Atlantic City. The “Boardwalk Empire,” where the casinos are downtrodden and the homeless aplenty. Ellicottville’s local winter sports stores sent a contingent of people to New Jersey in the midst of January. No, it wasn’t so they could party and participate in the moral terrorism that is MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” Employees of local shops traveled to Atlantic City to attend EWSRA’s (Eastern Winter Sports Reps Association) regional trade show.
The show’s purpose is so the brand representatives can showcase their company’s product for next season. You’re probably asking yourself a few questions, like “why in the world would Ellicottville’s local shops go to New Jersey?” or “Why are they viewing next year’s product now?”
Shop owners and their employees are looking at next season’s product because the buying cycle is here - meaning that orders are written now for next season. It can be a slippery road to navigate, mainly because businesses in this region can never be sure of the climate next week - let alone next year.
The show in Atlantic City is just one of the many that take place all over the country, until SIA (Ski Industry of America) holds its national convention in Denver, Colorado. For owners such as Mike and Jodie Timkey of the Boardroom Snowboard Shop, the regional show is clutch.
“We can’t be out of the store that long (to go to Denver),” Mike said. “The regional show is great. We can brainstorm, look at some product first-hand and make some rough estimates as to how much product we will order for next season.”
Another complement to the regional show is the On-Snow Demo, which is held in Stratton, Vermont. There, shop employees are given the opportunity to test and critique next season’s hardgoods.
Held January 11-14 at a local convention center, the show in New Jersey had ski and snowboard companies both big and small. Reps from companies such as Burton, Salomon, Mervin Mfg., Line, Spyder and many more had the chance to show off new and exciting product to the shops’ buyers.
Both ski and snowboard had awesome new technologies to show off, such as Salomon’s new “BBR” technology, Mervin Manufacturing’s “Banana-Traction” and the easy-in, easy-out lens system from Oakley.
As many in WNY are only just ramping up for the season we currently sit in, shop owners are already thinking the about future.