SNEWS received dozens of emails from subscribers, as well as an announcement ourselves, since we're registered on the Barrabes.com site, heralding a new program from Barrabes.com. The statement reads:
"At Barrabes.com the New Year means new projects and ideas. But, how can we talk about such projects without first offering an explanation to those clients who have, no doubt, felt offended by the rise in price on certain products and the lack of stock on others?
During the last few months, several manufacturers of outdoor equipment have ceased to supply us, while others have forced us to increase prices on the products sold to the USA and the UK. Hence, some of the products which were previously available, without difficulty, no longer appear on our website and yet they are available if purchased from other parts of the world. In the same way, our publicity has been refused by some of the most important mountaineering and climbing magazines in the aforementioned countries.
More than anyone, we want to be able to offer our clients the widest range of products, at the most competitive prices and with the best service possible, and it is hard to understand how this can pose a threat to any free market. However, the pressure we have found ourselves subject to, during the last few months has forced us to change our sales policy. And this has proved to be detrimental for everyone, to you and to us.
The wealth of experience accumulated over 20 years of selling mountaineering equipment has made us come to realize that the way in which worldwide distribution is structured seriously conditions the customer's capacity to gain access to the best products. To such a point that only those products, which already have established networks as well as a number of intermediaries, are offered to the ultimate client.
Faced with this situation, we have taken on an ambitious project; OPEN-MINDED <http://www.barrabes.com/openminded/openminded.htm> , A Project for Uncovering Brands aims to shine light on the best brands of mountaineering equipment in the world with the best quality-price ratio. Brands, which are not necessarily the most, well known and whose main problem lies in trying to find good distributors on the main markets. Through this project we aim to become a direct link between such high quality brands and the market, avoiding in this way all traditional intermediaries and achieving an exceptional price. At OPEN-MINDED <http://www.barrabes.com/openminded/openminded.htm> we offer brands, which have decades of experience in the mountaineering sector, many of which are considered to be among the best in their sector, at a worldwide level.
<http://www.barrabes.com/openminded/haglofs/haglofs.htm> is an example of such a brand and has placed its trust in Barrabes.com to distribute its entire range of outdoor products in the USA. It is no coincidence that it is also Scandinavia's largest outdoor clothing manufacturer and one of the world's most experienced technical outdoor brands.
OPEN-MINDED <http://www.barrabes.com/openminded/openminded.htm> is more than a project; it is a philosophy that we believe in, and above all, a new way of understanding the distribution of mountaineering products."
SNEWS View: Open minded? How about openly clueless? For Barrabes.com to have the temerity to attempt to position the company as a white knight fighting all that is evil and overpriced on behalf of consumers in the worldwide market is absurd. Perhaps if the entire world was one economy, the argument would hold water, but as it stands, the Barrabes.com claim floats about as well as a sieve. Reading between the lines, it appears that the Barrabes.com team is feeling the pinch from the "best brands in mountaineering equipment in the world" tightening their distribution policies to protect retailers in the United States and we couldn't be happier. Haglofs most likely placed its trust in Barrabes to distribute its brand directly into the United States since the company doesn't have a presence here currently and this is as cheap a way as any to gain some notoriety. Of course, we presume Haglofs realizes that by taking this strategy, it has likely eliminated any possibility that a U.S. retailer will ever wish to carry the brand should the company choose to explore other distribution channels here.