Eagle Creek has been running lean and mean since December of 2001, when it laid off nearly 10 percent of its staff in response to a soft travel market. We recently checked in with Ricky Schlesinger, executive VP for the company, who told us that while the travel market is still very soft, the company feels quite optimistic. In fact, the company will be launching its most aggressive new product debut in recent memory at this year's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market -- approximately 50 new SKUs, including two new luggage lines. "The travel market will come back around and we want to be sure we've got what our retailers will need with fresher brand story," said Schlesinger. One of the new lines will be for women, and that's no real surprise says Schlesinger. "Women have been buying a lot of our products for some time now, but we have not styled very well for them. That's about to change. It's not a luggage line really, but more an everyday bag line -- called Elements -- with travel implications." SNEWS® also asked Schlesinger about Europe as word has leaked into our offices that the January 2002 changeover to a third-party warehouse has been less than smooth. "We have run into the anticipated challenges of reconfiguring our business operations in Europe. When you re-engineer your business and move it from one country to another and into a third-party warehouse there are going to be issues. Certainly we have not been at peak performance in terms of delivery or service to our European dealers, but we think we have identified and solved a great many of the issues. One major change is that we have a team of U.S.-based operations folks regularly going over there to work through the problems and provide solutions. In the coming months our service and deliveries will be significantly improved from where they were the first three or four months of the year."
Did you hear?... Eagle Creek does a two-step and a shuffle with its European operations
Eagle Creek is doing a two-step and a shuffle with its European operations. Ricky Schlesinger, executive vice president for Eagle Creek, told SNEWS®: "We are restructuring our European operation for 2002. We are closing our Bochum (Germany) office." With that, the company will ...read more