Retail: 63
Retail: 140
Subscribe Now!
Mon, Aug 28, 2017
Vol 1, Issue No. 33
Monday, January 08, 2018
Volume 2, Issue No. 01

Outdoor World of Marcus Lemonis Taking Shape

Intent on building a profitable outdoor retail empire, the CEO of Camping World and reality TV star Marcus Lemonis continues to fine-tune his strategy with acquisitions, ongoing lease negotiations and store openings. When all is said and done, not likely until sometime in 2019, Camping World may emerge as the mecca for everything outdoor lifestyle both in-store and online. The ever-expanding business is showing viability as a major lure for the outdoorsy Millennial set, much like the older hooks-and-bullets crowd has embraced Bass Pro and Cabela’s operations (now one) in recent years.

Last week, Lemonis announced he was acquiring the four-door, 35-year-old Midwest outdoor specialty chain — Glendale, WI-based Erehwon (nowhere spelled backwards) Mountain Outfitter. This follows Camping World’s October acquisition of Uncle Dan’s. It’s surmised here that the buying staffs of both businesses will provide expertise and input to Gander Outdoors’ parent on merchandising, key must-have and emerging outdoor brands and successful navigation into ecommerce. In July, Camping World bought, which fulfills orders from 200,000-square-feet of warehouse space in St. Paul, MN and has some off-price similarities to TJX-owned Sierra Trading Post.

“The growth of our outdoor categories will initially come from the opening of stores,” Lemonis told Camping World analysts in November. “…But as you look at the other acquisitions…we are clearly looking at brands and businesses that can give us the same results and that have online presence.”

Meanwhile, CWH’s major objectives for the emerging Gander Outdoors’ chain, which will open 69 stores by the end May across 21 states, including 11 in Wisconsin, eight in Michigan and five in Minnesota, are: return on capital, margins, customer experience and database name collection, says Lemonis, who says only profitable lease deals were struck on spaces in the 30,000-50,000-square-foot range. Fifteen of the first 60 stores are expected to have RV Camping World centers co-located with them.

The revenue target for Gander Outdoors in FY19 is “north” of $300 million following $30-35 million in projected expenses from H2/17 through FY18, including the cost of inventory.

“For me, that is really the cost of ramping up the business, and I feel like the return on that money will be significant,” Lemonis told analysts.

NFL=No Fulfillment League

No joy under our Christmas Tree. Fanatics fumbles our mystery shop.

The National Football League’s problems have apparently even infected its web business, which is run by Fanatics.

Sports Insight Extra mystery shopped six leading sports websites over the holiday season and most, including,, backcountry, all performed admirably: delivering on time and keeping us appraised of pending shipments. But in an era where performs with relentless efficiency and Zappos ships shoes with cheerful competence, was the Cleveland Browns of web retailing.

Here is the sad tale of our efforts to purchase an Alvin Kamara Saints home jersey.

Ordered the jersey on November 24, 2017 (plenty of time for the holidays, right?).

Received an e-mail the next day saying jersey would ship on December 15.

When we did not receive a confirmation on December 15, we called and were told it would ship on December 18 and arrive December 28 (Kind of pointless for Christmas gift).

After two calls, we found a responsive CSR who overnighted it for delivery on the 20th.

It arrived on the 20th and was 3XL instead of L. When we called and requested re-delivery of the right size we were told that they were “out of stock,” and that we were basically out of luck. We spoke to a supervisor who promised that she would e-mail “headquarters” and we’d receive a response within 24 hours, but alas the Saints had their first playoff game this past weekend and no one has e-mailed or called. (It’s also noteworthy that she told us she worked for a third-party call center and not the actual company).

Now, there’s a chance that our order was one of the few that was messed up over a busy holiday season. But there’s also a chance that what we experienced underscores that Fanatics is not ready for the big time just yet. For the past year, league officials have privately expressed concern that Fanatics’ checkbook and ambitions outweigh its ability to execute. The fact that they were not able to competently deliver a jersey from a hot player on a playoff team with 30 days lead time does not reflect well on its ability to read the market, react quickly and manage their supply chain and customer experience. If this is true, it’s a serious issue because Fanatics has major licenses with just about every sports league on the planet.

