, Cabral used ASR not only to reach out the US surf shops and boutiques, but also to get into international shops in Brazil, Italy and Japan. Big companies like Rip Curl felt the international presence too, “We opened more new accounts this year, with a bigger influx of international accounts from Asia, Latin and South America,” said a happy Adam Sharp, VP of Marketing and Sales at Rip Curl.

Offering more than just business opportunities, ASR was packed with events reminding us of why we’re in this business. Thousands, including San Diego’s local skate community, were on the floor to check out the Es Game of SKATE in which PJ Ladd topped Eric Koston for a $10,000 check and serious bragging rights. Swim fashion was broken into themes and set to rock as ASR gave swim and accessory brands a chance to strut their suits for 2005, at ASR Splash.  The Skateboard Feud, had the great minds of the skate world going head to head with skate trivia for a chance at big bucks and Sector 9 closed down day one with a stress-relieving rendition of dodgeball.