Bergans of Norway announced Tuesday morning it will end sales in the United States as part of a plan to refocus its growth strategy.
The decision comes after nine months of evaluating the future of the brand, Bergans USA President Keith Patterson said in an interview. Bergans will deliver Winter 16/17 orders, but will not deliver orders for Spring 2017. All 170 dealers in the U.S. were notified in advance of announcements to the press.
When Bergans started to expand out of Norway, it did so very quickly, Patterson said, and the brand’s marketing and product development resources were stretched too thin among its subsidiaries. The decision to end sales in the U.S. was not made because of the current performance of Bergans USA. Rather, the strategy is to refocus resources on product development and marketing in Norway and other strong European markets, such as Sweden and Germany.
Subsidiaries will also be closed in France, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Russian subsidiary will be converted to a distributor.
Retailers were disappointed to hear the news, Patterson said.
“Dealers are bummed,” he said. “A lot of them supported the brand, and I definitely thank them for the support that they gave to the brand over the years. A lot of them took risks on Bergans being a relatively lesser-known brand, in the European market. Here at Bergans USA, we feel badly we’re not able to deliver for new dealers.”
The gear and apparel manufacturer has been distributing in North America out of Longmont, Colo., since 2012.
Online sales at shop.bergans.us will be active at least through the end of this year and likely through the beginning of next, Patterson said, depending on product availability.
Bergans plans to reevaluate its place in the North American market within 10 years, Patterson said. It’s unclear whether products from Bergans of Norway will be available in the U.S. in some capacity in the meantime.