June 13, 2024


Clothes that smile

FN Will Host Its First Virtual Roundtable Next Week, Examining ‘Outdoor & Fashion: The New Frontier’

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Brick-and-mortar is resuming in some parts of the U.S. and consumers are starting to spend again, but the retail landscape looks different today than three months ago — perhaps permanently. In FN’s latest Executive Smart Talk installment, a group of industry executives will explore the reinvention to come in the outdoor sector.

FN’s senior athletic and outdoor editor Peter Verry will host a virtual video roundtable conversation with industry leaders. Titled “Outdoor & Fashion: The New Frontier,” the event will take place on June 3 at 3 p.m. ET.

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To register for the roundtable, click here.

For the industry to succeed in this new environment, brands and retailers must understand how to meet the consumer where they are shopping. While not everyone has resumed the purchasing of non-essentials, there is a growing group of customers for merchants to tap into – if they know how.

The discussion is presented by global payments solution Afterpay and will feature the company’s chief revenue officer Melissa Davis, who will share the latest insights into consumer spending. Afterpay recently reached 5 million active U.S. users and has seen 1 million of those customers sign up in the past 10 weeks, providing insight into pandemic consumer behavior.

Joining Verry and Davis will be Matt Powell, senior sports industry adviser at The NPD Group; David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock Americas; and Chris Hufnagel, global brand president of Merrell. The five panelists will look at how the market has changed and discuss how reinvention will reshape it further.

A nationally known adviser, Powell has over 40 years of experience in the retail and research industries and will provide particular insight into the outdoor market. Kahan has helmed Birkenstock Americas since 2013 and will be able to share how the centuries’ old brand will navigate this next challenge. Hufnagel, who was appointed to his position in 2019, will bring a fresh perspective on Merrell’s position and draw on his 10-year stint at Wolverine.

The outdoor market in particular is expected to see a new customer as stores re-open. The growth of athleisure has blurred the lines between fashion and performance, which makes this an exciting category for development in post-pandemic times. The roundtable will include an analysis of the kinds of adaptations that companies are undergoing, in order to resonate with this new consumer.

Previous webinars in the FN Executive Smart Talk series have featured Fila North American president Jennifer Estabrook and Klarna US head David Sykes; Deckers president and CEO Dave Powers; and Foot Locker president and CEO Dick Johnson.

Most recently, Zappos’ GM and chief merchant Jeff Espersen spoke to FN editorial director Michael Atmore about current retail trends and the value of customer service.

Tune in on June 3 at 3 p.m. for a discussion on the new frontier for footwear, with executives from The NPD Group, Birkenstock, Merrell and Afterpay. To register, click here.

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