Business Journal


In his first interview as Mountain Hardwear's new president, Joe Vernachio talks about the brand's relationship with retailers, diversity in the industry, and a renewed focus on climbing

It's the scrappiest of start-up stories: Three twenty-something backpackers launched this Ohio shop seven years ago with big dreams, true grit, and 13 credit cards

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Learn more about the environmental impact of the durable water repellent (DWR) on your gear

In its filing documents, Emerald identified potential areas of growth, including creating or acquiring international events

Outdoor companies are benefitting from opening their own retail brand stores across the country. But is their move into brick-and-mortar good for independent specialty shops, too?

In Episode 13 of the Innovation Project, Black Creek Outfitters' Joe Butler talks about how his shop provides experiences as much as it sells products

We visited Taos Mountain Outfitters to see how its new owners have turned the store around

In episode 12, Richard Kassar, owner of the The Benchmark Outfitters in Cincinnati, reflects on the challenges of being a core outdoor retail shop in a region that lacks wilderness opportunities

Chopwood Mercantile is a tiny Colorado shop with a massive vision of what specialty outdoor retail could be

In episode 11, Pack Rat proves that sustainability isn't a task that only big brands can afford

Next Adventure's new and used gear concept is a perfect fit for Portland

Partnering with an organization that helps underrepresented young adults find internships is surprisingly simple. And it's likely to be highly effective.

In the 10th episode of The Innovation Project, Alpenglow Sports owner Brendan Madigan explains the alternative motivations behind his community-focused retail shop

Bill Amos, CEO of NW Alpine, explains why domestic manufacturing is more attainable than you might think, in spite of its challenges

Because nothing’s better than a cold beer after a mountain bike ride.

Grassroots remains united with Outdoor Retailer and Outdoor Industry Association and withdraws its 2018 Connect show from Sandy, Utah

Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Outdoor Research, says the outdoor industry needs all hands on deck

Retail giant Walmart has purchased Moosejaw Mountaineering for $51 million

Shelley and Andrew Dunbar, owners of Sea to Summit’s North American distribution, have purchased the Boulder, Colorado, outdoor shop out of bankruptcy, and plan to bring it back to its former glory days as one of the most beloved, iconic, and authentic outdoor shops in the country

Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz posted on Instagram late Wednesday night that he has heard the message loud and clear: America doesn’t want its public lands to be sold. He plans to drop H.R. 621, which would have put up 3.3 million acres of land for sale. “I’m a proud gun…

Outdoor women are strong as hell, says Misadventures writer Carolyn Highland. It's time to band together and get to work.

In episode 8 of The Innovation Project, Chris Haunold, owner of Idaho Mountain Touring in Boise, discusses how his personal interest in gear drives what he sells in the shop

Episode 8 of The Innovation Project: Sportago

At a time when other established European brands are pulling out of the U.S., Salewa is jumping into North American specialty retail

In the 7th episode of The Innovation Project, we profile Mountain Hardware & Sports

In the 6th episode of The Innovation Project, Midwest Mountaineering founder Rod Johnson explains how his need for cheap gear led to Minneapolis' first outdoor shop

Tom Barney shares 10 “aha” moments from his first week working the sales floor as part of The Retail Immersion Project

Your store doesn't have to close or falter when you retire. OBJ asked buyers, sellers, and financial experts for their advice on creating a solid succession plan. Here are 6 tips to pass the torch successfully.

In the 5th episode of The Innovation Project, Summit Hut's Dana Davis explains why they pay their employees to go hiking

Bridging the gap between brands and shops by embedding C-level executives onto the sales floor, The Retail Immersion Project kicks off with Tom Barney and Durango, Colorado-based Backcountry Experience

Episode 4 of The Innovation Project: CEO Eoin Comerford, of Moosejaw

In Episode 3 of The Innovation Project, Great Outdoor Provision Co. President Chuck Millsaps explains why getting customers outdoors is so important

Independent sales rep and owner of Top Gun Sales, Kurt Smith explains the sacrifice and dedication it takes to become one of the industry's most widely respect reps.

In Episode 2 of The Innovation Project, we talk to Jimmy Funkhouser, founder and owner of Feral Mountain Co. in Denver, Colo.

Amid competitive pressure and an attempt to diversify, Polartec is betting on a new, smaller scale manufacturing facility in Tennessee, leaving its union in Massachusetts behind. The pragmatic private equity approach is in stark contrast to the days that long-time employees remember, when former CEO Aaron Feuerstein led the company with his heart on his sleeve.

In Episode 1 of The Innovation Project, we feature Mike Donohue, co-owner of Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington, Vermont

The kind of behavior Donald Trump bragged and joked about is very real for women with wilderness jobs. It's not "locker room talk," and it's not OK.

Introducing The Innovation Project

Manufacturers put tons of effort into predicting buyers' whims when it comes to color. Here's how gear designers peer into the crystal ball.

Members of the Outdoor Access Working Group Dan Nordstrom and Rebecca Bear argue a public lands streamlined permit process would benefit the groups who need it most

Tours aren't just for rock bands. With direct sales eating away at specialty shop bottom lines, road shows featuring retail events offer a symbiotic solution. Here’s how to do them right.

By partnering with local organizations in Nepal and eco-conscious brands, George Basch, founder of the Himalayan Stove Project, is helping families cook safer

Pro adaptive climber Craig DeMartino has overcome life-changing injuries. Now, he's working to help others overcome their own obstacles.

