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La Sportiva, a leader in outdoor footwear, announces that its North American distribution operations have become part of La SportivaÂ¹s unified global distribution consortium.
As of 2006, La Sportiva S.p.A., the Italian parent company and manufacturer, and La Sportiva N.A., Incorporated merged in a cooperative effort to support La Sportiva’s brand strength with their customers who continue to benefit from their expertise in mountain specialty products delivered with the quality and innovation that are the trademarks of the La Sportiva brand.
The move comes at a good time. La Sportiva N.A. announced a 30-percent growth in preseason sales from S05 to S06 with a considerable spike in the trail running category. What’s more, the Leisure Trends Group recently reported that La Sportiva dominated the U.S. climbing shoe market in 2005 with over 35-percent overall market share and a staggering 65-percent market share for price points over $100 for ten month sales from January 2005 through October 2005. La Sportiva continues to clearly dominate the mountaineering boot segment with a 65-percent market share for the same period. The success the brand is having in the North American market drew the attention of La Sportiva Italy and translated into the new partnership structure.
By aligning the North American operations with the global brand, the company will achieve considerable synergies in its marketing, product line management, R&D, and finance operations. New access to expanded resources from the Italian parent company is expected to fuel exponential growth in the coming years.
The La Sportiva N.A. operations recently restructured its research and development functions to sharpen its focus on trail running and light hiking markets. Industry veteran and North American Product Manager, Gary Banik, will continue to head up the Boulder, Colorado R&D office with a new emphasis on co-developing products with the expansive Italian R&D team located in the newly built Design Center on the La Sportiva factory campus in Ziano di Fiemme, Italy. This new alignment, in combination with the company’s deep vertical expertise and comprehensive understanding of the local market issues, will enhance La Sportiva N.A.’s ability to deliver compelling outdoor specialty footwear and provide powerful sell-through support at the retail level.
The move happened at the right time, says Colin Lantz, President of La Sportiva NA. “After our most successful year and with anticipated continued growth, our new partnership with La Sportiva Italy will enable us to offer our dealers the enterprise level of support we’ve always dreamed of offering,” Lantz said. “This is a very exciting turning point for us. Our goal for the last decade had been to reach competitive parity in offshore product development with some of the big hitters in this industry. Having attained this we are now setting our sites on providing the highest caliber sell through support this industry has ever seen. We are fulfilling the promise that our dealers have seen in us all of these years. It’s happening!”
La Sportiva NA’s web presence, formerly www.sportiva.com, is now changed to www.lasportiva.com, which reflects the global La Sportiva presence.