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NPD Group Announces Winners of Inaugural Outdoor Sports Industry Performance Awards – NEMO named fastest growing camping brand in the US outdoor industry—Yes, they’re hiring.

March 29, 2021

Media Contact

Revolution House Media
Kate Ketschek
kate@revolutionhousemedia.com

Dover, NH

Over the course of 2020, NEMO’s founder and CEO, Cam Brensinger, felt like he was riding a rollercoaster, like most every other CEO across the world. At the start of the pandemic, in March of 2020, he put nearly everything on hold—production, sales, and marketing. Only product development was left untouched, with the expectation the pandemic wouldn’t last forever and people would want to be outdoors more than ever. Goal number one was to keep all employees on the payroll, with benefits, no small feat for a small, independent outdoor brand. “We decided to base our sales target on what it would take to retain our people and not have to furlough or lay off,’ Brensinger said in a January interview with the outdoor industry B2B publication, The Voice.

But by May, Brensinger started to see a trend—people were tired of being cooped up in their homes and apartments, they were starving for connection, and found heading outdoors offered solace, and a safe way to socially distance. Only weeks after turning off production, the challenge became to turn the supply back on as fast as possible.

The NPD Group found similar trends through its Retail Tracking Service. According to a recent press release from NPD, “The outdoor market generated $6.1 billion in US retail sales in 2020…As consumers have sought ways to be active, outside, and practice social distancing both in their backyards and other outdoor settings, camping (+36%), water sports (+19%), and additional areas of the market experienced year-over-year growth in sales.”

By summer, demand for NEMO’s camping gear and accessories skyrocketed. Products that made the outdoors more enjoyable were selling fast. One product in particular, the Stargaze Recliner Luxury, sold out through NEMO’s website and all retailers. In 3 months, the company sold a years’ worth of chairs. Benefitting from long-standing relationships with its manufacturing partners, the team raced to meet the demand.

Jim Kelley, president of NPD’s Sports Practice went on to say, “After a truly unprecedented year, we are thrilled to celebrate the bright spots of 2020 within the outdoor market and recognize companies including NEMO, who played an important role in meeting the heightened consumer demand for outdoor products. We congratulate NEMO on this accomplishment and wish them continued success in 2021.”

By the end of 2020, NEMO had kept all of its employees on the payroll, with benefits. As the brand looks forwards, it’s forecasted to grow…significantly. While NEMO had already been on an impressive growth trajectory, the increased interest in the outdoors due to the pandemic has accelerated that growth. Since July 2020, 11 new positions have been added with 5 more planned by the end of 2021. The new positions address both the sweeping growth NEMO is expecting, as well as positions that were scheduled to be added before the pandemic and shift in consumer behaviors. Areas of focus during this growth phase include marketing, product development, business analysis and development, purchasing and planning, and content creation.

“Growth like this needs to be intentional and thoughtful,” said Brensinger. “We are a values-led, long-term goal oriented business. Our mission is to inspire a love of adventure, for each other and for our planet through thoughtful design and messaging. We are determined to lead the way in addressing climate change and exemplify meaningful and authentic action on social justice. And whether we accomplish our mission or not comes down to the strength of our team and how well we equip our people for success. We have a very explicit set of values that have given us strength through the years, even in the face of challenges like COVID. As we grow, we’re looking to those values more, not less, and we are more determined than ever to be a force for good in the world.”

For more information on the opportunities at NEMO, please email talent@nemoequipment.com.

About NEMO
NEMO is a New Hampshire-based outdoor gear design company known for creating award-winning products that are built to last, comfortable and fun to use. Recognized by New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility as a small business leader for the environment, the brand has won over 100 major awards for its designs since its founding in 2002. NEMO’s reputation for design innovation across its product lines—tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp accessories and furniture—is an outgrowth of its design philosophy to never bring anything to market that doesn’t offer a meaningfully better experience. NEMO’s team of designers and engineers are motivated by a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainability.

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