London Fog Nabs Moonstone and Roffe

Gerry's Moonstone and Roffe brands joined Pacific Trail under the London Fog Industries' corporate umbrella, as of Aug. 2.

Gerry's Moonstone and Roffe brands joined Pacific Trail under the London Fog Industries' corporate umbrella, as of Aug. 2.

"Both brands fit nicely into London Fog's "three-m" strategy: multiple
channels of distribution, multiple categories, and multiple products,"
said Pacific Trails' Todd Gilmore. "With Moonstone we get a high-end
technical outdoor brand, and with Roffe we get a high-end technical
skiwear brand."

Financial details of the sale were not disclosed. What is known is that
former Moonstone vice president and general manager, Bob Schoonmaker,
will not immediately join London Fog. He is assisting the company
through the transition of the brand from Gerry, as a consultant. Sue
Dickerson-Smith, who merchandised Moonstone for Gerry, will continue
doing that at London Fog.

"As much as possible, we will try to maintain the status quo, "Gilmore
said, "That means keeping the existing Moonstone sales force in place
and being at the same booth location as they were at the winter OR for
the upcoming summer show. Other than that, we'll be taking time after
the show to evaluate all aspects of Moonstone's management and internal

Gilmore is upbeat about Moonstone's future. "It's an innovative tech
brand that will help drive development at Pacific Trail. Having
Moonstone gives us the opportunity to develop fabric technologies and
new designs."

Adds Schoonmaker, "This is the best thing to happen to Moonstone since
Fred Williams sold it. Pacific Trail understands the business and have
made it clear that this is a long-term strategic decision for them and
they know how to make the brand successful."

When asked if he might join the Pac Trail team, Schoonmaker told us,
"They treat folks so well over there and are so professional and
well-organized that and I would be honored to work with them. Once the
transition is over, we will both meet to see what makes sense."

SNEWS® view:
It's hard to quarrel with Pacific Trail's success in recent years. But
does the company have that ace up its sleeve, that magical wand that
can revive a battered and beaten Moonstone? Over the past few weeks,
amid hearing the rumors of an impending sale, cynics were saying that
Moonstone had reached rock bottom and there was no way that London Fog
will keep it as a high-end technical brand. The less cynical are
adopting a wait-and-see attitude. Our take on it? Sit tight until after
the winter show to start making bets on the resurgence or demise of
Moonstone. IF Moonstone stays true to its specialty roots, and IF
rumors about new product introductions with a Marmot-like "Precip" line
and some value-priced Gore-Tex are true, and IF retailers believe
Moonstone deserves shelf space, and IF Moonstone manages to create collections that make sense to a specialty retailer, AND if the retail economy cooperates so
retailers don't simply cherry pick the line as a fill-in brand, then
Moonstone has a very good shot of resurrecting itself. That's a lot of
big "ifs."

As for Roffe … hmmmm. Fleece
is struggling. And, despite being recognized once as a very high-end
brand, Roffe has been struggling. If Roffe gets a much-needed face-lift
(it can't keep banking on its name to garner consumer attention) and if
the ski market has another successful winter, Roffe might just make it
… for another year anyway.


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