Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, an organization of innovative specialty outdoor retailers across the U.S., will host its inaugural Grassroots Connect event this November. The first Grassroots Connect takes place November 11-13, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn., and is far more than an early buying trade show, says the group.
While the event will serve as a platform for buyers to build a powerful store presentation, the event also is designed to create a new success blueprint for independent specialty outdoor retailers during an important juncture in the evolution of the outdoor active lifestyle industries.
“Specialty retail is in a critical window of evolution and with that evolution comes incredible opportunity for our membership,” said Wes Allen, President of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and former owner of two specialty retail stores. “Grassroots Connect was launched to support specialty retailers through this evolution, arming them with new best practices specific to outdoor specialty and enabling independent stores to take a prominent position in the connected consumer’s buying journey.”
Grassroots Connect is an invitation-only event for premier outdoor brands and independent specialty retailers. More than 70 of the industries leading brands will be represented, including: Patagonia, The North Face, Under Armor, Ibex, Darn Tough and Hydro Flask. Through Grassroots Connect, these select vendors will have one-on-one time with more than 80 of the leading independent outdoor specialty retailers in the United States. Invitations were extended to brands based on significance of business already done with Grassroots member retailers, and invitations to non-member retailers is based on fit with the independent, specialty focus of the group.
“We’re an independent specialty outdoor retail store based in Telluride, Colorado, and this will be our first year attending Grassroots Connect,” said Erik Dalton, owner of Jagged Edge Telluride. “The standard show schedule is really hectic and they happen at extremely busy times for us — in the middle of winter or the middle of summer. So to find a show that’s happening in early November is great timing and allows us to look at these lines earlier and get orders in ahead of deadlines.”