To us, as fans and consumers, it also reflects poorly on the NFL. When Zappos botches your shoe order (which they seemingly never do, by the way), you don’t get mad at Cole Haan. When Fanatics fumbled this (which they did from the outset), our reaction was to get mad at the NFL. The site after all is called

Fanatics public relations was contacted about this experience prior to Christmas and asked to provide feedback. They never got back to us.

Retail Round-Up
Beantown’s Sneak(In)Easy Anything But; Bracing for More Bankruptcies

Source: Nike

Despite single-digit temperatures, hundreds braved the cold on Saturday to line-up outside Boston’s pop-up Sneakeasy store on Tremont Street looking to snare Kyrie 3 Rayguns or Air Foamposite One Galaxy Big Bangs from Nike. Others in line sought special Jordan and Converse exclusives. But many left disappointed after the joint venture between Foot Locker and Nike was abruptly shuttered after a few fights broke out in the long line, according to the Boston Herald. Foot Locker officials did respond to the paper’s inquiry for comment.

Moody’s Investors Service is projecting the default rate among high-yield retailers to fall to 5 percent in October, but only after peaking at 11 percent in March. The U.S. retail and apparel segment had 11 defaults in 2017, and the number of store closures is projected to increase 33 percent this year with the potential of 25 major retailers filing for bankruptcy protection, according to Cushman & Wakefield research.

Zumiez is now projecting annual comparable store sales to rise approximately 7 percent after comps for the five weeks ended December 30 improved 7.9 percent on higher transactions, units per transaction and average unit retail prices fueled by a stronger men’s business followed by women’s and footwear.

Sports Authority signage is being removed from Denver’s NFL stadium this month although the venue will continue to be called Sports Authority Field at Mile High due to some upcoming events. The retailer breached its naming rights contract, signed in 2011, in August 2016.

Bass Pro-Cabela’s has yet to decide how many staffers will remain in Cabela’s former corporate hometown of Sidney, Nebraska. Cabela’s former CFO Ralph Castner is relocating to Springfield, Missouri to take over the same position for the combined company.

Nike CEO and president Mark Parker was recently named “Person of the Year” by Forbes Walter Loeb for being a real disruptor in retailing.

Quiksilver Parent Acquiring Rival Billabong

The $155 million deal, first announced December 1, is projected to close in April and create a company with more than a dozen surf- and action sport-inspired brands with over 7,000 wholesale accounts across 110 countries, ecommerce operations in 35 and 630 retail doors across 28 nations. What happens with the emerging firm bears watching given that the popularity of surf-inspired wear, including board shorts, peaked in the 1990s, and both companies have struggled mightily in recent years. Will the emerging entity make additional marketing and product development investments in their portfolio of surf labels? Or, look to sell-off individual labels to the highest bidders to profit on its purchases?

Oaktree Capital, which controls Quiksilver parent Boardriders Inc. and 19 percent of publicly-traded Billabong, is orchestrating the marriage. In October 2015, the Los Angeles-based private equity firm, a specialist in buying financially-strapped companies and turning them around, infused a bankrupt Quiksilver with $175 million and assumed majority ownership. Months later, after securing more than 90 percent of the former ZQK shares in a refinancing package, Quiksilver abandoned its public NYSE shares listing. Subsequently, Oaktree changed the corporate name of the Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoe parent to Boardriders and began right-sizing the operation headed by CEO Pierre Agnes. It created an experiential retail concept worldwide, Boardriders, to re-invigorate the brands and promised mid-single digit revenue growth going forward.

As for Billabong, the Oaktree purchase offer is seen as a life preserver for the company founded in 1973 on Australia’s Gold Coast by Gordon Merchant and his wife. The acquisition price represents only 5.2 percent of Billabong’s market capitalization a decade ago. Five years ago, Billabong rejected a takeover bid four times the size of Oaktree’s current offer. Now, two key Billabong investors have tentatively approved the current buyout deal that Chairman Ian Pollard has said is necessary to avoid “ongoing risks and uncertainties associated with the business.”

