July 14, 2009, 12:00 AM

Amazon steps outdoors

Amazon.com today launched another new speciality section of its e-commerce site, an outdoor recreation store located at amazon.com/outdoors. The shop will offer outdoor gear and apparel items from big name brands, the retailer says.

Amazon.com today launched another new speciality section of its e-commerce site, an outdoor recreation store located at amazon.com/outdoors. The shop will offer outdoor gear and apparel items from such brands as Altrec, Backcountry and Mountain Gear, the retailer says.

“With the growing popularity of the Amazon.com Camping and Hiking category, we realized our customers were looking to Amazon.com for an expanded selection of apparel, footwear and more gear for snow sports, paddling sports, active travel and climbing. We responded by expanding our product offerings, and we invite our customers to share their recommendations and product reviews with the outdoors community on Amazon.com,” says Ben Hartman, director of Amazon.com’s Sports & Outdoors Store. “The new Outdoor Recreation Store provides a convenient destination to find and discover a great selection of all things related to exploring the outdoors.”

To promote the new store, Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is for a limited time offering consumers who buy $299 worth of qualifying items from the store a free National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. The pass, worth $80, is valid for one year and offers free entry into more than 2,000 federal recreation locations in the U.S.

Amazon.com will also offer customers the opportunity to pre-order the DVD set of Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “The National Parks – America’s Best Idea,” set to air in September. The six-episode series chronicles the development of U.S. national parks and documents people who devoted their lives to them.

The new shop comes on the heels of Amazon’s announcement last week that it was expanding its own Pinzon line of housewares by adding a new assortment of kitchen utensils designed by well-known Seattle chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas. The additional products bring to about 350 the number of Pinzon SKUs Amazon carries. Amazon has been creating its own private-label brands since 2004 when it introduced Strathwood, a line of home and garden products that includes outdoor furniture, décor and lighting.

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