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Howdy and welcome to a special, mid-month edition of The Merchant Life newsletter.

We’re working away on our regularly scheduled merchandising insight coming your way on September 1st.

In the meantime, there is a flurry of activity on our side, and we have a bunch of announcements to make – published articles, shoutouts, and live events that we are confirmed to speak at (and where we might see you).

Time to toot our own horn and make music.

Happy Season 4 GIF by The Simpsons

Get Out (Doors).

Buying the first pair of hiking boots for a memorable trip to Iceland in 2014, exploring trails in our backyard during COVID lockdowns, and recently hiking through Red Rock Canyon.

It’s EXCITING to get outdoors.

We also love the outdoor retail industry for a bunch of reasons, including:

🟢The outstanding brand ambassadors that love and live their activity. They are product obsessed and are awesome representatives in store.

🟢Outdoor brands hold sustainability top of mind. And why not? Without preserving the outdoors, there is no outdoor industry.

🟢A strong sense of community within the activity; running and climbing are standout examples for us since we are becoming active in them.

Liza discusses this and shares her insights on the outdoor industry in a conversation with Rick Saez on EP 341 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast.

Click HERE to find the episode or search “The Outdoor Biz Podcast” wherever you consume your podcast content.

A worthwhile listen if you happen to get out for a walk.

Run It Back.

Lace up those runners, get hydrated, and find your way to Austin, TX for The Running Event taking place from November 29th to December 2nd, 2022.

We’re excited to unveil here first that we will be presenting twice at the show on opening day.

First, we will run a 90-Minute session titled The Product Assortment Playbook. This is important as a well-defined product assortment leads to increasing full-price sales, growing basket sizes, and fortifying brand loyalty – all of which are important for niche, running retailers.

The intention is for retailers to steal from our playbook and come away with action items they can implement rapidly with minimal disruption.

Second, Liza will lead a session called Going Private (Label). In this presentation, we will explore the benefits of private label for niche retailers, how to get started, and the “how-to” of executing a private label strategy.

Give us a shout if you are attending the show or will be in the area during that time.

Blame It On The Supply Chain.

Before we mozy on down to Texas to talk running, we’re making a stop in New York City for PI Apparel’s Supply Chain Forum taking place on September 14th and 15th, 2022.

Liza will take the stage twice: one solo presentation and a Q&A session.

First, a presentation entitled Flexible Product Creation – Not All Products Are Created Equally. Liza will show how eliminating physical sampling of core and basic styles decreases redundant development. This creates space to improve partnerships between sourcing, product and factory teams to work on innovative products.

Second, a Q&A with Sonya Gill, Founder of The LNK, in a conversation about The Journey from Market to Customer (and Everything in Between).

Fun fact, this coincides with New York Fashion Week, and we will be in the city starting on September 12th.

Want to meet up? Let us know!

Move Faster!

Excess inventory. Losing pace with shifts in customer behavior. Erosion of gross margin. Selling on markdowns. Missing forecasts. No time for innovation.

What do these have in common?

These are the symptoms of a retailer suffering from a lack of speed.

Speed to market, that is.

Angry Modern Family GIF by ABC Network

Want to know how to pick up the pace?

Read more in our recent Total Retail article entitled The Need for Speed…to Market.

The Who’s Who.

Our friends at Toolio published a blog post on the top retail thought leaders you should follow.

We were delighted to see Liza made the list alongside several of our retail peers.

Check out the entire list HERE to round out your retail content and thought leadership roster.