BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Charlie Cooper, former vice president and general manager of Leisure Trends Group, has been promoted to president of the market research company. He takes over for Jim Spring, Leisure Trends founder and president for the past 22 years.
The succession plan had been in the works over the past two years, Cooper said, adding that he will continue to be involved in the sales of Leisure Trends’ bicycle and running retail data reports.
Spring and his wife Joy retain overall ownership of the company, but Spring will phase out of day to day operations as he eases into retirement. A board of directors is being created and Spring will head it up as chairman. The board will oversee operations.
“Charlie has proven to be a terrific leader of our exceptional team of nearly 50 professionals that it takes to deliver information about the global and U.S. sports and lifestyle markets. His mandate remains that customer satisfaction is goal number one," Spring said.
Cooper joined Leisure Trends in 2009. He’s been responsible for the company’s successful entry into the bicycle and running shoe markets. Before joining Leisure Trends, Cooper was COO of a technology startup in Denver, Colorado, co-owner of a sport specialty apparel company and held senior marketing and production positions at interactive entertainment leader Electronic Arts. Cooper's sales and marketing career started in NASCAR and Collegiate Licensing in 1992.
“Moving forward there’s an extra emphasis on business development and where we take our services in terms of additional industries,” said Cooper. “There’s a lot of growth potential laterally into other industries. We’re well established in retail tracking and the consumer research space and that’s a model that could easily be extended into other industries.”
In 2010 Leisure Trends grew 20 percent in sales and the company is on track for a second consecutive year of 20 percent growth. It has been tracking and benchmarking retail sell-through in several industries including snow sports, outdoor, running and apparel since 1992. It began tracking bike sales in 2009.
Spring started SMART, Inc. in 1970 when he pioneered the use of universal vendor coding to facilitate management information systems at retail and to provide industry-wide data on sales and inventory levels. In 1986 he sold SMART to NPD and in 1989 started Leisure Trends Group with Bill Danner.