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ASR Back To School Packs a Punch

March 16, 2005

ASR Back To School Packs a Punch

(March 16, 2005) ASR’s Back To School event held March 8-9 at the Hilton Waterfront Hotel this year in several of the hotel’s banquet rooms, is the last in the series of Summer / Fall preview shows which began in early January.  This show is small in comparison to ASR’s two blockbuster shows in January and September, but that’s a good thing – that’s how it’s supposed to be.  By no means is it any less important to the Buyers and Exhibitors that attend.   The Back To School show is commonly referred to as a “Writing Show” or “Working Show” where everyone that attends comes to get work done, and have some fun on the side.   Start up companies and industry-giants are side-by-side in a compact setting where no one company has a much larger presence than another. 

This show gave Retailers a chance to review & pre-book Exhibitors’ Fall lines, as well as squeeze in last minute Summer orders.  A small show with lots of horsepower worked well for Nathan Pratt, Z-Boy legend and CEO of Z-BOY®.  For Nathan and Z-BOY® the ASR Back to School Show was great because the new company is focused on getting it’s full product range, including decks, footwear, apparel, and accessories in front of Retail Buyers.  “For us it’s good because with Z-Boy we want to get it out there and let people start buying”, said Nathan.  Buyers were booking last minute orders for summer and pre-booking fall orders with Z-BOY® consistently throughout both days of the show.

Over 600 Retail Buyers, from single-door specialty retail to mega-retail were out in full force.  Buyers had the opportunity to take time with 100+ Exhibitors to discuss business.  Spencer Getty, General Manager of Freestyle Shop located in Rancho Palos Verdes, found the show to be just what he was looking for, “It’s great to be able to see new people and meet new accounts that we’d like to open up.  Since I came on board with Freestyle Shop we’ve been opening new vendors, and a lot of them are here today.  This intimate format allows me to sit down and get to know the reps that we have been and will be working with.  It has a personal feel, and is very productive.” 


This sentiment is echoed by many other Exhibitors as well, Kevin Ashford (right), MCD National Sales Manager said, “It’s really conducive for doing business.  The calm environment allows you to talk and discover more about your customers business, and discover their business needs.”

Companies that are building a presence in the Action Sports Industry enjoyed visibility and solid foot traffic.  “The buyers like the show a lot.  That’s why I’m here.  The big players are here, which is exciting for the buyers, and it puts us in with the big guys in a visible spot” said Jenn Ryan (left), Founder of Mooloolaba who experienced great success last year at the company’s debut ASR show as well as this year.

Of course it was not all business, there were definitely good times to be had as well.  Oakley used the show to debut The Razor.  That’s right, the Razor is back!!  Back from the 80s just in time for summer love & mullets in its original style and color ways.  “The reason we’re here is to showcase our new eye-wear.  We’re bringing back the Razor Blade from the 80s with all the fun colors.  And we have 3 new fashion based styles which we wanted to show off to the surf industry for a glimpse at one part of the future of Oakley.  We’re excited to be here: support ASR, set up a little beer garden and invite all the retailers and companies to have some fun” said Ronny Nelson from Oakley.