Vaude taps new distributor as of June 15

Vaude, a German company, is ending its U.S. distribution relationship with Vaude Sports operated by Guntrum and Sam Jordan, and turning to Windsong Allegiance Group LLC. Read Worth, formerly president of RLX Polo, has been named president of Vaude USA, the newly-formed division of Windsong.

Vaude, a German company, is ending its U.S. distribution relationship with Vaude Sports operated by Guntrum and Sam Jordan, and turning to Windsong Allegiance Group LLC. Read Worth, formerly president of RLX Polo, has been named president of Vaude USA, the newly-formed division of Windsong.

Vaude USA will begin exclusive distribution of the entire Vaude line of products on June 15 to both the United States and Mexico. Worth told SNEWS that the company will announce sales representation at that time and will be taking sample deliveries at that time.

Why Vaude of Germany is jumping distribution ships was answered by Guntrum Jordan who told SNEWS that he has been in negotiations with Vaude for over a year about the future of the business. Once Jan Lorch, export manager for the company, came on board, it became clear to Jordan that the two would have to part ways.

"Vaude is huge in Europe and they began looking closely at our niche approach in the largest market in the world and wondered why we were not much bigger," said Jordan. "They also wanted us to take on apparel, which is nearly 50 percent of their business in Europe, and I didn't see that vision. I couldn't see trying to add more $400 jackets to a market that is already very crowded."

Jordan had been doing well with packs, sleeping bags and tents, and growing the Markill stove and water bottle line, but clearly, the German parent wanted more.

Under the new distribution agreement, Worth told SNEWS that Vaude USA will be offering the full line of products to the United States and Mexico, including Ecolog recycled clothing, Lucky climbing equipment, Markill stoves and lanterns, Vaude packs, tents and sleeping bags, Vaude apparel, Vaude cycling equipment, and new this year, Vaude footwear.

SNEWS View: Guntrum and Sam Jordan have handled this entire process with class and dignity, even to the point of repeatedly wishing Vaude and Read well during our interview. No word yet on what the couple will be doing next, but we wouldn't be surprised if they put their sales skills together as a rep team. Why the change? No doubt the parent company felt that if it was doing $81 million USD in sales worldwide, and $25 million of that came from foreign sales in just under 30 countries, the United States was dramatically underperforming at $1.5 to $2 million or just under 6 percent of the foreign sales share. And perhaps it has a point. However we caution Vaude -- many other European companies have looked hungrily at the U.S. market expecting to gobble up huge shares of the potential sales only to be sadly disappointed over and over again. Certainly it has the financial backing now with Windsong as the company's distributor. Windsong owns brands such as Hathaway, Joe Boxer, Pivot Rules and Navy Cutter and licenses others. It has a huge distribution network, high-tech warehousing and distribution facilities, production and sourcing teams, as well as marketing and design skills to support its efforts. Add Read Worth to the mix and you have talent and vision to help grow the brand. Still, Vaude must realize that it is entering a very crowded market by tossing the company's hat into the apparel arena. If that weren't difficult enough, going after a share of footwear dollars in the only market that is perhaps more crowded than apparel will be tenuous at best. If it can hit price points and keep retailer margins strong, it stands a chance of gradually -- emphasis on long-term commitment -- increasing its market share, especially in Mexico. But if Vaude has illusions of quickly grabbing a $10 million share of the U.S. market with little or no effort simply because it changed distributors, we'd advise them to wake up and drink some Italian coffee -- quickly.


Vaude looking for a U.S. distributor -- again

Retailers trying to order any Vaude product since last week from the company's U.S. distributor Windsong Allegiance Group are being told that Windsong is no longer dealing with Vaude. Windsong was named Vaude's distributor in May 2003 after the company ended a long-term more

They're baaaack…Vaude links up with Liberty Mountain

After more than a year's absence from the U.S. market, Vaude is clawing its way back by announcing an exclusive distribution agreement with Liberty Mountain. Jan Lorch, global sales manager for Vaude, told SNEWS® that while the company had been seriously considering opening its more

Willkommen, Vaude! Return to the U.S. planned -- again

Still without a distribution agreement with any suitable partner since May 2004, Vaude is now forging ahead on its own, beginning with operating its own booth at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market to "demonstrate we clearly intend to continue in this market," according to the more

Boreal names new distributor, tries clarifying situation

The new distributor of Boreal products in the United States is The Ralph Libonati Company with offices in New Jersey and Southern Calif. President Stephen Libonati told SNEWS that his company is in the process of sending out letters announcing the change and outlining his plans more


Outdoor: Movin’ & Shakin’ – Lowa pulling out of ski boots, Haglofs, Vaude, Bench, Clif Bar and more…

Gregory Mountain Products has hired a European brand manager, Andrea Meerholz, who is based in Switzerland. She will help the company evolve into an agent-based model, according to Dion Goldsworthy, and will oversee the process of “fast forwarding those steps.” Meerholz started more

Vaude takes over Edelrid

Two successful companies, both with headquarters and production facilities in Germany, having reached a highly-established position on the world market through the launching of a number of cutting-edge innovations, will now join forces: VAUDE has recently acquired the company more

TAPS looking forward and for a new executive director

Nine months after riding into the TAPS offices to a round of applause and a few "saints be praised" tributes, Paul German has resigned his post as the executive director of TAPS. But let's be real here. German is stepping down for exactly the right reasons -- to accept a job, more

Did you hear?... Garmont named the new distributor of Bridgedale socks

Garmont has been named the new distributor of Bridgedale socks as of today, SNEWS® has learned. The Northern Ireland-based sock company will no longer be distributed out of Seattle, Wash., and out of Nikwax's headquarters, and all products that were warehoused in Seattle have more

Outdoor: Did you hear?...

>> Auf Wiedersehen Vaude -- for now. Ever since Vaude and Windsong terminated their all-too-brief distribution relationship in a less than smooth manner, Vaude has been working on trying to re-establish a distribution foothold in the United States, which didn't get finalized. more