The Daily checked in with evo buyers to see what brands and categories are selling well in 2022. We also asked about hot sellers so far this snow season.
Evo is an outdoor, snow, and action sports retail powerhouse with a major online presence and seven retail centers globally. The company operates varied retail operations in Seattle, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Whistler, and Hakuba and Niseko in Japan. Another flagship is in the works in Tahoe City.
Evo also owns a hotel in Salt Lake City, and a backcountry lodge in Western Canada.
CATEGORY AND BRAND INTELLIGENCE FROM EVO BUYERS
What categories performed the best this spring/summer? Which were the most challenging?
- We saw strong increases across all winter departments April – August due to the never-ending winter out West and solid inventory.
- We saw strong increases in activewear in both men’s (+ 65%) and women’s (+10%). Consumers continue to lean into athleisure and comfortable apparel regardless of season.
- Tents rose 45%. With the spike in interest in getting outdoors, we continue to see customers investing in experiences by purchasing gear that will allow them to stay outside longer. Our increased investment in tents paid off this season.
- Bike completes fared well as more inventory was available, but we had some major holes which made the category more challenging overall.
- The most challenging areas of the business were in skate/longboarding and surf. Both categories over-indexed during COVID and have seen a sharp drop off ever since.
- Men’s and women’s wetsuits saw sharp decreases year-over-year.
- Bike footwear and bike apparel remained a challenge all season.
Products and Brands
Were there any products or brands that surprised you with how well they did?
- K2, Black Crows and Faction all took big leaps on the hardgoods side. Burton has done well across all categories. Capita continues to fire. The North Face, Arc’Teryx and Helly Hansen were top performers for outerwear. Franchise models like Marker Griffon, Volkl Mantra, Nordica Enforcer 100, Atomic Bent Chetler 100, Burton Custom boards, Union Force, and Burton AK continue to lead sales.
- Vissla made some impressive moves in wetsuits amongst the other major players.
- Madness Skateboards had a great year so far. Meow Skateboards had awesome growth with us by supporting the Skate Like A Girl programs in All Together Skatepark.
- Streetwear and footwear saw impressive year-over-year comps in Vans, XTRATUF, and Vuori. Each of these brands has a unique story to tell.
- PNW Components and OneUp Components fared well with the inventory issues from SRAM and Shimano.
As the winter season gets underway, are there any categories that are doing well so far?
- We’ve seen a return of the resort focused skier as alpine boot sales have once again been trending up and AT/Hybrid boots have been down year-over-year.
- There is continued demand for GORE-TEX in outerwear.
- High-end goggles and helmets are still trending.
- Surfboards and traction pads continue to hold their own heading into winter. We are excited to see more demand in hooded full-suits and booties.
Any early hot sellers so far that you are excited about in outerwear, hardgoods and/or accessories?
- Burton Step On is still captivating the snowboard customer. The Atomic Bent family of skis is reaching new heights as the line expanded from four skis to seven this season. The Season Kin has been a top seller for both ski and snowboard and the new Pass ski has seen great early sales. Oyuki’s launch of outerwear has been great for both men and women, as well as staples like the Flylow Baker Bibs. Value customers are seeking out the Smarty 3-in-1 collection from 686.
- Capita Snowboards is definitely a standout as is Union Bindings.
- Girl Skateboards is another brand that is selling well in our shops and at our indoor skateparks. We love to see some of the local Seattle pros decks moving – Griffin Gass, Simon Bannerot, and Cory Kennedy.
- Anything Deluxe Distribution is doing well. Anti Hero, Krooked, Real, There, Spitfire, Thunder, Venture.
- Vans Surf 2 HI V 5mm boots have been cranking. Lib Tech surfboards are also having their moment.
- Vans MTE collection is selling well – if skate and outdoor had a baby they would have created this line. Fully weatherproof, updated design lines, and rugged performance.
- Brands are dropping new bikes and after two years, our most requested bike models are in stock and selling. Innovation from our best brand partners is coming!
When you placed the buys for this winter, is there one product or new brand that you were super excited about?
- The O’Neill 5/4+ Hyperfreak Chest Zip Hooded wetsuit: There’s something special about that TechnoButter neoprene!
- There Skateboards: We love what they are bringing to the industry. Great work folks!
- Parks Project: Fun branding, great prints, tons of great gift ideas.
- Vuori: Beautiful holiday collection that will speak to core consumers and their expansion into jackets and vests.
- Ignik: Incredible story, focused on sustainability.
- As we expand our kid’s assortment, everyone is really excited about WeeDo Funwear. It’s a kid’s-specific brand that makes fun and playful jackets and snowsuits. It allows kids to bring their imagination to life in the snow through all the brand’s fun characters.
Editor’s note: Read our full interview with evo CEO and Owner Bryce Phillips on our sister publication, Shop-Eat-Surf.