In its latest fiscal year ended in August 2017, Billabong annual revenues fell more than 10 percent to the equivalent of $340 million. More than 28 percent of the company’s 372 retail stores operate in the company’s home market. Four years ago, Billabong was forced to write-off the value of its namesake brand after breaching the terms of a debt covenant and seeing its revenues fall below operating costs.

The Buzz

Under Armour inks a deal as the official high-performance footwear supplier to Canadian Olympians through the 2024 Games.

Sensoria is collaborating with a German company, presumably Adidas or Puma, on a smart apparel “e-skin” golf shirt. The collaboration is being officially announced at CES this week.

Yeti strikes multi-year partnerships with a number of mountain resorts, including Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Copper Mountain, Killington and Steamboat Resort, to become the official cooler and drinkware brand of the locations. Resort visitors will use YETI products at on-mountain lodging facilities and be able to purchase at resort retail shops.

Tubes of the Week


Numbers In Play
The Sports Insight Index is our opinion of what we think are the 30 most important public companies in the industry, 15 vendors and 15 retailers. Space considerations prevent us from tracking more, but we will make changes over time.
Index base of 100 is key to the closing prices of 12/31/14
With 2017 in the rearview mirror, we offer the Sports Insight Index for the full year and the last two weeks. It should be noted that during 2017 there wasn’t a single day when the S&P 500 fluctuated more than two percent. Overall, the S&P 500 Index gained 19 percent last year. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones 30 surpassed 25,000 during the first week of January as it was reported the U.S. jobless rate held steady at 4.1 percent. Stock market indexes hit new highs on January 5, the day after this SI Index period closed, as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted their best weekly gains in more than a year, bolstered by tech stocks. As for the retail sector, there were eight stocks up and seven down over the two weeks. Foot Locker abruptly closed a Sneakeasy pop-up store in Boston on January 6 with dozens of customers lined up on a frigid sidewalk looking for hard-to-find Nikes and Jordans. Macy’s announced November-December period comparable store sales rose 1.0 percent and a dozen more store closures in 2018. The department store has already closed more than 120 locations since 2015. An update on Kohl’s will come tomorrow when Chairman, CEO and President Kevin Mansell delivers an address at the ICR Conference in Orlando. Big 5 shares fell more than 5 percent after gaining 12 percent over a month-long period that ended in December.
Split week for the sector with seven stocks up, eight down for the two-week period. Callaway, ahead of this month’s PGA Show in Orlando, introduced its XT Forged Utility Irons and signed a foursome of golfers to its equipment endorsement team. They included Sergio Garcia, who continues his long-term apparel deal with Adidas, and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. GoPro reportedly lays off 200-300 staffers, including all in its Karma drone unit, which will be shuttered next month, according to sUASNews. Adidas, which intends to release more than 100,000 pairs of its Futurecraft 4D models by year-end, wants a federal court in Kentucky to dismiss the lawsuit brought against it by Rick Pitino or move the case to Oregon. The Three Stripes intends to debut the next Kanye West shoe, the Yeezy Powerphase, this spring. Under Armour, meanwhile, loses tennis champion and endorser Sloane Stephens to Nike and is sued for trademark infringement by Battle Fashion Inc. over the trademarks “I Can.  I Will” and “I Can Do All Things” used in marketing Stephen Curry products.

