Outdoor Retailer (OR) reports that attendance at its Winter Market in January grew 1 percent as a 23 percent increase in international buyers and a 16 percent increase in the number of stores from the Northeast more than offset a 6 percent decline in drive-in attendees.

OR said overall attendance at the four-day show increased 1 percent to 21,814 with the overall number of stores represented rising 4 percent. A total of 998 brands exhibited.

Outdoor Retailer attributed the 6 percent decline in drive-in attendees to a tighter process for qualifying local and regional attendees to ensure the show admitted only legitimate industry pros, such as retailers, buyers and outfitters. OR also excluded attendees under age 16 from the retail buyer category. The result was a significant reduction in local attendance formerly identified as retailer, distributor or working media. That, however, yielded an improvement in the quality of attendee audience.


Shifting the show to Wednesday through Saturday to allow retailers to spend Sunday in their stores helped even out attendance, which increased 3 percent on Day 1, 12 percent on Day 2, 23 percent on Day 3 and 85 percent on Day 4. Attendance at the All Mountain Demo on the eve of the show increased 31 percent.


Among retailers attendees, 33 percent were Buyers, 25 percent were Owners or Partners, 12 percent Assistant Buyers or Store Managers, 12 percent Executive Management, 8 percent General Staff or Sales Clerks and 10 percent Marketers or Merchandisers. 


The number of stores from the Northeast, Mid Atlantic and East North Central United States that sent representatives to the show increased 16, 14 and 22 percent respectively from 2011 to 2013. The number from Canada was up 20 percent and the number from Washington was up 8 percent.