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TSG / Distribution • Brand Development • Logistics
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SIA Recap

By all accounts SIA 2014 was a hit. The show had renewed energy, good foot traffic and a level of optimism that hasn’t been seen in quite some time. 
 
Attendees were buoyed by the cold weather and snow in the East, the increased skier traffic in the Intermountain region and the prospect of powder skiing at the on-snow demo at Copper Mountain. 
 
There wasn’t a great re-invention of products from suppliers, but more of a refinement of existing goods within existing product concepts. Unlike years past there were not an abundance of new ski or snowboard brands sprouting up signaling a start of some stabilization in the startup market.
 
One major theme starting to emerge from the trade is Customization. There is a clear desire from the consumer to alter the look and feel of their product to make it their own. Easier said than done on most categories, but brands are starting to adapt to the trend. Sidas for example is starting with a “Flag Buckle” for ski boots. There are US, Canadian, Swedish, Norwegian, French and Russian buckles available. For those of you who took us up on our Beer & a Buckle invite, you have seen a preview.
 
We rolled out a new TSG booth, complete with the “Canadian” beer fridge. To say it was a hit would be an understatement because as fast as we could fill it… it was empty…and quickly at that. The booth had a number of product displays per category and workstations to view specific products. The booth featured a back shop that was a good representation of what is needed to get a workshop up and running. We brought Keyser presses, riveters and a sampling of Sidas tools to demonstrate how to work on ski boots.
 
Heat continues to be a big story with power packs, heated gloves and heated socks in the product offerings. We expect to see some great innovation with the Sidas and Therm-ic brands as battery technology is being driven by the car industry and element technology by the textile companies.
 
Kim was kind enough to bring a selection of skis he and his brother John are collecting. All are un-drilled and in original condition. They have an amazing collection that deserves to be on display for all to see. The skis generated a lot of interesting conversations and reminiscing about the halcyon days in the ski industry. Needless to say it is an impressive collection and one we hope to showcase more in the future.

– Jay Taylor


Our Canadian shop kid for this installment of the TSG newsletter is:

Dave Michaels, aka "Junior"
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Junior moved to Banff years ago and never looked back. He has fit in quite nicely with the crew at Soul Ski & Bike www.soulskiandbike.com. When not working the presses in the back room, making foot beds or attaining that perfect “Black Boot” fit, you can find him in the mountains playing in the winter snow or the mountain dirt.  He has also been known to throw on the spandex and hit the road. And, if it’s the end of the night and he is nowhere to be found, you might just find him playing his guitar at open mic night. A man of many talents that Junior is!

Forecasting for Future Success

Forecasting is one of the most difficult tasks we encounter at a “Brand” level and we go through multiple rounds in order to get it done. The first round is perhaps the easiest to try and get correct as it is at a 10,000 foot level so to speak. We make some general assumptions about the past seasons business and then factor out the outliers and any “one off” aspects of the business.
 
The second forecast looks at each country individually and we have a regional view by brand then category and finally by product grouping to determine overall trends. Key accounts are factored in at this level and TSG works with them to get initial ideas and direction as to where their business is going.
 
Finally the last round of forecasts we do is by territory with a number of representative accounts in the territory. These accounts don’t have to be the largest nor the most specialized, they just have to represent a cross section of the territory.
 
 After three or four rounds of forecasting we have a fairly good idea of what the overall business may look like for the upcoming season. Kim is a master spreadsheet builder and we asked him to share some of the tools he uses to consolidate forecasts. He built one that we think is pretty useful when it comes to figuring out what to put on the wall for next season. We encourage you to check it out.

Happy Forecasting!!!
   Download XLSX Form here >>
Dissent Deemed Essential Gear for Sochi

Firstly, a huge thanks to everyone who stopped by the SIA booth to say hello and take the time to look at the Dissent Labs line-up. The response from staff and boot-fitters everywhere has been overwhelmingly positive, and it is greatly appreciated.
 
Following the SIA show, the Sochi Olympics absolutely dominated the news, and it was great to see some Dissent product hitting the podium. In particular, an extraordinary comeback from knee surgery for Kelsey Serwa landed her a silver medal in Women’s Ski Cross. Prior to the games, it was an honor to see on ESPN that Kelsey’s Dissent Labs base layer bottoms were her
Essential Gear for Sochi !

Kelsey Serwa, freestyle skiing says:
Dissent Labs 3 Quarter Compression Nanoglide Base Layer Bottoms:

"I spend long days on the hill, and these base layer bottoms gives me optimal temperature regulation, comfort and muscle support... I feel that I last longer on the hill and am less fatigued at the end of the day." Following the Olympic games, winter truly arrived in North America, and it has been incredibly busy right into the last part of the season. As the weather hit, and the Dissent Labs team of athletes travels and films in earnest, the word-of-mouth excitement for the Dissent Labs compression ski socks and base-layers  spreads even quicker. Along with stalwarts like James Heim, Eric Hjorleifson, and Ian McIntosh, newer additions to the Dissent Labs family of athletes this season include Julian Carr, TJ Schiller, and Sierra Quitiquit, among others. We are very fortunate to have such vociferous support from them. 

Follow @dissentlabs on your social media channels, and check out the #dissentfamily updates often. Over the spring and summer months, we will still certainly be out testing and developing product - there is always snow somewhere!  Please feel free to reach out with questions or suggestions, at any time!
TSG Teams Up with Lalo Footwear

Footwear is en ever evolving category. It’s trend-setting, always changing and emotive…really, who doesn’t like a new pair of shoes? Now, if those new pair of shoes were some kick-ass pair designed, developed and tested by Nathanael Roberti, a former US Navy SEAL and his still active duty Teammates…wouldn’t that be even better?
 
TSG is providing distribution and logistics services in Canada and will support the back end of the LALO brand as it expands globally. 
 
LALO Footwear has been designed by the best in the business for the best operators in the world. LALO has built a best in class tactical product that is currently being supplied to the US Special Forces Operators.
 
Athletic deliveries are slated for late June and are geared toward all the activities and training Special Forces Operators go through to keep themselves in combat ready fitness.
 
Check out the LALO story, available product and more at:  
www.lalotactical.com
Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars and come hang with TSG at the following 2014 tradeshows. We will keep you posted on Booth #'s and upcoming TSG events throughout the year. Stop by, catch up, shoot the bull and have a beer with TSG.

Outdoor Retailer, August 6-9th, 2014
Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah. Summer market delivers the widest and most comprehensive outdoor buyer demographic that has open-to-buy and a passion for the outdoors. It is the largest outdoor sports shoe of its kind and caters to a specialty audience.   outdoorretailer.com

The Running Event, December 2-5th, 2014
T
SG will once again be at the premier conference and tradeshow for running specialty retailers, The Running Event, December 2-5, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX.   therunningevent.com

TSG Facebook Page
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facebook.com/thesozegroup   and stay connected to TSG. Featuring updates on new and existing product, an insider’s view of the “culture” that makes us who we are, and some plain good ol’ K.SOZE fun!
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SIDAS • THERM-IC • HOKA/CANADA • KEYSER TOOLS • DISSENT


VISIT US ONLINE:  TheSozeGroup.com  • EMAIL US:  office@TheSozeGroup.com

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