Industry News 8/18/2010

B$Z: Four Events Enable More Business at ASR

Four Events Enable More Business at ASR
New dates, buyers ready to do business and complete product mix through four distinct event platforms mark ASR Marketplace 2010

Four event platforms in one location brought over 750 brands and thousands of retailers to San Diego for ASR Marketplace, August 13th-15th. New dates landing in the heart of the sales cycle made for more open-to-buy dollars spent during the show. The combination of CLASS@ASR, Crossroads and now Sacred Craft running adjacent to ASR created a comprehensive look at products, personalities and trends of the surf, skate, swim, moto and fashion markets.

“Brands and retailers were able to accomplish a lot of business in three days and a positive vibe surrounded all four events,” says Andy Tompkins, VP of ASR.  “We also heard good feedback regarding the earlier show dates. The opportunity for buyers and sellers to meet during the product order window allowed for relevant conversations and negotiations on the ASR show floor. This helped to create a more effective show for both sides of the aisle.”
Brands found the event a valuable resource for meeting with leading buyers. “There’s a return of a lot of good accounts like Zappos and Sports Chalet. More retailers here this year are here working,” says John Vance, President of Sanuk. Steve Ward, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing at O’Neill Clothing agrees saying, “After a busy and productive weekend, I can confidently say that ASR exceeded our expectations. Friday was particularly amazing. We were slammed from start to finish.”
Along with hundreds of lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories products, the addition of Sacred Craft and Crossroads brought a definitive collection of hardgoods, the soul of the industry, back to ASR. Enthusiasts were able to attend both events offering retailers a valuable look at the public’s reaction to brands and the progression of product design.
“You get to see so much with fours show all within walking distance,” says Mike DeLuca, Owner, Progressive Skate Park in Atlanta, GA. “This time I came out planning to write more orders than I have in the last year or two. We had a good back to school, so inventories in the shop are low and we’re taking advantage of the deals being offered at the shows. The vibe feels more positive. The sky isn’t falling and we’re all here to work.”
Other marquis retailers agreed with DeLuca’s sentiments. “The most amazing thing I’ve seen is the vibe in the industry right now,” says Bobby Abdel, Co-owner, Jack’s Surf Shop in Huntington Beach, CA. “This has been my favorite ASR event in the nearly 30 years I’ve been attending. We have eight buyers working between the four events. They were booked solid at ASR and Class@ASR for the first two days. Now we are buying and enjoying seeing all of the surfboards at Sacred Craft.”

Retailers from 36 countries accented strong attendance from across the US including a large representation from Hawaii. These retail businesses were a mix of domestic and international specialty, sporting goods, boutique and online retailers representing thousands of storefronts and billions in buying power.  
“By attending ASR, we’re able to position our shops a year and a half to two years ahead of all the other retailers in New Zealand in skate and fashion trends. We’re here to soak it all up, check in with the great shops in southern California and pick up new ideas for setting up our stores,” says Jesse Smith, one of four buyers attending ASR from Cheapskates LTD with 18 stores across New Zealand.
Hundreds of events ranging from skate contests, surf auctions and runway shows offered the marketplace a chance to interact, share ideas and get inspired for the year ahead. ASR is committed to August dates, which offer retailers the opportunity to provide product feedback before the production process. Going forward the show will be held in a Thursday through Saturday date pattern when ASR Marketplace returns to San Diego, August 18 - 20, 2011.