SNEWS has learned that Pacific Trail Inc., a division of London Fog Industries, has decided to put the Roffe brand name on ice indefinitely.
Pacific Trail acquired Roffe along with Moonstone from The Gerry Group in August 2001.
Todd Gilmer, marketing and communications manager for Pacific Trail, told SNEWS that the company has no plans to sell the brand.
"We took a hard look at our returns compared to our investments and determined that our company and our customers would be better served by our team focusing all of our energies on our well-established brands -- Moonstone, Black Dot and Pacific Trail," Gilmer said.
Gilmer also told SNEWS that there is no specific timetable for bringing the brand back.
"We have no plans to put energies into relaunching the brand until market conditions improve. It is possible we might use the brand name in special make-up opportunities for the winter sports market, but all that is very speculative right now," Gilmer said.
SNEWS View: The move makes sense to us. Roffe is a skiwear brand that has struggled to reestablish itself in a market that is struggling, too. Considering the amount of time and the resources required simply to develop a sample line, the Pacific Trail team will now be freed to devote more time, design and marketing energy toward Moonstone, Black Dot and Pacific Trail. Moonstone at the height of its popularity enjoyed approximately 300 loyal accounts. Since Pacific Trail acquired the line from The Gerry Group experiment, it's grown retail accounts from a pathetic 45 to a respectable 125, with more accounts opening. Of those accounts, SNEWS has learned that more are going broader and deeper with the line -- all positive signs. Still, the numbers are likely below corporate expectations, so it makes sense to focus on a brand that has a shot -- Moonstone -- rather than one that does not -- Roffe. Also important to realize is the fact that while Pacific Trail continues to perform with strength, Black Dot certainly felt the slow down in the snowboard apparel market like everyone else. Add to that the fact that more companies are playing the value, price-point game (can you say 'deflationary market'?), and it doesn't take a lot of reading between the lines to determine that management realized that Pacific Trail Inc. must focus resources on pencil sharpening to continue to compete, and that leaves no extra time for the continuation of a brand development project with a brand that was on life-support when acquired -- Roffe.