Anticipating and staying current with market trends is essential for any company involved in the rapidly changing outdoor performance sector. At this season's ORSM'16 show, NPD, the leader in point-of-sale tracking for the sports industry, provided its usual in-depth view of the market, using targeted data-driven point-of-sale tracking. The analysis looks into the total outdoor market retail sales for the entire U.S., and helps companies understand the impact of various trends on both individual businesses and outdoor industry as a whole.
Matt Powell, NPD's VP of industry analysis, announced that the outdoor industry sales totaled $18.9B for the 12-month period ending May 2016. This represents a +0.7% increase in dollar sales, -2.6% decrease in units sold, and +3.4% increase in ASP (average selling price), compared to the 12-month period ending May 2015. The Top Outdoor Apparel Categories as reported by NPD included Outdoor Footwear and Outerwear. While the overall apparel numbers were relatively flat, there were some bright spots in YOY (year over year) sales increases. Outdoor footwear rose to $455M, an increase of +10.9%, and active bottoms recorded sales of $1.3B, an increase of +6.5%.
As the outdoor market continues to move forward in the development of innovative materials for outdoor garments, several exhibiting companies at ORSM'16, which was held August 3-6, 2016, showcased a variety of technical products made from fabrics that provide an elevated level of protection for use in outdoor environments.
Concept III reports that new PFC-Free TREATED fabrics are generating interest. There is a growing market segment of environmentally conscious consumers, as well as government and industry regulations requiring more green technologies in both apparel development and processes. Altopel F3, a new advanced innovation by Bolger & O'Hearn, with an environmentally friendly chemistry, provides an advanced Fluorine-Free Textile Finish treated with a high degree of durable water repellency that doesn't sacrifice performance. Having completed 6-weeks of successful testing conducted by the Hohenstein Institute, Concept III announced that the initial results showed a 95 Spray Rating after 20 washes on woven polyester and woven nylon fabrics. Additional testing is being done to test the same fabrics after 50 washings. As a fluorocarbon-free aqueous product based on a hydrophobe-fortified polymer and propriety additives, Altopel F3 is a blueSign approved product that uses a novel crosslinking system providing excellent laundry durability for a variety of fiber types and fabric constructions. Several international brands are actively testing this impressive product, and F3 is expected to be incorporated into garments by 2018.
Concept III also announced Kingwhale's new partnership with Hornwood in North Carolina, which will manufacture Kingwhale's fabrics in the U.S. by 1st quarter of 2017. These made in America fabrics will be NAFTA/CAFTA compliant.
Nilit® Fibers showcased its warm weather NILIT® Performance Yarns. NILIT® Breeze is a nylon 6.6 cooling comfort yarn that keeps wearers feeling refreshed and comfortable when the temperatures rise. It provides a cooling effect and helps maintain body temperature during and after physical performance in hot weather. NILIT® INNERGY is a nylon 6.6 yarn with a built-in, naturally occurring mineral additive that creates FIR emissions with a proven tested emissivity of far infrared rays back to the body, combined with proven antibacterial and UV protection properties. NILIT® AQUARIUS transports moisture away from the skin, through the garment toward the outside air to keep the wearer feeling comfortable and dry. NILIT® BODY FRESH is a high performance antibacterial yarn possessing feel-good properties for active workouts in hot weather.
CoolVisions® maker of the first dyeable polypropylene staple fiber, introduced its new CoolVisions® dyeable polypropylene filament fiber that provides functional fabrics with an aesthetic upgrade. CoolVisions® dyeable polypropylene filament debuted earlier this year in a collection of weft knit fabrics by Taiwan's Da Fon International. The eco-friendly blends of polypropylene and polyester are engineered with the quick-drying, highly breathable CoolVisions® polypropylene filament against the skin. Da Fon's CoolVisions® fabrics are currently appearing in Santo's Win-Fit 2016 performance line. The dyeable filament is offered in two versions: CoolVisions® Standard for light to medium dyes; and CoolVisions® Dark, which achieves deeper shades with less dyestuff on dark colors.
Schoeller® promoted its Cosmopolitan collection of performance fabrics. Created with a modern life in mind, this group is a specifically chosen line that creates liveable apparel for today's active lifestyle, allowing for seamless movement through a variety of activities. The fabrics provide athleisure comfort, mobility and functionality, using natural and technical fibers. Also tested for extreme conditions by alpine athletes and city bike commuters, these textiles are perfect for everyday life, which can also be challenging at times. The fabrics provide a wide array of multi-functional properties including adaptability to a variety of conditions, moisture management for personal comfort, natural odor management, long-lasting easy-care properties, along with using bluesign® ecologically-approved renewable materials and finishes.