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Wednesday, FEBRUARY 6, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 2

Outdoor Footwear Brands Talk Price and Value

In an increasingly promotional environment, consumers of all kinds are looking for a deal — and even in the features-oriented outdoor market, brands say making sure they’re offering value at an attractive pricepoint is critical. But what does “value” mean for today’s outdoor shopper? Here, five outdoor brands lay out the way they’re looking at the price-value equation for Fall ’19.

Chaco: Playing the long game

Takeway: Consumers want to know their purchases are going to last — really last. Emphasizing premium materials and repairability lets them feel good about their purchase, even if the initial pricepoint is higher.

“We’ve seen products stripped down and price points fall to unbelievable lows in recent years, but savvy consumers are realizing that these prices come with shortened product lifespans. They are looking to buy quality, long-lasting and hard-wearing products again. The stigma of used is no longer a detriment, but instead an avenue to buy high-quality products at more accessible pricepoints. If brands build products that last, consumers can sell quality, gently-used products through resale marketplaces to people who otherwise couldn’t buy into the brand. Brands will prevent more products from going into the landfill and create consumer loyalty with resale dollars towards buying new products. It creates a virtuous circle for brands and consumers. [We also offer] ReChaco Repairs: Our Z/sandals are built to last and designed to be repaired when needed.” – Adam Garrett, VP of Product for Rockford, MI-based Chaco:

Lowa: Banking on Versatility

Takeaway: Younger shoppers want an approachable pricepoint, but what they respond to is athletic feel and function.

“Our business in the U.S. has lagged behind Lowa’s globally and is still challenged, mainly by price. However, as a percentage of sales, it has booked nicely and the trend line is up. Multi-purpose, athletically inspired outdoor shoes are certainly where there is a lot of opportunity, especially with a younger customer than we traditionally enjoy.” – Peter Sachs, GM of Lowa North America:

Adidas: Attracting New-to-the-Outdoors Consumers with Approachable Style

Takeaway: Consumers just getting into the outdoors want performance and style, but need it at a price they can justify.

“Designing value-priced, quality products are critical for Fall ’19. While the traditional performance consumer is demanding top-of-the-line technology and function, the newcomer is looking for a version of those same features at an entry-level price point. Brands are paring down and providing a selection of styles with great quality for novice and general lifestyle consumers. The athleisure category continues to grow and more consumers are becoming interested in outdoor sports for recreation, expanding the breadth of outdoor sports market consumers.” – Greg Thomsen, managing director for Adidas Outdoors U.S.

Garmont: Going Where the Consumer Is

Takeaway: As a brand with big name recognition reestablishing itself in the North American market, making its product pricing competitive here is critical.

“What we’ve learned in the last several seasons is finding that balance point where consumers will find the value in the product. We’ve had products that have been too expensive, and we readjust our pricing based on what we learn. And it’s seemed to have a really strong impact. We look at it from the consumer perspective and as consumers ourselves. As a small specialty business, we [are able] to look at it that way, and make sure products are priced where consumers would think it was a good value, and it’s definitely paying off.” – Bill Dodge, CEO of Garmont International North America:

Vasque: Emphasizing Heritage

Takeaway: Consumers see value in a brand that has a history.

“We see challenges around consumers perceptions around pricing and distribution. We believe that there is still incredible importance in brands that have stood the test of time – and illustrating what’s made that lasting power possible. I’d say that opportunity certainly applies to Vasque, and we’ll ensure that we’re educating all around the product, but also about the brand that’s been bringing consumers technical, durable footwear for our 55th year in 2019.” – Joe Peters, head of marketing at Red Wing, MN-based Vasque.