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For the weeks of Aug. 9-22
>> Prior to the kick-off of Summer Market, a familiar face was landing in a new location as Robert Orlando, former president of Teva Footwear, was appointed president of Phoenix Footwear Group’s Royal Robbins division. Orlando is succeeding Francisco Morales, who is now pursuing a career as an independent apparel-sourcing consultant. Morales won’t stray too far as he remains with Phoenix Footwear on a category exclusive consulting basis. As a consultant to Phoenix, Morales will lead product creation and development of Royal Robbins apparel and lend textile development expertise to other Phoenix Footwear units. At Teva, Orlando was responsible for the global marketing and development of all Teva-branded footwear and apparel, increasing sales from $61 million to $88 million over a five-year period. Prior to Teva, he worked at adidas-Salomon from 1996 to 2000, serving both as business unit manager and later vice president of footwear and apparel, overseeing the development and marketing of all adidas-Salomon footwear and apparel for North America, and driving significant sales growth during his tenure. From 1994 to 1996, he was the president of Newport Outfitters.
>> Orlando’s empty seat at Teva has been filled by Carlo Lingiardi, formerly vice president and general manager of Tecnica USA’s footwear division. As president, Lingiardi will be responsible for all aspects of the Teva brand and will report directly to Deckers’ CEO Angel Martinez. At Tecnica, Lingiardi was directly in charge of the hiking and after-ski footwear categories, coordinating the product and design team efforts in both the United States and Italy. He also oversaw the marketing, advertising and strategic direction for those lines, and under his leadership, the division posted double-digit sales gains and significant increases in profitability. From 2000 to 2003, Lingiardi served as vice president of sales and operations for Geox USA, an Italian-based footwear company. In the interim, Kevin Dixon, director of product management and marketing, will handle Lingiardi’s former responsibilities at Tecnica.
>> Warren Greene, footwear/gear editor for Runner’s World, had a brain aneurysm on Aug. 17 during a morning run. Luckily, his wife was home and rushed him to the hospital located close to where they live in Pennsylvania. He underwent surgery on Aug. 18 at St. Luke’s in Bethlehem, Pa., to have the blood vessels repaired. Thankfully, he’s recuperating very quickly and while he’s still in the ICU, word is he’ll be released next week, followed by a few weeks of home recovery. Apparently, Greene has had this condition since birth, and it was only a matter of time before the aneurysm hit. It’s amazingly lucky how things went down. He was close to home (and just two blocks from the hospital), so his wife was able to act fast. Greene had just returned from Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, and after his run he was going to drive up to State College, alone, for a meeting. Also, he’s been heading up the Runner’s World Hood-to-Coast Relay Team and very easily could’ve been running alone through the woods at night in Oregon next week when this happened. Timing, as they say, is everything. Please hold Greene, a friend to many of us in the outdoor industry, in your prayers and thoughts. Wishes and thoughts can be sent to him at St. Luke’s at 801 Ostrum St., Bethlehem, PA 18015. Switchboard phone is 610-954-4000.
>> Originally code-named Project 8x, the veil can be lifted to reveal Cloudveil’s new line of fly-fishing apparel and accessories set to debut at the Fly-Fishing Retailer Expo in early September. Cloudveil management said it’s looking to mirror the company’s success in the fly-fishing market as it has in outdoor, dubbing itself “a youthful, innovative company that is quick to identify the latest technologies and trends in the marketplace.” Stephen Sullivan, Cloudveil’s founder and global brand vice president, said, “Our ambition is to provide a new generation of anglers with the same measure of product purpose we have afforded the outdoor market, leveraging our innovative design and our longstanding relationships with technical fabric suppliers and cutting-edge manufacturers.” He added that the Cloudveil crew have been lifelong anglers with a desire to delve into this market and have waited for certain pieces to fall into place, including a partnership with Gore-Tex. Cloudveil’s new angling program has been in development for two years led by product manager Ned Hutchinson. He brings extensive experience from a lifetime of fly-fishing and 10 years in specialty retail, most recently as the general manager at Westbank Anglers in Jackson, Wyo. Highlights of the new line include new Gore-Tex Immersion Technology/XCR waders, Gore-Tex XCR and PacLite jackets, Windstopper fleece, ultra-light wading boots, proprietary InertiaPlus Soft Shell shirts and pants, and fishing vests. An independent sales force has been hired specifically for the fly-fishing specialty market and includes Brian O’Keefe/Northwest, Mike and Diane Atwell/Northern Rockies, Scott and Luisa Harkins/Southern Rockies, Cary Marcus/South Central, Allan Fici/Great Lakes, Bill Dawson/Mid-Atlantic, Brad Gauge/Northeast, Park Burson/Southeast and JJ Pilgreen/Alaska. The line will make its first appearance Sept. 8-10 at the Fly-Fishing Retailer Expo in Denver.
