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Icebreaker previews Spring & Fall run apparel in Austin
Dec '11
Icebreaker, the New Zealand Company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, is reporting the first season sales results of its run-specific apparel for men and women. Icebreaker started selling to run stores in 2010 and launched its first official run range in Spring 2011. Since its launch, Icebreaker sales in the US run specialty channel have grown by 187 percent.

“There hasn't been a major apparel innovation in running fabrics for a long time, and retailers and consumers alike are now embracing merino wool's natural benefits, from its temperature regulation to its odor-resistant properties,” said Deb Boswell, Icebreaker General Manager of Global Running. “We are seeing dramatic growth in sales in key running stores globally as people start to understand the power of Icebreaker merino, and have access to a range perfectly suited to running all year round.”

Continued Boswell, “Merino apparel is a great new story for retailers and one that aligns nicely with the growth in minimalist shoes - getting back to running with nature. Icebreaker's all-natural merino wool is the natural fiber choice for runners. Leisure Trends Groups reported that, year on year, merino apparel sales in the Run specialty have grown by 43 percent and we're excited to help drive that trend.”

Icebreaker was sold in the run specialty channel prior to the Run range release in Spring 2011, but the run-specific styling details and performance colors of the Spring 2011 range generated a 250 percent growth in retailers and an exciting platform for the Fall 2011 range. Halfway through Fall 2011, sales are already up 145 percent from Fall 2010.

Rob Reid, co-owner of Frontrunners Footwear in Victoria, British Columbia, noted, “As a retailer, it is great to see how quickly runners are catching on to the benefits of Icebreaker's merino Run collection. It has been an exciting year to be able to round out our selection of technical run clothing with Icebreaker's natural and stylish collection.”

Amanda Charles, general manager and apparel buyer for Boulder Running Company added, “For us, the biggest sign of success for the Icebreaker Run line is that our employees have put them to the test themselves and are now such big believers and evangelists. It is one thing to sell a concept to consumers, it is an entire other level to sell it to your staff.”

Charles continued, “Icebreaker's natural fiber story is second to none and it is with great excitement that I watch this brand create a merino wool buzz in our stores. The leaps and bounds Icebreaker has made in both color and design selection within only the first year of their Run line solidifies their commitment to success within the specialty running channel.”

Noted running icon Bart Yasso, “I've been using my Icebreaker as a baselayer on some of my cool morning runs and bike rides. I love the soft feel and how it keeps me warm.”

Icebreaker's GT Run line includes a full line of tops, shorts, socks and sports bras. Runners can wear merino garments top-to-toe without having to resort to synthetics, which have poor breathability and can cause clamminess and overheating during exercise.

The top sellers for men in 2010-2011 were the GT 150 SS Ace Crewe, GT 200 Distance Short and GT 150 LS Ace Crewe. For women, the best-selling items were the GT 150 SS Rush Crewe, GT 150 Rush Tank and GT 200 Swift Skort.

Icebreaker is showcasing its Spring 2012 and Fall 2012 run apparel at The Running Event (Dec 7-10) at the Austin Convention Center, booth #734.


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