Boreal and Libonati terminate distribution agreement

Clazados Boreal L.S., (Boreal) and The Ralph Libonati Company have agreed to terminate the U.S. distribution agreement begun April 2003, leaving Boreal flying solo for now.

Clazados Boreal L.S., (Boreal) and The Ralph Libonati Company have agreed to terminate the U.S. distribution agreement begun April 2003, leaving Boreal flying solo for now.

Both Steve Libonati, owner of The Ralph Libonati Company, and Jesus Garcia, marketing manager for Boreal, told SNEWS® that the parting of ways was mutual.

"Boreal is a great brand, run by a great family who cares very deeply about the quality of its product," Libonati told us. "It was a difficult decision for me, but with my other parts of the business going so well, I was not able to spend the time I needed or wanted on continuing to serve the Boreal brand and our customers."

“This has been a tough choice for both of us, but we believe that through this decision Boreal's position in the U.S. market will strengthen in the future and we will be able to better serve our current clients," said Garcia. “Boreal is one of the few companies that still manufactures all their footwear in its own factory in Spain, and therefore our response time and service is always first class.”

Boreal USA has managed to maintain a tad of consistency with Julie Pearson who has been with the brand, first with Steve West and then Steve Libonati, for 14 years.

Pearson has informed us she will be acting as the U.S. sales agent for Boreal and is working diligently right now to ensure retail accounts are kept informed, stocked with product, and are able to make appointments at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Pearson can be reached by phone at 949-488-8000.

SNEWS View: Since taking over distribution of the brand a little over a year ago, Libonati has had to work very diligently to restore Boreal's credibility with many retailers -- credibility damaged for a variety of reasons evident by reading past stories in SNEWS. With this change in structure, Boreal has a very limited window to ensure current retailers remain confident and secure in staying the course. Boreal is banking on a strong response to it's new climbing rubber, FS Quatro, which the company claims offers the "highest level of friction and consistency on the market." But it will take more than just great shoes and great rubber, which from what we saw while in Friedrichshafen, Boreal has in abundance, to allow the company to garner more than just curious interest from U.S. retailers. There is simply too much good competition at very competitive pricing. And while the Euro has leveled the European web-based discount distribution model in favor of the U.S. and its lagging dollar for now, it also means Boreal, once a category leader, can't play the price game, which will hurt it as the company seeks to regain consumer confidence and retailer loyalty. We trust that Boreal will quickly move to set up a direct distribution model here in the U.S., either on its own or via third party warehousing solution such as those offered by Watershed or Peregrine.


Boreal USA shuts down

Boreal USA has shut down operations after 12 years of distributing in the United States for the Spanish-owned parent company, Boreal. Boreal USA owner Steve West told SNEWS that the decision was mutual and made as a result of too many changes in the U.S. market currently. In more

Boreal names new distributor, tries clarifying situation

The new distributor of Boreal products in the United States is The Ralph Libonati Company with offices in New Jersey and Southern Calif. President Stephen Libonati told SNEWS that his company is in the process of sending out letters announcing the change and outlining his plans more

Did you hear?... AOP enters into distribution agreement with Peregrine Outfitters

American Outdoor Products has entered into a distribution agreement with Peregrine Outfitters, the company announced Oct. 18. Under the terms of the agreement, Peregrine will begin distributing the American Outdoor Products (AOP) Backpacker Pantry line -- which includes more

Did you hear?.... Silva enters into marketing and distribution agreement with Maptech Inc.

Silva has entered into a marketing and distribution agreement with Maptech Inc., a digital mapping software company based in Amesbury, Mass. The Silva Terrain Navigator will feature official USGS topographic maps on CD-ROM, and will be sold by states. Smaller states are gathered more

RLX turning inward to direct sales and distribution

RLX Ralph Lauren has restructured its approach to sales and distribution by eliminating the company's outside sales force and taking sales in-house. It has also created a distribution strategy that will place RLX into Polo Ralph Lauren full-line stores and will strengthen ties more

Did you hear?... Boreal Design partners with H2Outfitters to raise money for charitable organizations

Boreal Design, a Quebec, Canada-based sea kayak manufacturer, has partnered with H2Outfitters, a Maine, U.S.-based outfitter, to offer a Freedom edition of the Ellesmere Sea Kayak to raise money for charitable organizations. "After all that happened on 9/11, I was looking for a more


Exped LLC launches after Outdoor Research and Exped AG end distributor agreement

Outdoor Research and Exped AG have mutually agreed to end the North American distribution agreement the two companies entered into four years ago. Exped LLC, based in Seattle, will take over operations as the North American distributor for Exped and will show 2010 product at more

Gore and Runner's World partner in licensing agreement

W.L. Gore and Runner's World magazine have entered into a licensing agreement that will establish a performance apparel line of Gore-Tex and Windstopper fabrics for runners. The new collection of apparel offers nearly 60 SKUs providing head-to-toe products, all carrying the more

Nalgene ends distribution with Peregrine after 18 years

As was announced via press releases from first Nalgene and then Peregrine Outfitters, Nalgene has chosen to sever its 18-year distribution agreement with Peregrine, effective March 5, 2008. The decision by Nalgene comes on the heels of Peregrine agreeing to become the exclusive more