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, European Outdoor Group’s Association for Conservation has changed its name, Vaude enters agreement with Chinese gear company, Lowa says it’s pulling out of the ski boots market, and much 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 Feb. 1…. Nearly six months after Haglofs of Sweden was acquired by Asics, the company announced that Nicolas Warchalowski, former sales and marketing manager, has been named CEO and former CEO Mats Hedblom has stepped into a role as corporate advisor. Warchalowski told SNEWS® the company was extremely happy with its new ownership since Asics wants to invest in Haglofs’ growth. “They have clear intentions to keep the brands separate,” he said. Growth is also on the horizon but North America is “farther down the list,” he added. Click here to see a Sept. 13, 2010, SNEWS story about the acquisition’s close…. Vaude has entered into a collaboration agreement arrangement with Kailas, a Chinese outdoor gear company, for products for the Chinese market, it was announced at the ispo show….

The European Outdoor Group’s Association for Conservation has changed its name as of February to the European Outdoor Conservation Association. New name, same mission, was the word at the ispo show. …. Grandoe is a new licensee for Klymit and its air technology. The partnership is the first in the glove sector…. Salewa has introduced its new Mountain Guide pack series, with the top model including ABS, a first for Salewa…. Arno Dietz has moved into the position of head of product development in Germany for Schoeffel from his position at Swiss retailer Baechli. Schoeffel also announced its sales for 2010 grew by 12 percent to EUR 84 million (USD $114.5 million). The company expects to hit or exceed the EUR 100 million mark (USD $136.3 million) by 2012….

Lowa has announced it will focus in the future on mountaineering, hiking and outdoor lines, pulling out of the ski boots market, the company said in a German release. The decision is effective immediately. Its sister companies at the Tecnica Group, Nordica and Tecnica, will continue their focus on wintersports footwear…Bench, which started in 1989 as a small brand of T-shirts for BMX and skateboard, has more than 100 stores now, three years after being acquired by private investment firm HgCapital ( According to reports in the German press, HgCapital has Bench, founded in Manchester, England, on the market for GBP 250 million (USD $404 million) in a sale overseen by Rothschild investment bank….

Clif Bar has promoted Pat Bush to national sales manager, sports retail. In his new role, Bush will manage eight independent sales agencies in the sports retail channel… Aussie Dogs has added Barbara Jernegan to its national sales force. Jernegan joins the Aussie Dogs team with over 20 years of experience in new account development, strategic sales targeting and new business development…Lauren Dugdale tells SNEWS she is departing Mullen after what she terms “three glorious years” to join Edelman where she will manage social media communications for AXE.

–Therese Iknoian with Michael Hodgson

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