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British outdoor brand Berghaus launches in the United States

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Renowned British outdoor brand Berghaus has confirmed plans to start trading in the USA from fall 2014. Following two years of extensive market and retail research, and business planning, Berghaus USA has opened for business. Based in Portland, Oregon, the company will begin by selling in a selection of products from the fall/winter 2014 range to target specialist outdoor, trail running and ski and snow retailers.

Berghaus USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berghaus UK, which itself is owned by the global sports, outdoor and fashion business the Pentland Group. The USA operation is led by president Walt Crate and vice president sales and marketing Bo Johnson. All aspects of sales, marketing and consumer customer service will be located in the Portland Berghaus USA office. Additional logistical, operational and financial management support will be provided by the Pentland USA office in Long Island, New York.

Founded in 1966 in England, Berghaus has grown into one of the most respected and successful performance outdoor brands in Europe, and in recent years has made significant inroads into many other territories around the world. The brand is now available in 40 countries and over more than four decades, has developed a reputation for bringing cutting edge outdoor innovations to the market.

Berghaus was responsible for many iconic product developments as the outdoor industry matured: 1974 – Cyclops, the first internal frame padded compartmentalized rucksack; 1977 – the first company in Europe to introduce a GORE-TEX jacket; 1978 – Yeti Gaiter, the first integrated climbing/hiking gaiter. Berghaus innovations have continued to this day: 2011 – HydroDown, pioneering water resistant down in clothing; 2013 – Vapour Storm, the first permanently ventilated GORE-TEX jacket, enabling substantially enhanced comfort to high intensity trail activities; and in 2014, Berghaus’ will debut Hydroloft, a synthetic insulation that delivers superior breathability through a revolutionary air exchange system, giving enhanced comfort and keeping the wearer warm without the weight, even when wet.

The Berghaus USA team recently travelled to Austria to attend the global sales launch of the Berghaus fall/winter 2014 collection. They have now started meeting with specialty customers and will be exhibiting at the regional shows (North East, Mid Atlantic, South East, Mid West, Rockies, Northwest and Far West), as well as Winter Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City.

Walt Crate comments:

“As a privately held, family-owned company, we have the patience to employ a disciplined approach to building our specialty retail partnerships. We deeply believe that specialty retail is the life-blood of the industry and we’ll dedicate the vast majority of our resources both in store and within the outdoor community to inspire the Berghaus consumer to reflect the brand’s values and use its products to ‘live for adventure’.”

Bo Johnson adds:

“The Berghaus distribution strategy is to provide a ‘key account’ level of service to specialty mountaineering, trail sports, ski and other outdoor retail accounts. We’ve teamed up with a best in class set of sales and marketing reps with the goal of building strong customer relationships with specialty retail.”

James Harris, global chief operating officer for Berghaus, comments:

“This project has been in development for a long time. Although the largest outdoor market in the world and therefore a clear opportunity for a growing brand like Berghaus, it has taken until now for us to find the right business model and partners. With Walt, Bo and their team, and the support of Pentland USA, we are really excited about the potential for Berghaus in the United States.

“Despite our long absence from the market, Berghaus is known on that side of the Atlantic, particularly through the activity of some of our sponsored adventurers, including Yosemite’s own Sean Leary. We now have a product range that we believe will appeal to USA consumers and we look forward to watching Berghaus USA develop.”