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ASR calls it quits

By Tiffany Montgomery
November 02, 2010 4:00 PM

ASR is calling it quits, according to multiple people briefed on the meeting.


The demise of the industry's largest trade show on the West Coast, which acording to data on its website was once attended by 700 brands, 450 manufacturers and 18,000 people from over 60 countries, has the potential to dramatically alter the trade show landscape in the action sports industry.


The 29-year-old trade show, now owned by the Nielsen Company, has dealt with several challenges over the last few years.


ASR had grappled with a challenging economy, the difficulty of accommodating differing footwear and apparel deadlines from surf and skate manufacturers, the defection of some big players in the skate industry, competition from lower-cost, newer entrants such as Agenda, and the perception of some that the show was more about marketing than writing orders.


ASR attempted to remedy many of these problems by adding Class@ASR, aimed at fashion brands and buyers; adding Crossroads for the skate community; adding a wider range of booth options to lower expenses for manufacturers; and investing many dollars to bring out retailers from around the country.


What is unclear is if there is a trade show of the same size that will take ASR’s place, though Agenda looks to be a big beneficiary. Agenda President Aaron Levant declined to comment on the ASR news.


The financial impact will be felt by many, including SIMA and BRA, which derive a portion of their revenues from ASR and from Surf Exo. It is also unclear what will happen to ASR’s staff, many of whom are very visible in the industry.


SIMA has been preparing for this possibility and has been researching options. We'll have more details as soon as possible, and will check in with BRA and IASC as well. We will also get feedback from brands and other industry leaders.


Nielsen owns additional trade shows including Interbike, Outdoor Retailer, Fly Fishing and Health & Fitness.


More coverage of ASR closure

ASR's Tompkins: Declining buyer attendance a key


ASR's letter to customers


SIMA's Doug Palladini on what's next


IASC's John Bernards on the skate group's position


Surf Expo's Roy Turner on possible expansion


Crossroads will continue, Jamie Thomas says


BRA statement about ASR's closure


SIMA's statement about ASR's closure


Agenda's statement


Brands share trade show plans for 2011




More on: ASR, Andy Tompkins

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