INDEX (12/31/14 - Present)





Year-End Index

Retail Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 01/03/17
Close on 12/29/17
% change over time
Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV)
Sports Direct (LON: SPD)
Camping World (CWH)
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
Finish Line (FINL)
Foot Locker (FL)
Genesco (GCO)
Hibbett Sports (HIBB)
Kohl’s (KSS)
Macy’s (M)
Sportsman’s Warehouse (SPWH)
Shoe Carnival (SCVL)
Tilly’s (TLYS)
Walmart (WMT)
Zumiez (ZUMZ)
Brand Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 12/14/17
Close on 12/21/17
% change over time
Acushnet Holdings (GOLF)
adidas (ADDYY)
Amer Sports (AGPDY)
Callaway (ELY)
Columbia Sportwear (COLM)
Deckers Brands (DECK)
Fitbit (FIT)
GoPro (GPRO)
lululemon (LULU)
Nautilus (NLS)
Nike (NKE)
Skechers (SKX)
Under Armour (UA)
VF Corp. (VFC)
Wolverine Worldwide (WWW)

Weekly Index

Retail Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 12/21/17
Close on 01/04/18
% change over time
Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV)
Sports Direct (LON: SPD)
Camping World (CWH)
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
Finish Line (FINL)
Foot Locker (FL)
Genesco (GCO)
Hibbett Sports (HIBB)
Kohl’s (KSS)
Macy’s (M)
Sportsman’s Warehouse (SPWH)
Shoe Carnival (SCVL)
Tilly’s (TLYS)
Walmart (WMT)
Zumiez (ZUMZ)
Brand Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 12/21/17
Close on 01/04/18
% change over time
Acushnet Holdings (GOLF)
adidas (ADDYY)
Amer Sports (AGPDY)
Callaway (ELY)
Columbia Sportwear (COLM)
Deckers Brands (DECK)
Fitbit (FIT)
GoPro (GPRO)
lululemon (LULU)
Nautilus (NLS)
Nike (NKE)
Skechers (SKX)
Under Armour (UA)
VF Corp. (VFC)
Wolverine Worldwide (WWW)

Sports Insight Extra Podcast Series

Nikki Barua

The old way of retail is dead, and there is a massive opportunity to re-invent, proclaims the CEO of Beyond Curious in Los Angeles.

Matt O’Toole

President of Reebok dishes on the brand’s mission and objectives from its headquarters in Boston.

Gabriella Santaniello

Retail expert dishes on what’s going right and wrong in industry today and weighs in on the Walmart vs. Amazon tussle.

Guy Yehiav

The CEO of Profitect addresses the right medicine for changing the paradigm of accountability—prescriptive analytics.

Pat Ryan

Batter Up! The global product director for baseball/softball at Wilson Sports details the new USA Baseball standard that took effect January 1 and what it means when you hit the store this spring looking for a new stick for junior.

Patrick Clark

President of Nextwave, a Buford, GA system integrator, discusses benefits of an on-demand apparel microfactory, a bridge to Just In Time manufacturing, from Sourcing at MAGIC in Las Vegas.

Shawn McBride

Ketchum Sports & Entertainment EVP talks Olympics—impact of three consecutive Games in Asia, social media, corporate guerilla marketing and drawing in younger consumers.

Tyson McGuffin

Tennis pro Tyson McGuffin, 28, talks about the rising popularity of pickleball and how he became a champion in the sport.

Bob Mullaney

The 20-year shoe and retail industry veteran, recently named president and CEO of RG Brands, dishes on the comfort footwear business and Barry’s iconic Dearfoams brand.

Bob Smith

The design consultant who began his 20-year career as a graphic artist for Nike dishes on the blur between lifestyle and performance and the importance of Struktur, the creative conference for active, outdoor and urban design.

Rob & Mike Barnes

The co-founders of Selkirk Sports, a Hayden, ID maker of Pickleball paddles and accessories, dish on the rise of the sport that counted 2.5 million participants in 2015.

Brendan Candon

CEO of SidelineSwap, an online marketplace for used sports gear and equipment, dishes on the market and whether it steps on the toes of traditional, full-line retailers.

Dave McGillivray

The long-time race director and long-distance runner weighs in on marathon participation, the future of event marketing and his latest venture that may bring a marathon to a MLB ballpark near you.

Paul Froio

Reebok’s VP of U.S. Retail and Direct-to-Consumer channels talks about the company’s new South Boston headquarters and adjacent global flagship store.

Aquiles M. Bermùdez P.

The former president of the Dominican Association of Free Zone Companies and current member of the National Commission of Footwear addresses the industry, Dominican Republic’s infrastructure and Footwear Technology Institute.

