Somnio to adopt distribution model in Europe
hoe brand Somnio will adopt a distribution model in European markets after closing its operation on the continent.
Somnio Europe AG was closed after struggling with ‘insurmountable production and delivery issues’. In the UK, its first delivery of 220 pairs of shoes was due to go into four retail partners at the
start January with a further delivery of 160 pairs scheduled for March.
Danny Orr, former global product manager at Somnio Europe, said due to production issues in the Far East out of its control, the first shipment did not arrive until mid-March.
Orr is now working as managing director of Somnio Europe, which will remain in name although the business has closed. He said: “We had problems getting hold of shoes, which has forced us to re- evaluate our position and close our European business.
“We ourselves made a few late changes to the design which slowed delivery down, and we had issues getting factories to manufacture them at all as we are a small brand.”
Orr said Somnio also had problems with quality, with one delivery of uppers not meeting its quality checks, causing a further delay.
“We had sales guys in the UK and across Europe. This meant we had costs, but weren’t able to sell
anything. We weren’t even getting close to breaking even, which meant we couldn’t carry on. “We wanted to be more aggressive with our own dedicated sales force in Europe, but this situation has forced us to take a step back. It’s very disappointing.”
However, he said Somnio would remain in Europe through a distribution network, a model which has worked well for other brands in the past, such as Brooks which has only recently started selling direct in the UK.
It had unveiled the Nada barefoot running shoe at TCR in February, and Orr said: “Our UK sales were
looking strong and we recently won an award at ISPO. It was a great environment for us to kick on from, we just didn’t have any shoes. We were caught between a rock and a hard place. “It made sense to cut our costs back and now we’re in talks with distributors to spread our coverage across Europe. Products will come from the US, where all the paperwork and administration will also be handled. We will be able to better manage costs that way, while distributors will be able to focus on their own markets.”
Orr added that the future may see Somnio Europe return as a business in its own right. It is already working on improving its production practices in the Far East, and is working with two new factories.
This, Orr said, will hopefully be supported by an increase in sales volumes through its distribution network. “The brand goes on, and it’s still a viable business. If all goes well, we’ll be able to come back and start selling direct again.”
Barefoot training manual launched B
arefoot running specialist Vivobarefoot and biomechanics expert Lee Saxby have launched an electronic guide to promote injury-free running and walking.
‘Proprioception: Making sense of barefoot running’ is a free e-book designed to offer a step-by-step guide to ‘reduce injury, improve performance and reawaken the innate skill of running and walking’. To this end, it has the aim of bringing about the ‘death of jogging’ by ‘breaking through the myths and misinformation’ surrounding barefoot running.
The guide explains proprioception, the secret to optimum performance and injury-free running, commonly referred to as our sixth sense. Saxby said: “Humans have evolved as endurance running specialists, but approximately 80 per cent of all runners are injured each year. There are three natural locomotion forms for human beings: walking, running, and sprinting. Jogging is a modern invention, only possible in padded shoes. This e-book aims to stop the tyranny of jogging and teach people how to run. “Running is a skill and the cornerstone of developing that skill is proprioceptive feedback. “Proprioception from the feet informs the brain of the ground reaction forces encountered and triggers change to the most appropriate form of locomotion. It’s essential to enjoyable and injury-free running. Understanding and developing your proprioceptive sense is the first step on the journey towards reawakening the skill of natural movement.”
It also features forewords from Christopher McDougall, author of ‘Born To Run’, and Harvard University professor Daniel Lieberman, as well as illustrations from renowned American illustrator Bryan Christie. ‘Proprioception: Making sense of barefoot running’ is available from http://trainingclinic.vivobarefoot.com
. It can also be downloaded as a PDF.
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