Garmont Footwear to return to North America; former Salomon, Merrell exec will lead subsidiary

The Italian footwear brand will return stateside with a focus on outdoor footwear after selling its ski boot business to Scott Sports in 2012.
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Garmont is coming back to United States and Canada.

The Italian footwear brand has gone through plenty of restructuring in the past two years, including selling its ski boot division to Scott Sports in 2012, with the remaining outdoor footwear side of the business being acquired last spring by Pierangelo Bressan of the VeNetwork investment group in Italy.

Under it’s new ownership, Garmont announced Wednesday that it will invest in a full-service North American subsidiary (based in New Hampshire), naming Bill Dodge as CEO. Dodge, who got his start with Salomon in 1992, most recently served six years as vice president of global product design and development at Merrell. He also previously worked with Patagonia Footwear, GoLite Footwear, and New Balance.

BillDodge-Garmont

“Bressan has established a strong international management team for Garmont, led by Giuliano Zavan, formerly of Asolo and Tecnica,” Dodge said. “We have a strong opportunity to start fresh with a trusted premium brand.”

New Garmont outdoor footwear styles will debut in 2015. Dodge tells SNEWS, he’s looking into attending Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015.

“Garmont targets the enthusiast and it is important we develop an effective, mutually beneficial relationship with specialty retail,” Dodge said. “Because specialty retail faces a complex marketplace we will take a supportive approach that will focus on education and sell-through success. This is a unique opportunity to build an innovative bridge between great product and the consumer, with a clear and reliable distribution strategy.”

The brand is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014.

Retailers with any questions or Garmont's return can reach out to Dodge here.

--David Clucas

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