W. Andrew Martin

The managing director for Baird in Charlotte, NC discusses the M&A climate, consumer loyalty to brands today and the impact of private label.

Mark Sullivan

The president of Formula4Media, LLC previews The Running Event conference and trade show set for November 28-December 1 in Austin, Texas.

Bryan Smeltzer

The general manager of Zamst Americas talks sports protectives, dispelling some of the consumer and athlete misconceptions about the category.

Emily Walzer

Formula4Media colleagues Emily Walzer, Textile Insight editor, Jennifer Beaudry-Ernst, footwear specialist, and contributor Kurt Gray, owner of SimplyGrayDesign, dish on key trends from the final Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City.

Judith A. Russell

Shifting consumer purchasing patterns are vital to understanding today’s marketplace. Russell, a marketing and strategic planning professional, offered up her thoughts at TexWorld in New York on a panel with Sports Insight Extra’s Bob McGee.

Will Decker

Family-owned Silicon Valley firm Plug and Play, which dubs itself the “Ultimate Startup Ecosystem,” has raised over $6 billion in venture funding during its 11 years while bringing corporations, venture capitalists and start-ups together.

Matthew Lyon

In the fragmented hydration market, where price points for performance products are on the rise, HydraPak is an OE supplier to numerous brands and has its own lightweight, flexible products.

Eric Hayes

Superfeet Celebrates 40th Anniversary. The employee-owned company introduces footwear and rolls out a 3D printed insole program.

Shawn Neville

BOA introduces New Tech and Names New CEO. Nothing will constrict Boa Technology CEO Shawn Neville from helping the Denver company improve its customized fit solution.

Waingarten and Frydlewski

No strings attached. The married Argentinean couple has raised nearly $20 million for Hickies, a Brooklyn company addressing how athletic shoes are closed around the foot two eyelets at a time.

Michelle Carmichael

The Co-founder and Managing Partner of Partners Growth, which brings premium brands into the U.S. market, talks Finnish children’s wear brand Reima. 

Brian Beckstead

Six-year old Altra is teaming with Utah State University to develop outdoor design talent.

Declan Condron

Let's Go Hyperwear: Former Equinox personal trainer merges the innovative, functional fitness gear from Austin, TX company with programming for schools, camps and institutions.

Hugues Gontier

Sly and Simple. and its technology enable a retailer to interact with customers in store and track traffic. No beacon required. The CMO explains the benefits of the platform.

Reza Raji

The CEO of Xenio Systems talks about the company’s new platform that tracks where shoppers spend time in physical stores and its patented hyper-positioning technology.

Jacob Torres Espino

The director of export promotion for Mexico’s Guanajuato State government agency addresses the proposed impact of the Border Adjustment Tax by the U.S. and the possibility of a renegotiated NAFTA free trade agreement.

Isabelle Ohnemus

The founder and CEO of EyeFitU, a former investment banker, talks ‘glocal’ assortments, shoppers’ personal sizing and global web payment options.

Tom Cove #2

The president and CEO of the SFIA addresses the most serious threat the industry has faced in the past half-century and the expected re-introduction of the PHIT Act by Congress.

Matteo Scarparo

The Italian global trade expert in footwear talks about the present and future of TheMicam trade show and the potential impact of a Border Adjustment Tax in the U.S. on imported shoes.

Dr. James Eakin

Dr. James Eakin, chief marketing officer and director of U.S. operations for Xenoma, discusses the Japan company’s e-skin shirt and entire wearable category.

Rusty Saunders

Industry senior statesman Rusty Saunders dishes on industry leadership, pressing issues and the inactivity pandemic.

Barbara Barclay

Expert Barbara Barclay, president of RightEye, talks eye-tracking technology and her company’s recent alliance with Major League Baseball and USA Baseball.

Julie Sylvester

Julie Sylvester, Executive Producer at Living in Digital Times, talks trends likely to emerge at Sports and FitnessTech Summit at CES in Las Vegas.

