Seeing a "huge market opportunity," recreational outerwear manufacturer Pacific Trail has licensed with Atsco Footwear Group to design, develop and market functional and rugged casual and active footwear for men, women and children, Todd Gilmer, Pacific Trail's marketing director, told SNEWS®, "Obviously, it is a natural brand extension for us. When we take a look at what our core business is, it is outdoor apparel and related accessories -- and footwear is in that category." The new line will debut in fall 2002, but will not officially launch until spring 2003, and will include everything from rugged trail shoes to sport sandals and will be sold mostly through department stores and national chains.
"We are not competing with the Merrells and the Columbias," Gilmer said. "That is not the type of footwear that we are designing…. Anything we do has to be functional, or it is not going to be relevant to the brand." Gilmer said the value Pacific Trail is known for will also extend to the footwear developed by Avon, Mass.-based, Atsco, which also is the footwear licensee for Lee and London Fog, of which Pacific Trail is a wholly owned subsidiary. This agreement is one of several licensing agreements for Pacific Trail as it extends its brand and line into new areas.
SNEWS® View: Certainly if a consumer accustomed to gravitating toward Pacific Trail because of the value and features sees Pacific Trail footwear, we could see them picking it up and trying it on because it's a brand they trust and believe in. That's good for Pac Trail, and it's also good for consumers. We will bet that Pacific Trail is not a company to simply flop its logo on some generic shoes lined up in a warehouse, but will make certain the footwear it chooses complement its current line and customer interests and needs.