New Normal Consulting | Fast Forward
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Fast Forward

Fast Forward is video done differently. Each episode, New Normal Consulting hostS a video conference with three industry experts and one moderator. We tackle topics that will challenge thought and the status quo and create opportunity for conversations that can inspire positive change.


New Normal Consulting attended and was part of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance’s Summit and Connect program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We were honored to be asked to attend and we lead a number of successful “Retail Math for Buyers” sessions. Enjoy a look at our most recent Fast Forward episode, where we discuss the Grassroots show and how it is evolving. Our panel includes Dana Davis, president of Summit Hut in Tucson, a GOA member, and Rich Hill, from Compass and Nail and a long-time industry friend and professional. Rich and his partner Craig Wilson also attended and presented. Dana and Rich joined Brad Werntz and Geoff O’Keeffe for this lively discussion.

We hosted our second “Fast Forward” episode about the Climbing Wall Association Summit. Joining us for this conversation were our colleagues Kristin Carpenter-Ogden from Verde Communications, Daniel Chancellor from SoiLL, Kenji Haroutunian from KenjiConsults and the Access Fund, and our own Brad Werntz. We’ll have two gym owners (Daniel and Brad), two CWA presenters (Kristin and Brad), and four people who left CWA Summit more enthusiastic than ever about the potential of indoor climbing for outdoor business. The topic? Do you know where your customers live? Rather, do you know where your customers feel most alive? For many, the path to a lifetime of outdoor activities begins indoors, at a climbing gym. Part recreation, part fitness, and all social, climbing gyms are where more and more of our customers are spending more and more of their time. No other specialty activities are growing as much in participants and dollars, or attracting youth and diversity in such numbers, as indoor climbing.

Presidential campaigns are aptly referred to as “the silly season” and this year surely lives up to that moniker. Outlandish claims and unfounded accusations fly like fur in a dumpster catfight. This year, nearly all the candidates are making references to U.S. jobs having been “stolen” by China, Vietnam, Mexico and others, paired with angry promises to bring the jobs back, or else. Indeed, millions of manufacturing jobs have left our shores for those locales in the last few decades, but “stolen” hardly fits reality. We are tempted to picture Xi Jinping or Enrique Peña Nieto with a SWAT team of guys in black clothing entering the sourcing offices of U.S. companies, guns drawn, shouting “Off to Xiamen for you!” And, “You come with me to Guadalajara!” In fact, what has actually happened is American product managers, supply chain leaders and executives, in efforts to contain costs, lower selling prices and boost EBITDA have continued their pursuit of ever cheaper labor markets. There was no coercion. Comically, even within our relatively tiny outdoor industry, sourcing people bump into one another all over Asia as we chase “cost out” initiatives, cheaper factories and shorter lead times. To be sure, “reshoring” jobs will have a great benefit to domestic economies, and we applaud when that occurs. There are tangible examples of this trend, as well as “demonstration projects” that help prime the pump. But in our haste to bring American jobs back and tout “Buy American” labeling, we have to ask ourselves “What types of jobs were really lost and which are prime to be reclaimed?” Watch our Fast Forward video of Geoff O’Keeffe, Brad Werntz, Daniel Uretsky and Kristin Carpenter-Ogden discussing that burning question from Of Jobs, Trade and Fairy Tales — “Just what types of jobs were really lost and which are prime to be reclaimed?”