Deuter USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Germany-based Deuter, reports that sales are up for the company by 50 percent when compared with sales at the same time last year. And, if projections hold true, Deuter USA President Pat Loomis told SNEWSÂ® that he expects sales to increase by at least 35 percent in 2005.
Loomis attributes the company's success and sales growth to a number of factors, including his experience knowing what packs will sell in what market, and the fact that the German parent company understands what it takes to succeed and has stuck to the long-term plan laid out three years ago.
"The situation with Deuter is so positive," Loomis told us. "When I started with the company three years ago, there were over 50 separate brands of packs on the market so I knew the competition to get retailers to embrace the Deuter brand would be tough. But Deuter listened to my advice, and agreed to set up their own distribution here to eliminate a middleman that would eat up margins.
"From day one, they (Deuter) supported me hiring a PR firm, and that resulted in getting packs reviewed in major magazines. We also established a limited advertising budget and combined with the PR, awareness of the brand has increased each year, as has distribution and sales," he added.
Loomis told us that the first three years have been an investment in this market by the German-based Deuter, one that is just now beginning to reap rewards.
"We have met or exceeded sales targets slightly on a year-on-year basis," Loomis said. "And as a result of the company's commitment to this market, we are now beginning to make money for them, and that will only continue to grow."
At first the focus was simply on opening as many specialty retail doors as Deuter USA could. Currently, the company is selling product to 414 accounts with 214 in the specialty bike market and 200 in the specialty outdoor market. Loomis told us that while his focus is on opening 100 more outdoor accounts, he's also now in a position to develop each retail account into a stronger sales partner.
"When we first opened retailers, we didn't worry too much about the quantity," he said. "Now, we are working with our retail base and reps to build on the sales momentum we are experiencing."
Those efforts are paying off. Where the business was 20 percent preseason and 80 percent ASAP last year, it has shifted to become 30 percent preseason and 70 percent ASAP this year. Loomis expects that to continue swaying more toward preseason increases and less ASAP.
"The emphasis on ASAP is the difference between a mature brand and a growing brand -- we're still growing rapidly," Loomis said.
What has kept Deuter USA a respected brand among the company's retail accounts is that Loomis keeps his product mix stable, tight and available, shipping ASAP orders within 24 hours of receipt.
Deuter USA has also not been affected by the escalating Euro, because even though Deuter is Germany-based, the company has a close relationship with a reputable Korean company that owns two factories in Vietnam.
"Over 90 percent of the product line is built in Vietnam by a factory that operates with 600 employees and spends 80 percent of its time producing nothing but Deuter packs. That level of nearly continuous pack production for the worldwide market keeps production efficiency high and prices very competitive," Loomis told us.
The kid-carrier market has also been a bright spot for Loomis since he began bringing the line in as well, selling into the mainstream market and the outdoor specialty market.
"We have shops that sell kids' apparel and gear for parents, like strollers and baby carriers, placing orders for 150 units a month," Loomis said.
Ed Note: SNEWSÂ® receives dozens of press releases proclaiming huge percentage leaps in sales by companies each month. While other publications and so-called trade news services choose to often print press releases virtually verbatim, SNEWS will only print sales increase news if a company is willing to share its financial data with us to verify the claims. We don't and won't share this proprietary information; however, our readers expect more from us in terms of accuracy and we will only deliver a story to our readers when we can verify its truth to the best of our ability.