>> News we hate to publish! At the end of a very successful Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Teva’s global promotions manager, Liz Ferrin, had her black Mountainsmith shoulder bag stolen from the Teva booth. The bag has “Teva Mountain Games at Vail” embroidered on the front. Inside, the bag contained all of the business cards she received at the show, along with promotions proposals, and, naturally, her credit cards, driver’s license and keys. She’s hoping the bag has been ditched somewhere and turns up. There is a $250 reward and free VIP passes to a Teva party for the one who locates Ferrin’s bag. Email Ferrin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
>> Usually known as a transitional month for retail, retail industry sales for July (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose a strong 4.6 percent unadjusted over last year and remained unchanged from June, the National Retail Federation said. July retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) rose 1.8 percent seasonally adjusted from June and increased 10.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Automobile and gasoline sales, categories that NRF does not include in its retail industry sales numbers, once again performed well last month. NRF expects retail industry sales to increase 5.4 percent this year over 2004.
>> At GSI Commerce, Michael Rubin will no longer share the president role with Robert Blyskal. Blyskal was hired in May 2004 as the company’s co-president and COO. Blyskal will now be president and COO. Blyskal will continue to report to Rubin, chairman and CEO of GSI Commerce. Blyskal will continue to oversee the general and specialty and sports business management groups, the technology and information services group, the operations group, the newly added international group and the partner services organization. Additionally, Patrick Vogt has been named executive vice president of GSI, and will head the company’s general and specialty organization, which includes all of the company’s non-sporting goods partners. Prior to joining GSI, Vogt served as the senior vice president and senior general manager for Sony Corp. of America’s Sony eSolutions Company LLC.
>> The Good Housekeeping Institute took a look at back-to-school packs ideal for junior this year, and those that received the “seal of approval” are mighty familiar names. After testing 19 packs, GHI’s top pick was the Kelty Juniper that got kudos for MP3/CD player storage, mesh pockets for drinks and taped seams for extra support of the fullest loads. Burton’s Youth Day Hiker got a thumbs-up for its built-in skateboard straps and rubberized bottom for pack dragging (a new outdoor sport?). And the smaller kids preferred High Sierra’s Pace for its “controllable size” and being as strong as many of the larger packs. GHI’s results appeared in the September issue of Good Housekeeping magazine and recently featured on Good Morning America.Â Â Â
>> Out to foil the bad guys, Columbia Sportswear has been on an aggressive tear to eradicate counterfeiting of Columbia products in several key markets, working with local authorities in China, Vietnam and Australia. In July, Columbia seized almost 80,000 counterfeit products in a series of raids in China. Acting on a request by Columbia, Chinese officials in Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province staged a raid that yielded nearly 45,000 pairs of counterfeit Columbia pants. Other July raids uncovered an additional 34,000 garments, including parkas, ball caps and fishing vests. Efforts to expand Columbia’s anti-counterfeiting program in Vietnam led to the closure of three workshops manufacturing bogus backpacks — and was the area’s largest raid to date of counterfeit product. Additionally, during the first half of the year, activities in Australia have resulted in the seizure of counterfeit apparel valued at $1 million.
>> Big Agnes has hired industry veteran Bob Swanson as its tent line manager, overseeing creation and development of all its tents. Swanson co-founded Sierra Designs and Walrus Inc. with George Marks. Swanson remained with Walrus after it was acquired by REI, and spent several years designing Armadillo tents.
>> Lisa Beckstead has moved over to Kokatat’s sales and marketing team covering PR/field marketing. Beckstead is overseeing sponsorship and donation opportunities, and is the go-to for public and media relations. She’ll also spend time in the field attending paddling events. Beckstead has had a longtime relationship with Kokatat as an athlete ambassador and comes to Kokatat from Lotus Designs, where she worked as the brand coordinator.
>> Cabela’s is in negotiations to build a destination superstore on a portion of a 624-acre mixed-use development at historic Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. If the negotiations work out, Cabela’s would likely commit to a minimum of 20 years at the location, with lease extensions possible. The Connecticut store would be similar in size to the Cabela’s retail stores in Kansas City, Kansas, and Buda, Texas. Cabela’s anticipates the store would be open by fall of 2007 and employ 450 people.
>> Dutton Associates, an independent investment research firm, updated its coverage of Rocky Shoes & Boots (Nasdaq: RCKY) maintaining a “buy” rating and a $38 price target. An eight-page report by Dutton senior analyst Jon Ziegler, CFA, is available at www.jmdutton.com.
>> Bridgedale, a division of Garmont North America, said it has partnered with the Breast Cancer Fund to donate 10 percent of proceeds from its newest women’s performance sock, the X-Hale, to the organization for one year beginning Jan. 1, 2006. The Women’s X-Hale, designed in conjunction with local athletes and retailers across North America, is an ultra lightweight multi-sport sock knit with performance features and super thin mesh designed to keep feet cool during hot/humid conditions. The sock packaging will feature the Breast Cancer Fund logo and pink ribbon. The Breast Cancer Fund focuses on preventing breast cancer by eliminating the disease’s environmental causes.
>> Jim Marsh has been appointed the new advertising director for Canoe & Kayak magazine. An avid kayaker, he comes to Canoe & Kayak from the Mountain Gazette in Colorado, where he was advertising director for two years. Prior to that, he was an advertising account executive at Paddler magazine. Marsh replaces Steve Jones, who has decided to pursue a career outside of the paddlesports industry.