When travel clothier Scottevest announced that it would begin selling Dahlgren Footwear socks on its website, we wondered if it meant a new direction for Scottevest and its tech-enabled apparel.
Scottevest, of course, isn’t an online retailer – it’s a manufacturer (albeit one that sells primarily direct-to-consumer) – and Dahlgren isn’t one of its brands. So what's going on?
“As much as we’d like to, we can’t make everything,” Scottevest founder and CEO Scott Jordan said in the press release announcing the deal. In his own travels, Jordan said he couldn’t find a better sock – so why not share Dahlgren’s product with his customers, even if the company didn’t make it.
“Scottevest is known for our outerwear – vests, jackets and hats – but we’ve never been able to say that we can dress you from head to toe,” Scottevest marketing director Thom O’Leary told SNEWS. “We’re trying to find products that could make that a reality – products that we could sell at retail, but ones that fit our message, ones that Scott wears and likes.”
With Dahlgren, Scott put the alpaca and merino wool socks to the full test, traveling several days with the same pair, washing them in hotel sinks, and giving them the stink smell test. And he did it all online – posting review videos on YouTube (see right) -- none of this while telling Dahlgren.
“Hopefully, they’ll be interested in allowing us to resell their brand,” Jordan says in one of the videos, posted in December 2010 before he contacted Dahlgren.
Dahlgren (www.dahlgrenfootwear.com) caught wind of the social media blitz when Scottevest customers started calling for the socks.
“It was completely out of the blue,” President Kris Dahlgren told SNEWS. “They have a great presence in the travel market, and that’s something we welcome.”
She said the arrangement is like any other retailer – Scottevest gets the socks at wholesale prices to sell at retail and profit on the website (www.scottevest.com). Dahlgren, too, has done a little bit of cross marketing by linking to the Scottevest videos on its website. O’Leary said the relationship could grow with some more cross-marketing opportunities. And Scottevest is looking for more outside brands to sell on its site – ones that get put to the test, we are sure.
“It helps us tell another aspect of the Scottevest story,” O’Leary said.
This isn’t the first time that SNEWS has run into manufacturers selling products other than their own. And with the ease of online retail, we think it might not be the last.
If you or any brand you know is dabbling in retail other than their own, let us know by dropping a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you have any opinions or comments about these kind of relationships, tell us what you think. And be sure to sound off in our latest SNEWS Reader Poll below.
-- David Clucas