At the Outdoor Retailer show, Roxy launched a new category, Roxy Outdoor Fitness.
I spoke with Eric Merk, the new VP of Sales for the line. Eric came to Roxy five months ago.
Prior to Roxy, Eric was the director of U.S. Sales for Nike running, and most recently worked at Columbia Sportswear.
Similar to Lululemon, Nike Fitness and even O’Neill’s 365 line, Roxy Outdoor is going after a female fitness enthusiast who doesn’t just surf but also runs, does yoga and cross trains.
The line features neoprene suits that are more breathable than traditional suits and work for sports like standup paddling. It also features full piece bathing suits women can wear in a master’s swim program, neoprene shoes for kayaking or paddle boarding, and flip flops that are more fitness oriented - they have a strap in the back or a little more support than a traditional Roxy beach sandal.
I also saw a few fleece tops, yoga/volleyball shorts, yoga pants, sports bras and even backpacks that a few buyers at the booth happened to be raving about when I walked in.
“No one makes athletic type backpacks for young adult women,” I overheard a buyer saying when she picked up a Roxy Outdoor Fitness backpack and was ecstatic that it could possibly fit that niche for her shop.
The line launches in Spring 2013.
“The idea for the line was basically to piggy back on the strength of Roxy’s 22-year heritage as the first women’s action sports brand,” said Eric.
It is geared toward an older consumer than Roxy’s typical customer.
“Roxy reaches up to that 17 year old girl, and this is for more of a millennial consumer about 18 to 28 years old. It’s an older consumer for Roxy, but a young consumer for the outdoor industry,” he said.
The brand also plans to reach new distribution. Eric said that while Roxy’s premiere, loyal surf accounts can buy the line, Roxy will not specifically target surf specialty or existing Roxy accounts. Instead they are going after outdoor specialty, sporting goods and running, standup paddle and water sports specialty shops.
Price points in the line range from $48 for a rashguard performance T to $82 for a bathing suit and $98 for a backpack. Eric said they had appointments with over 40 brand new accounts and were busy the entire show for the line’s debut.
I asked Eric if he thought it would be tough to capture an older audience since the Roxy brand tends to skew younger.
“When you look at the outdoor industry and the players, they trend older and it’s been hard for a lot of them to capture a younger audience. A lot of them want that young female consumer and we already have her and she grew up with Roxy.”
See our slide show, above, for product photos.