The summer trade show season isn’t what it used to be for action sports brands with the events sector undergoing huge upheaval in recent years as it’s come to terms with brands’ continuous search for improving ROI.
The shows still provide unique services – nothing beats establishing a new client relationship face-to-face, and what better way to properly gauge a sector than reviewing it all in one location – but change is in the wind and this summer is a clear indication of that.
In surf, regional demo shows (Surf Demo Days, Rock On Surf + Surf Out Portugal) are beginning to make their mark, providing a cost effective way for brands to allow consumers to test their products and organisers are hoping that these will evolve into combined b2b and b2c events.
The new big summer player is OutDoor by ISPO, in many ways a reincarnation of the Summer ISPO of old but with added digital services. Even though the primary focus of the show is currently outdoor, this show is well positioned to become a focus for action sports brands for the summer season. Particularly since the demise of Berlin-based Bright trade show, which means skateboarding no longer has a trade show home for summer. Conversely for clothing brands the options have become myriad with Jacket Required, Pitti, Seek, Panorama, Revolver, The Mill to name but a few.
In this, our 97th issue, we visit North Western England for both our retailer profile and front cover. Black Sheep store are one of Europe’s most legitimate skate stores, having won Vans’ coveted Shop Riot series twice thanks to an insane crop of skaters. Shop Co-Founder Terence “Tez” Robinson scores this issue’s front cover with a shot by former Sidewalk honcho, Andrew Horsley. Sticking with skate we speak to Sole Tech’s Baz Janssen for this issue’s Big Wig to hear about their cross-brand strategy in Europe and we also preview SS20 trends in skate shoes, protection & helmets and streetwear plus a look at the burgeoning surf skate category.
Elsewhere we look at SS20 trends in outdoor, boardshorts, swimwear, foiling and we take our first look at ingredient brands to see how these companies are driving the innovations we see in sustainable brand materials.
So while its seems all very transitional, in 12 months time we’ll have a better picture of the winning and losing trends. But fear not, SOURCE will be there to report from the trenches. 18 years and counting, always here to help the industry find a path.
Clive Ripley + Harry MT
Publisher + Editor