Since 1974, climbers and skiers have been outfitted at North Conway, New Hampshire's International Mountain Equipment, a high-profile outdoor specialty shop in the center of town. Just in time for the winter ice climbing and ski season, International Mountain Equipment will undergo a complete renovation in partnership with Mammut Sports Group USA, to create a strong presence for the Mammut brand in the heart of one of New England's premier outdoor destinations.
Just minutes from Cathedral and White Horse Ledge climbing destinations, the store better known as IME has traditionally served as a gathering place for the local climbing community, command central for the area's Mountain Rescue Service, and home to the International Mountain Climbing School. Mammut's overhaul of the shop will reflect IME's heritage, offering customers an environment that encourages shopping, browsing, studying guidebooks, and exchanging tall tales of recent climbing exploits over a cup of coffee. The build-out will include a Mammut Lounge complete with bouldering pad couches, a Swiss coffee station, audio and video entertainment center featuring a flat panel TV set in a granite hearth, and a wide assortment of Mammut alpine outerwear, clothing, and climbing gear.
While the shop' s new appearance will reflect the Mammut partnership by highlighting the brand's identity, IME will continue to feature and support many other premium brands, including Black Diamond, Grivel, La Sportiva, Patagonia, Petzl, and others. â€œBy no means is this a mono-brand strategy,â€ said Jeff Cunningham, National Sales Manager for Mammut Sports Group USA. â€œIME will continue to honor the brands that have supported its success through the years, and will continue to offer their customers a broad selection of premium brands.â€
â€œThis really comes from a long-standing relationship between IME and the Mammut brand,â€ said Rick Wilcox, the shop's proprietor since 1979. â€œMammut has been a strong wholesale customer here for
over twenty years. It's the perfect fit for us, and for the Mammut brand. As a specialty retailer, we're able to communicate and sell products and brands with a level of sophistication needed to explain why certain gear and apparel is state-of-the-art and will meet the needs of the specialty customer. It's a win-win-win, for us, for Mammut, and for our customers who come from our community and every major city in the Northeast.â€
In April 2006, Mammut USA launched its first shop using this concept at the downtown Burlington, Vermont, Climb High retail store. Mammut USA intends to partner with two more retailers in 2007 and expanding its retail partnership initiative over the next five years. While Mammut has pursued a mono-brand strategy in the EU with a flagship store in Prague, Mammut USA intends to work with each retail partner to develop concept shops that compliment the individual feel of each store.
â€œBy no means are we dictating the rules and forcing the dealer to carry product that does not fit with their identity and strategy,â€ said Cunningham. â€œThrough continued analysis and refinement to our current concept stores, we will find the right elements for success to bring to other partners as we continue this strategy in 2007, 2008 and beyond.â€
About Mammut Sports Group
Based in Switzerland, Mammut is a leading manufacturer of all-season alpine gear and apparel. The Mammut Sports Group now includes Ajungilak of Norway, the world's oldest sleeping bag and insulation manufacturer, (http://www.ajungilak.no/), Raichle Swiss quality outdoor footwear (www.raichle.com) and ToKo wax and care products (http://www.toko.ch/). Mammut Sports Group
brands, contact Jeff Cunningham at 800.451.5127 ext. 110, or log on to: www.mammutusa.com. For
more information about Mammut apparel, gear, and athletes, log on to: www.mammutusa.com
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