Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Reports Year-to-Date Sales Growth of 8.2%

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance (, the national organization dedicated to the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail, announces year-to-date sales figures ahead of its upcoming trade show. Grassroots Connect purchase, scheduled for November 7-10, 2022.

Based on key revenue data provided by retail members, Grassroots Group sales figures increased 8.2% year-to-date compared to 2021, which was a record year for the whole of the group. With 102 independent outdoor specialty retailers representing 222 outlets, the group’s overall growth in 2022 included a strong first quarter (January-March, up 10.1%), a slightly slower second quarter (April- June, up 5.6%) and a booming third quarter (July-September, up 9.5%).

“The upcoming Connect show couldn’t be better timed, as it will set the stage for critical conversations about the challenges and opportunities in specialty retail right now,” said Gabe Maier, President of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. “It’s certainly satisfying to see how some retailers continue to thrive as we navigate the end of the pandemic, but it’s also important to have direct discussions about how broader market forces are creating specific barriers to trade. Retail. The way forward is communication, early and often, to make sure we are all working together.

At Tahoe Mountain Sports (Truckee, Calif.), owner Dave Polivy reported year-to-date gross sales growth “in the range of 5%,” which matched numbers from the Grassroots Group. However, its subdued sales growth is being thwarted by a problematic financial picture of lower margins and tighter cash flow due to significant inflation in shipping costs and payrolls (“The excitement around sales is good, but caution is on the side of the profit margin”). He also called oversupply “the scariest” of all the challenges his company is currently facing.

“The overall outlook for the fourth quarter is cautious, but not apocalyptic,” Polivy said. “We are refining our selection and reducing orders in the belief that there will be plenty of stock availability in January if we need it. The concern is that these vendors will cut prices over the holidays and ignore their own MAP policies which would be absolutely devastating as any selling action will directly impact margins which are already squeezed due to payroll pressures and shipments.

At Kristi Mountain Sports (Alamosa, Colo.), manager Raleigh Burt said his store’s performance this year was well below the Grassroots group average as the “unsustainable pace” of 2020-21 returned to levels of before the pandemic. Burt commented on the tremendous headwind from negative consumer forces — such as high gasoline prices, a slowing stock market and MSRP increases — as well as significant inventory issues, particularly in durable goods. Still, he remained optimistic, saying his company’s overall financial situation was “still strong”.

“Our plan for 2023 is to be cautious about our purchases, as we expect sales to continue to decline slightly. Our shelves are full with one to two years of certain products, and it is natural to expect deep discounts next year, as brands will find their warehouses overcrowded, which means the last thing we want is to accept more inventory now that will lose value when it’s time to sell it next spring. sellers have their eyes open to what’s to come,” Burt said.

At Trail Creek Outfitters (Glen Mills, Pa.), owner Ed Camelli reported sales numbers well above the Grassroots Group level, thanks in large part to the dominant lifestyle apparel and footwear categories in his product selection. Camelli said he was enjoying the return of in-person shopping in his community, which is largely driven by a core of “loyal, local” customers, and had four of the biggest months in his 39-year history. store in 2022, with particularly strong growth in September and October (+29%).

“What does the crystal ball say? There has certainly been a lot of talk about major retailers overstocking and asking suppliers to break the MAP. And that judgment may come, but so far we haven’t seen it,” Camelli said.

ABOUT GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE: Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is an active, independent network of 102 independent retailers, with 222 outlets, working together for the health and growth of outdoor specialty retail. Through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialist events and in-depth supplier partnerships, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance creates both a vision and a roadmap for the long-term success of the independent specialist retailer. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is also recognized as a catalyst for the success of its retailer and supplier partners; a specialist independent retail advocate; an education and community promoter within the specialty channel; and a key influencer in the national outdoor industry. For more information about the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, visit

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT: Grassroots Connect is a conveniently timed, invitation-only buyer’s show for the outdoor specialty industry hosted by the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Scheduled as early in the buying cycle as possible, Connect provides a highly effective opportunity for retailers, representatives and suppliers to present, discuss, plan and collect pre-season orders. Cost effective and simple, Connect is both an incubator and testing ground for the wider outdoor industry. Invited retailers receive a reimbursement per attendee to offset their travel expenses. Upcoming Grassroots Connect gatherings include November 7-10, 2022 (Kansas City, Missouri) and June 12-15, 2023 (Knoxville, Tennessee).

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