Industry: OutDoor Review
Walkstool looks for UK growth
P ortable seating
specialist Walkstool is on the look-out for a specialist outdoor distributor in the UK to help it target large sections of the market it is currently missing out on. The Swedish firm has a number of distribution partners in the UK
already, such as Alan Rhone, GMK and Podiacare, but Lars Andersson, president of the company, said these are targeting markets such as the hunting and professional healthcare sectors, and not providing it with opportunities in the wider outdoor market. Walkstool uses a patented and trademarked design featuring three telescopic legs, according to Andersson. This means it can be used in two configurations, either extended for a normal seating position, or collapsed for a low sitting position. Four height variants are also available, scoping from 45cm to 75cm with increasing seat sizes the longer the legs.
Andersson said the product is ideal for a number of markets, from professionals working at low levels, such as electricians, healthcare workers and physiotherapists, to photographers and birdwatchers, but has a natural setting in the outdoors market, whether camping, walking, hunting or fishing.
Commercial entities, such as Rover, Nikon and Zeuss, have already worked with Walkstool to produce bespoke versions featuring their logos as marketing gifts. This has grown awareness of the brand in some sectors but Andersson wants more. He said: “It is ideal for anyone who wants to sit, has to spend a long time standing or works in a low position. We have some distributors in the UK but no-one targeting the outdoor market, and we want one.”
Powertraveller picks up OutDoor award P
ortable power specialist Powertraveller was
celebrating at OutDoor having been chosen as an award winner at the show for its powermonkey-extreme device. Powertraveller brand manager Jane Harsham said the firm was ‘thrilled’ to have won the award, and that it supported the work that
Powertraveller had gone to to refresh its brand and stake a larger claim in the outdoor market. This includes a new brochure and a debut at Outdoor Retailer in the US in early August. Harsham said: “The time is right for us to look at the US market more, and the rebrand has given us the opportunity to look at what we are saying about ourselves.
“We want to own the portable power market, and have been described as the Apple of the
Powertraveller chief executive officer Jerry Ranger said attending Outdoor Retailer will allow the company to explore the US outdoor market further. It already sells products in the US, but said
Ranger, this is primarily
to people that already known the brand. “It’s a huge market and we need to make sure more know about us and our products; it’s the same in Europe.”
He continued: “Marketing and awareness are key and Outdoor Retailer being outdoor focused allows us to take a more targeted approach to the US market. We want to take a rifle shot across the Atlantic as opposed to wildly shooting at the market.”
Jack Wolfskin focuses on UK market J
ack Wolfskin will open three more stores by the end of the year, with up to six more on the cards for 2012 as it continues is advance on the UK market UK and Ireland country manager Alan Perrins said it has had a great start to its work to establish the brand as a recognised name in the UK outdoor market, and that all but one of its retail partners has signed up to increase their exposure to Jack Wolfskin.
Perrins said it has had a positive reaction to the spring/summer 2012 collection, which sees it expanding its ranges and continuing to push products. This will focus on breathability, which is a core element of growth in the outdoor sector at the moment, as are lightweight products. It is introducing Texapore Hyproof and Texapore Air fabrics and pushing those as key lines. “We had a few difficult months earlier this year
Eider sets out its stool E
ider made clear its work to be a ‘niche, proactive alternative’ to the likes of Berghaus and The North Face with a stand that included products taking advantage of the demand in the market for breathability.
This included three jackets, one using Gore-Tex Active Shell, one with Polartec NeoShell and one with its own Defender membrane, suited to different price points and activities. Matt Jordan, who is the UK distributor for French brand Eider in the UK through his agency Wildside Trading , said Eider is being sold to the market as an alternative to established names that will help independent retailers establish a
but so did the rest of the market,” said Perrins. “Jack Wolfskin traditionally trades well through a recession and retail sales are picking up again now. We’ve had a great start and will continue with and accelerate our plan to expand in the UK.”
Jack Wolfskin will also widen its distribution with wholesale partners, although this will be by invite only as it knows who it wants to work with.
reputation for offering ‘cutting-edge products different to the rest of the market’.
Jordan said: “Economically, it’s not going to be an easy summer next year, but offering something different will help encourage people into a store. There are already some retailers that make a point of not following the herd and don’t stock the big brands, instead focusing on offering something different.
“We’re also introducing a scheme whereby if a retailer chooses to take two of the three jacket ranges, in any combination, we’ll give them demo
products that they can give to customers to trial. All three technologies used in the jackets make big claims, and the best way to check their validity is by trying them.”
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