Posted by SGB Executive

Isaac Alvear, Head of Sales, 361 Degrees: “As 361 Degrees looks forward to 2019, we continue to see nothing but growth opportunities for our brand in the U.S. market and specifically in the segment of the industry we chose to be in, the RSA Channel. The awakening of leading run specialty retailers in nurturing true authentic brands that demonstrate disciplined premium distribution, has resulted in sustainable growth for both.

“All the while our mutual end-consumer continues to be inspired investing in performance footwear due to three drivers. First, health Insurance costs, where it’s becoming common place for employers to pay for health clubs or fitness studio classes, as long as an employee can show they actually use them. Second, demand for healthier food, which translate into a more conscious individual about what they eat, will have a runoff effect of making them more interested in fitness. Last, but not least, innovative wearables are accelerating engagement. As people adapt to interfacing with their wearables to the smartphone they have the ability to personalize all their health biometrics and track activities, which can be posted and shared. In fact to bring this full circle, I read where John Hancock, one of the nation’s oldest insurers, announced that in the future they will only sell interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones.

“At 361 Degrees, in addition to our successful growth in the running category, we are also experiencing high demand for our premium training footwear product offering. It’s very interesting to note that according to the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet, Sportsclub Association) 20 percent of Americans have health club memberships – a number in my humble opinion that could double of the next 10 years. What would drive that growth is the elevated fitness boutiques and the “High Value, Low Price” athletic clubs that cost only $10-$15 a month to join. In the end, for our end-consumer this creates more awareness to achieving greater health and well-being which can start with a simple walk or run, which leads them to buy great quality performance footwear.

“For 361 Degrees, we are expecting to more than double our business and we have a clear pathway to that growth. We know the industry is ripe for this and we will have to execute against our plan. The primary driver being the engagement and evangelizing the ‘gate keepers’ across the RSA Channel. With the introduction of the 361° Retail Cup, which will finally create a platform for us to identify who is the fastest retailer in North America and a chance to win some serious cash ($50,000), the 361° Retail Cup specific website and social media channels will be another place where good competitive banter exists amongst our RSA Community, which ultimately will finally makes feel all as one! All in all, it will be a year where 361° becomes top of mind of run specialty associates.”