Chris Palmer

Chris Palmer, Founder and CEO of BoxFox, talks excess inventory and solutions for vendors, retailers and distributors.

Susie McCabe

Susie McCabe, SVP of global retail for Under Armour who previously spent 16 years at The Ralph Lauren Corp., dishes on UA’s retail strategy and new Brand House in Boston.

Tom Cove

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Rich Harper

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Stephen Lamar

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Bill McInnis

The president of Reebok Future discusses the intent of the unit and the brand’s plans to develop footwear in a new way.

Tom Fowler

Polar USA CEO Tom Fowler talks technology and the future of smart wearables.

Paul Schille

TREW CEO Paul Schille dishes on the eight-year old company in the process of completing its Series A round of funding and his dual career.

Jason Kaplan

Milestone Sports CEO Jason Kaplan dishes on the company’s low-cost, wearable pod and how it will help specialty retailers connect.

Duncan Finigan

OOFOS marketing executive talks about the recovery footwear brand and candidly about her courageous personal health journey.

Matt Priest

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America President Matt Priest the likelihood of the Trans-Pacific Partnership being passed soon.

David and Josh Higgins

ING Source executives dish about compression technology and the Hickory, NC company’s breakthrough OS1st Brace Layer System.

Charles Liberge

Jones & Vining’s Charles Liberge addresses strategies and directions for the iconic brand.

Jim Baugh

PHIT America’s Jim Baugh dishes on the inactivity pandemic.

Sue Dooley and John Daher

Rockport Group senior executives talk about the brand’s fresh start under new ownership that has a major emphasis on versatility.

Josh Shaw

Mission Athletecare CEO Josh Shaw says thermoregulation is the New York company’s singular focus.

Tim Porth

Tim Porth of Octane Fitness talks trends, Zero Runner and the company’s January acquisition by Nautilus Inc.

David Costello

The principal and founder of Rising Tide Associates talks about industry advocate lobbying for the domestic textile and footwear industries.

Steven D’Angelo

The ‘47 brand executive dishes on the Boston company and long-time MLB licensee founded by his father Arthur and his late Uncle Henry.

Pam Gelsomini and CB Tuite

Pam Gelsomini, president, and CB Tuite, VP–sales, discuss the company’s products, partnerships and what’s new for the season ahead.

Kenneth G. Andres

The tradeshowdirector for the American Sportfishing Association casts comments on the activity’s popularity, and trends in fishing.

Dick Sullivan

The principal and founder of Rising Tide Associates talks about industry advocate lobbying for the domestic textile.

Dave Coradini

The VP of sales and sponsorships for Spalding, Dave Coradini talks Shot Tracker and basketball.

Scott McGuire

The executive brand and product innovation leader dishes to F4M’s Emily Walzer on an array of topics.

Kelly Davis

Snow Sports Industries of America’s Kelly Davis talks weather, participation trends and how to handle the psyche.

Kevin Davis

The CEO of Performance Sports Group dishes on new bat standards and Own the Moment.

Gene McCarthy, Pt 2

Gene McCarthy, president of Asics America, speaks to Jen Ernst Beaudry on specialty run and more in the second part of the podcast.

Gene McCarthy, Pt 1

Gene McCarthy, new president of Asics Americas, dishes to F4M’s Jen Ernst Beaudry in the first of a two-part podcast.

Richie Woodworth

Saucony’s Richie Woodworth offers his views on brand’s running business and what it takes to manage through change.

Bruce Cazenave

Bruce Cazenave, CEO of Nautilus Inc., recently ranked 23rd on Fortune’s “Fastest Growing Companies” list.

Tony Armand

Armand is leading USB, created after the April merger of Shock Doctor and McDavid.

Gary Smith

Gary Smith has been at the helm of the Lawrence, MA firm for three years, and his 2016 strategies will broaden Polartec’s scope.

Marty Hanaka

City Sports CEO Marty Hanaka has 42 years in retail, starting at Sears in 1973.

Mike Dowse

Wilson Sporting Goods, one year removed from its 100th anniversary and a major restructuring, has a renewed focus and strategy.