With the recent nationwide COVID-19 surge, Merrell has opted to pull out of Outdoor Retailer. However, the money it saved from backing out of the event is going to a good cause.
The Wolverine World Wide-backed brand announced today that it will not attend the biannual outdoor trade show, which is scheduled to take place from Jan. 26-28 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The reason for this, according to Merrell, is because of the increased infection rate of COVID-19.
Instead, Merrell is focused on helping those impacted by the wildfire in Boulder County, Colo., on Dec. 30, 2021 that ravaged roughly 1,000 homes in the area. The brand confirmed that a portion of the savings will result in an a $25,000 donation to the Boulder County Wildfire Fund.
What’s more, Merrell said in a statement that it will work to spread awareness on how to help the Boulder community through a social media campaign.
“While we are eager to see our industry partners in person again soon and are excited to get back to Outdoor Retailer in the future, the safety and wellness of our team is our number one priority,” Merrell global brand president Chris Hufnagel said in a statement. “With respect to the outdoor community in Boulder County who are now fighting wildfires alongside a global pandemic, we’re donating funds to help the city and surrounding towns during this challenging time.”
Last week, Outdoor Retailer confirmed that its January event would go on as an in-person event, and announced that masks are required at all times while indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
“We understand the decision to attend may be difficult right now, but we are here to support the retailers and brands looking to get their business done quickly and efficiently in this critical winter timeframe. We stand with Surf Expo, CES, NRF and the other shows serving their communities in January, and we hope you will too,” Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer SVP and show director, said last week via statement.