Hurricane Kayaks shakes up rep force

Hurricane Kayaks has laid off three independent reps and is moving to a “hybridized rep force” to improve its service to dealers, Brad Taylor, vice president of sales and marketing for Hurricane Kayaks, told SNEWS®.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Hurricane Kayaks has laid off three independent reps and is moving to a “hybridized rep force” to improve its service to dealers, Brad Taylor, vice president of sales and marketing for Hurricane Kayaks, told SNEWS®.

“We’ll use independent reps in territories where it makes sense, and in territories where it makes sense to use factory reps, we will do that,” said Taylor

Hurricane Kayaks, based in Warsaw, N.C., terminated reps in three territories in June: Don Otey (northeast), Erik Thompson (upper Midwest) and Thomas Cronquist (Texas).

“It’s no reflection on those guys. It was a business decision we made,” said Taylor. “We’re going to be using in-house reps on the East Coast, because our headquarters are stationed centrally on the East Coast, and it makes sense to manage that area from the factory.

“For other reasons, it makes sense for us to manage the upper Midwest all the way over into Texas (with inside reps),” said Taylor, declining to go into the details of that decision.

Independent reps will remain in place for the West Coast, the remainder of the Midwest, and Florida.

“We did this because we feel like, in the territories we just talked about, we can offer a higher level of service than independent reps, because they will be singularly focused on Hurricane Kayaks,” said Taylor. “There’s no competition of time with paddle lines, pfd lines, etc. They’ll be dedicated to Hurricane Kayaks.”

--Marcus Woolf

SNEWS® View: This decision certainly came as a shock to those who were let go, and the reasoning behind it still seems vague, particularly with Taylor declining to reveal the reason for the change in the upper Midwest. We can certainly appreciate the company’s determination to improve service, but we are left wondering if there is not something more at work here. Companies have certainly been known to part ways with their independent reps to cut costs or achieve a singular sales focus, and that could be the case here. There is a possibility that the company is struggling a bit with internal operations or quality control, because we’ve heard that some retailers have had problems getting Hurricane product delivered. Of course, it could just be a case of the company not being happy with the performance of a few reps. Whatever the reason for the shake-up, it will be interesting to see if this “hybrid” philosophy pays dividends.

--SNEWS® Editors

Related

BendingBranches-Logo.gif

Bending Branches and Aqua-Bound consolidate rep force

Just over six months after the acquisition of Aqua-Bound (click here to read the Dec. 18 SNEWS story), Bending Branches has restructured its rep force, resulting in some reps getting walking papers while others now have two paddle brands to peddle. SNEWS® began receiving calls ...read more

Merrell_Logo.jpg

Wolverine Outdoor Group ends relationship with Chaco’s existing rep force

On March 25, members of the Wolverine Outdoor Group began a journey that was said to be one of the hardest things the team had ever done. Seth Cobb, vice president and general manager of Merrell USA, and others began traveling to visit with existing Chaco reps to tell them, ...read more

GoLite_logo.gif

Breaking the norm: GoLite shakes up its marketing strategy for 2011

GoLite co-founders Demetri “Coup” and Kim Coupounas have never been the type to follow the pack. When the couple founded their outdoor gear and apparel company in 1998, they introduced ultra-light, streamlined packs at a time when most competitors were focused on more padding, ...read more

Omega Pacific phases out distributors, turns to rep force

Omega Pacific has announced that the company will immediately begin phasing out its network of climbing equipment distributors and replace them with regional, independent sales reps and an expanded in-house customer service team. The change will be implemented over the next six ...read more

Malibu Kayaks set to open dealers the right way

Malibu Kayaks, in business making and selling its own brand of kayaks directly to consumers for over three years, is ready to take on a limited number of retail dealers, the company told SNEWS® last week. Sean Caples, owner of Malibu Kayaks, launched into the manufacture of his ...read more

Outdoor Reps Association show attendance flat, but energetic

Even though the number of dealers was up only slightly from the year before, exhibitors and attendees of the 2005 Outdoor Reps Association trade fair in Madison, Wis., reported a brisk business. The 31st annual Midwest summer market continues to be an important venue for ...read more

Did you hear?... Lowe Alpine continues to expand its sales rep force

Lowe Alpine continues to expand its sales rep force. Andy Molter is Lowe’s new lead sales representative for the Mid-Atlantic region, managing Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Mike Fisher has been promoted to Lowe’s lead sales representative for Maine, ...read more

NautilusLogo.jpg

Nautilus shakes up leadership ... again

Another year, another new leader for Nautilus Inc. For the fourth time in as many years, the Vancouver, Wash.-based consumer fitness equipment brand has a new CEO. This time it’s Bruce Cazenave, a former executive with Timberland and Black and Decker. The latest management ...read more

Did you hear?... Indigo Equipment announces sales rep force for key backcountry ski territories

Indigo Equipment Inc. has announced its sales rep force for key backcountry ski territories. Reed Powers and Mike Stepanek will be managing the Rocky Mountain territory, including Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. Reed can be reached at 970-926-0843 or xcski@vail.net. Mike ...read more