May 20th, 2005
Retailer & Consumer Surveys Reveal Travel Rebound
Eagle Creek and its nationwide retail accounts are reporting stronger than expected sales of Eagle Creek product and, on average, are predicting double-digit growth over the next eight to 12 months.
Industry-wide reports also indicate promising growth. The Travel Industry Association (TIA), for example, reports, "an increase in domestic air RPMs (revenue passenger miles) by 7 percent from March 2004" "International air RPMs jumped 14.9 percent from twelve months earlier." Additionally, an April 2005 Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)/Michigan State University trade study reflected that 79 percent of 117 adventure travel businesses randomly surveyed are "optimistic" or "highly optimistic" about increases in passenger bookings for 2005, and most surveyed had already exceeded 2005 booking projections. In an Eagle Creek March/April 2005 consumer survey, it was revealed that one of its core customer demographics, the Baby Boomer, intends to travel more this year than in prior years.
Buoyed by consistent, favorable indicators, Eagle Creek is bolstering its infrastructure in design, sales, marketing and customer service and adding news positions to handle current and anticipated growth. Specifically, the Eagle Creek Design team has introduced two new in-house design and product development positions, Sales is currently seeking a Director of Sales, Marketing is recruiting for a new Brand Manager position, and Customer Service is filling entry level customer service/sales positions.
"Ramping up to service travel gear sales growth at retail is flat-out energizing," said Eagle Creek Executive Vice President Ricky Schlesinger. "In addition to 83 percent of our surveyed retailers claiming a bullish stance on sales projections this year, our new marketing, operational and merchandising initiatives have us well prepared to capitalize on this resurgence and to provide quality support to our retailers globally."
Recent recognitions and promotions have had a favorable impact on sales early in 2005. In addition to securing Outside Magazine's 2005 Gear of the Year award for the Eagle Creek Switchback™ Max ES and several gear recognitions in recent editions of USA Today and other travel media, Eagle Creek is in the midst of a spring 2005 Pack-It™ Rebate campaign which is producing spikes in retail sales and has stimulated increased levels of consumer trial of the Eagle Creek brand.
Two new programs set to launch this summer also are expected to sustain retail sales growth in 2005. Eagle Creek is readying its Brazil Sweepstakes Campaign and its Outside Magazine and Travelocity partnership. Slated for June and July 2005, Eagle Creek is promoting a trip give-away sweepstakes program with its retail partners that benefits both consumers and retail sales associates. Additionally, between August and September 2005, Eagle Creek is offering a $25 rebate on any Eagle Creek product purchase when any round-trip ticket is purchased at Travelocity.com. Both promotions will be marketed heavily at retail, while in addition to retail efforts, the Travelocity promotion will be promoted extensively by Travelocity, Outside and Eagle Creek in print and online environments.
Eagle Creek is a maker of adventure travel gear, luggage, travel accessories and packing solutions for active, adventurous souls. Founded in 1975, California-based Eagle Creek, Inc., invented the adventure travel gear category, introduced the industry's first convertible backpack on wheels, and is revolutionizing the way travelers pack with its Pack-It™ Folders, Cubes, Sacs and Toiletry Kits.