Tap into the adventure travel burst and market to frequent fliers with tips from the brands and retailers who do it best

Conservation photographer Florian Schulz discusses his new book, The Wild Edge, and how he uses photography to encourage conservation efforts in North America and the Arctic Ocean.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden on the history of Verde Brand Communications, her latest venture, and when you should start looking into partnering with a PR agency

These brands have been plying their wares since before the National Park Service gave everyone a place to play

Black and brown people are conspicuously absent in our parks, forests, trails and rivers, as well as in the aisles of our industry's trade shows and offices, says author James Mills. Here, he offers insights as to why it's vitally important to add more color to the natural world, and 5 things you can do to grow diversity.

After a turbulent period of restructuring, layoffs, an attempted sale and a major manufacturing shift, Black Diamond Equipment is refocusing on its core market

A trade show calendar packed full of large, small, and regional events has left many retailers, reps and manufacturers strapped trying to figure out the best way to focus their resources. In response, Outdoor Retailer is releasing a new web-based survey that could result in (more) major changes to the big show's dates and format. So we asked exhibitors, retailers and reps: What does the ideal trade show calendar look like for the industry? Can all the various shows remain relevant? How can attendees get the best return on investment? No surprise: It’s complicated.

Stephan Aarstol’s appearance on ABC’s reality business show Shark Tank did not start out well. The founder of California-based Tower Paddle Boards found himself awkwardly silent after a problem with his slide show caused him to lose his train of thought. He swore. Kevin O’Leary, one of the “sharks,” as…

Betty Reid Soskin worked her way up from Jim Crow laws and bleak employment options to become the oldest (and one of the most respected) rangers in the National Park Service

Women’s gear is niche no more. It’s hard to imagine a world in which women didn’t have access to outdoor gear that’s optimized for them. But that wasn’t always the case: Ill-fitting apparel and hard goods were the norm for women as recently as 20 years ago, and even now,…

When Kickstarter was young, fresh and newsworthy on its own, at the dawn of crowdfunding, Peak Design founder Peter Dering decided to take a chance. He was sick and tired of slinging his DSLR over his shoulder or neck while hiking, only to have it slam into his body at…

Hydro Flask announced Monday it will be acquired by homegoods giant Helen of Troy for roughly $210 million. Helen of Troy owns Dr. Scholl’s, OXO, Revlon, Honeywell and dozens of other consumer brands. Hydro Flask is based in Bend, Ore., and is expected to have net sales revenue of $65…

As gear companies increase their direct-to-consumer sales, “pro deals” and “friends and family" promotions, retailers protest that they can’t compete. They’re being undercut and left holding the bag on inventory they can’t possibly sell at the same discounts. Todd Frank, owner of The Trail Head, an independent Missoula, Montana-based specialty outdoor retailer, says enough is enough. If vendors continue to offer these discounts and lure his customers away, he’ll stop doing business with them—and he calls on other retailers to join him. must pay a civil penalty for falsely marketing rayon products as “bamboo,” the Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday. LLC must pay $150,000 for continuing to break the law after receiving warnings from the FTC in 2010, according to a press release from the FTC. Other national retailers were…

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Black Diamond Inc. (NYSE:BDE) and its public stockholders

New owner Vista Outdoor will add the hydration bottle, back and filter company to a collection of more than 30 outdoor and sporting goods brands

Partnering with TSG, Backcountry will expand into adjacent categories and international markets, as well as enhance marketing and brand building efforts

Among other things, Patagonia learned that some its suppliers in Taiwan were using labor brokers to bring in cheap, and potentially forced, migrant workers

Can Beyond Surface solve the industry’s DWR problem? Find out why Patagonia is banking more than $1 million on it.

The best formula for environmental-friendly practices and products is to make them profitable says Patagonia's director of environmental strategies

Critics claim the industry's go-to water repellent needs a makeover. Brands race to find an eco-friendly, high-performance formula.

As outdoor retail leader grows, it looks to maintain connection its with consumers. Can a larger REI also remain small and local?

Emerald Expositions group sales director, Marisa Nicholson, to replace Haroutunian as show director

More backpackers, fishers and hunters are meeting up at camp, and increasingly using the same type of gear. What's the crossover potential?

OBJ has the inside scoop and first look at the new Toad & Co. with CEO and owner Gordon Seabury.

Columbia Sportswear to pay $190 million for the yoga, climbing and lifestyle brand to expand categories and better balance seasonality

Rue Mapp talks to us about how the outdoor industry can overcome some its diversity shortcomings

OBJ talks to new Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario to find out where she sees the brand heading

No decision has been made, but company officials told investors they are giving a serious look at retail stores to promote the brand and sales

CGPR President dishes out social media tips, how to react to negative news, and where small brands on a budget should focus their PR efforts

Ted Manning tells OBJ his plans for Ibex, where he recently took the post of CEO

OBJ takes an in-depth look at the growing business with its effect on retail, the latest strategies and how brands are attempting to walk the fine line between vendor and competitor

In reporting its quarterly results Friday, Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq:JOUT) revealed previously undisclosed financial details of its recent Jetboil acquisition

Another day, another acquisition in the outdoor industry. On Wednesday, Jetboil became the latest of more than a dozen outdoor brands to be scooped up this year. Find out how the brand fits in with its new owner Johnson Outdoors.

Black Diamond lifted the veil on its closely guarded, initial line of apparel, giving its top dealers, investors and OBJ an exclusive first look at the products in Salt Lake City

Black Diamond Inc. continued in its acquisition mode, announcing plans Monday to acquire Austria-based Pieps, best known for its avalanche transceivers, probes and other winter safety gear. OBJ has the first interview with Black Diamond CEO Peter Metcalf, plus details on why winter safety is a top bright spot for the wintersports market.