Behind the scenes at ISPO
Over 2,600 international exhibitors, over 80,000 visitors from 110 countries. Without exaggerating it is safe to say that ISPO Munich is massive. It's also the place to go if you want to make sure that you are getting your stock for next winter.
For over 45 years Munich has been the natural gathering spot for manufacturers, retailers, distributors and everyone else that has an interest in outdoor, ski, action, performance sports, textrends, and health & fitness. For a retailer like us at Nordic Outdoor it gives everyone involved an opportunity to get a look new product ranges from existing suppliers, discover potential new suppliers as well as getting a face to go with the voices you have spent hours with on the phone over the course of the previous year.
For someone who loves outdoor gear, the amounts on display at ISPO can get almost overwhelming. There are entire halls, three of them and they are not small, dedicated to the outdoor sector alone where everything you could potentially need (and probably more than that in fairness) for a day out and about can be found. It is lucky perhaps, that this is not a place where you buy for here and now or more than one could be guilty of going overboard in the sheer excitement of the occasion.
For a retailer the lead time to get new stock in is roughly nine to twelve months. That means that for the winter of 2016 now is the time get the orders placed to ensure that products are on shelves and hangers in time. When buying for a shop you can of course pick from a catalogue – something that is not as uncommon as you might think. However, just as is the case for you as a customer – to make sure that you get it right there is no replacement to actually seeing a product first hand, feeling the fabric between your fingers, and trying it on for size.
While there are of course other considerations in the whole process, bringing products in to our shops is not all that different from buying as an end consumer. After all, if we aren’t convinced of the greatness of the products we bring in, how could we then aim to convince you that you should have them? For us at Nordic Outdoor it is also important to meet the people behind the products in person, and hear their story, to make sure that they fit in with our ethos.
So what did we get up to this year then? Of course some time was spent with all the usual suspects. There were visits at the stands for Aclima, Didriksons, Lundhags, Fjallraven, and of course Light My Fire who all have new exiting additions and colours for next winter. Of course these visits focus on the future, and the hopefully hugely successful products ready to be ordered, but also on the past and here the opinions that we get from you are much appreciated by the manufacturers.
But not all of our time was spent with brands we already carry. Among the potential new additions that made a strong impression on us, making a case to join the Nordic Outdoor line, was Swedish brand Ivanhoe, Norwegian brand Amundsen (yes, there is a connection to the famous arctic explorer there) and the Canadian brand Kamik.
We won’t give you more information than that at the moment, you will just have to check back with us here or in the shops in a couple of months to see exactly what was ordered. Besides, before that you have a whole summer, if you can call them that in the UK, to enjoy. Until then…