Adam Greene, U.S. Marketing Manager:
What are the three biggest trends you see shaping the market and what you are doing to meet them?
SCOTT has seen a demand for technical base and mid layer apparel that merchandises with our outerwear. Materials such as Merino wool and Polartec are very popular at the moment and are key fabrics in our base layer line. Secondly, the demand for 80’s inspired designs has been something SCOTT has taken note of and included in our 2011/2012 line. Asymmetrical and symmetrical color blocking in both jackets and pants is something we’ve seen an increasing demand for. The last trend has to do with pant fit. We have found both our core ski and snowboard consumer is gravitating away from baggier fitting pants and prefers more of a boot cut or athletic fit.
What are the biggest changes in the outerwear market you’re seeing for this winter on the business front?
SCOTT has experienced an increased demand from both consumers and retailers for outerwear pieces that feature technical fabrics and modern, trendier colors. We have seen a shift back to outerwear lines that crossover into the outdoor category. SCOTT has adapted to meet the needs of both the outdoor and ski/snowboard apparel category by offering pieces that can be sold and worn year round.
What fabrics, colors, and technologies are you focusing on for next season?
Every year SCOTT partners with Gore-Tex® to introduce a new product. This year we are happy to have developed a jacket and pant with their new Active Shell technology. It is an incredibly lightweight material with great breathability. The Active Shell is as good as it gets from Gore-Tex®.
We have continued with fun modern fabrics featuring a yarn-dye bloc plaid and 2-color slub. We also have a print for Men and Women that was inspired by the graphics on SCOTT skis. The apparel line shares many similarities and compliments our hardgoods line offering the consumer or retailer several fun merchandising options.
What are pricepoints doing?
Price points are on the rise. The shortage in the global cotton market, the continual rise in petroleum products for synthetics and a 25% labor increase in China have forced price increases at every level.
Have you changed your distribution at all from last season? Why or why not?
We have. SCOTT has moved away from internet retailers who don’t have a brick and motor retail locations. We have replaced internet retailers with specialty outdoor retailers with store fronts. Not only do we have better control over price points but the customer benefits from the service specialty retailers can offer.
What’s in your crystal ball for 2010/11?
SCOTT is anticipating a flat year in outerwear but increases in headwear and layering.