Thursday, April 28, 2005

VF Corp surges in Q1 - thanks to employee purchase

Unlike most corporations that take on new acquisitions that subsequently have their profits and revenue take a dip, VF Corp has posted stellar numbers for Q1 with a 127% increase in revenue, with a strong 18% growth attributed to The North Face.

The Motley Fool Story

While I can only speculate about the entire VF Corp growth, I have a pretty good idea why The North Face had such a strong quarter - employee order.

Take a look at a small portion of the "gift" that Brown Santa recently delivered to the HQ from The North Face

We are using the gear we sell, really.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Yakima Shifts Operations to Portland

As many of you may already know, Yakima has been a cornerstone of the economy for the northern California town of Arcata. The facility has been in Arcata for numerous decades now producing some of the best quality and innovative products in the car rack industry.

As of the end of 2005, the production and development segments will be moving north along the coast to the town of Portland, Oregon. Portland is already home to a number of big players in the industry and Yakima should be a welcome addition to the community. Along with moving operations, the company has plans to bring in some top shelf talent from the outside. With these additions and a state of the art production facility, Yakima should be reaping the benefits and passing those along to the consumer in the coming seasons.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Burton Snowboards

I just got back from Burton. They have a great crew over there and the factory is amazing. I actually saw them building the Vapor and Custom X snowboards. Can you believe it someone is still building product in the US. They have a great crew there and they are firing on all cylinders. Anon is bringing sunglasses wrapped in leather to the market in Sept. They look sickity sick. That brand is going to rock next year. Their offices were a bit unorganized but overall they are moving in the right direction with everything they do.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

La Sportiva running strong

When I think of La Sportiva two things come to mind - the Makalu, the time tested standard in beefy backpacking/mountaineering boots - and the Mythos, my time tested once resoled rock climbing shoes that I'll never part with. I envision gnarly rock and mountain guys summiting big faces and tall places with La Sportiva on their feet. The one thing I don't think of in the same sentence as La Sportiva is trail running, but it seems that I'm not in the know on this one.

La Sportiva saw a 45% growth in their trail running shoes last year, and not just in specialty shops. Large chain stores are sending La Sportiva's out the door more so than any other trail running shoe. That's right, La Sportiva is the leading trail running shoe in large chain retailers. Who would have thought?

The Full Story


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Timberland unites for the earth

Timberland posted their Q1 numbers this week - bottom-line: they are killing it. They increased total revenue by 10.1% to $354.2 million, driven by gains in both U.S. and international markets.

In other Timberland news this week, more than 5000 Timberland employees are going to rally together for Earth Day for a combined 30,000 work hours of service in 125 countries. Bet you didn't know that Timberland has employees in over 125 countries, did ya? Now this is the type of news that makes you feel good. Way to go Timberland! Even more amazing is that they do this type of thing every year.

If you don't have anything to do for Earth Day (April 22) visit Timberland's site for details on their projects and how you can sign up.

Timberland's Earth Day Project


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Garmin thinking outside the box - or above the box

Garmin, a leader in GPS units and related outdoor tech gear, has recently gone to "new heights" with the recent partnership with Yao Ming, the 7-foot, 6-inch NBA star. Apparently he digs high tech gadgets and Garmin does too - a perfect fit? I suppose it's a broad fit, one well outside of the outdoor industry lines.

The Release

However, it sure made a splash in the financial market where news of the partnerhip was widespread but it seems to have done little to bolster financial markets - the stock is down $.64.

The Financial Story


Friday, April 08, 2005

Ditchboy on the loose

It's almost springtime here in the Wasatch, when the final days of winter die down and those cooped up summertime bugs can't take it any longer. We here at are not immune. This company wide e-mail from "Ditchboy" recently circulated with the following image:

The spring runoff has started in SLC!

Some people go jogging, some people play soccer or ultimate frisbee – we go ditch kayaking.

Come on all - grab your gear and use it in an urban environment. Make sure you send photos!


Product testing never ends for us, even when adventureland is right out the back door of the warehouse


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Black Diamond - sun lovers

Black Diamond, always true to their core values, announced today a collaborative partnership with Solar Energy International to install a 2200-watt solar power grid system for their Salt Lake City retail store. This is not surprising as last January they became one of the first Utah manufacturers to switch to wind power, a commitment that will grow through 2007 and thereby reduce the atmospheric CO2 release levels by 111 tons per year.

Way to go Peter and crew!

The Full Story


Monday, April 04, 2005
Thule Acquires Sportworks' Quick-load Bike Racks Division
Date: Mon Apr 4, 2005
Source: SportsNewsSource
Thule has reportedly signed a letter of intent to acquire the Quick-load Bike Racks division of Sportworks Northwest, Inc. In accordance to the LOI, Thule will acquire the Quick-load Bike Racks' assets from Sportworks and will make the line available to Thule dealers on May 9, 2005.

"We continue to be on the lookout for companies that fit in well with Thule's product and growth strategies," said Fred Clark, Thule, Inc. President. "This acquisition fit all our criteria and the addition of the Quick-load products to the Thule line, gives us the most comprehensive and innovative offering of bicycle racks in the industry."

Under the letter of intent Thule will distribute Sportworks Quick-load Bike Racks with Sportworks branding, while Sportworks will continue to manufacture and distribute their Bike-Rack-for-Buses line under the Sportworks brand. Over the next year the Sportworks Quick-load Bike Racks will be fully integrated into the Thule line with Thule branding.

"We are proud of our accomplishments of taking the Sportworks brand of consumer rack systems as far as we did," said Mike Reeves, President of Sportworks. "This opportunity with Thule will expand the distribution of our consumer products, while allowing us to concentrate on our original business of serving the transit market."

"Sportworks has always had very innovative products and they are the true originator of the platform hitch rack system," said Chris Dannewitz, Thule, Inc. VP of Business Development. "Their new T2 platform hitch rack and the Insta-Gater truck bed rack are fine examples of Sportworks products that will be worthy of the Thule brand name." Thule and Sportworks are in the process of due diligence and will be communicating with their customers in the next few weeks on how the relationship will affect their business.

Thule and Sportworks will formerly announce the agreement at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, CA April 14-17.


steep tech resurgence

Steep Tech strikes again with a new footwear line scheduled for release in early 2006. As it is well known, The North Face experienced tremendous success with the reintroduction of their Steep Tech line of skiwear. This product line was originally introduced by TNF in the early 1990's with the promotional help of the fore father of extreme skiing Scott Schmidt. In the winter of 03' - 04' North Face brought the original presses of the Steep Tech line back to the consumer. Ironically, the popularity of the product soared with huge demand in the urban market. North Face dealers centered in the urban market experienced massive demand for the product and were barely able to keep the product in stock.

With this enormous demand, North Face Footwear designers set out to design a footwear line that would complement the Steep Tech line with a urban flair to boot. Coming in with model names such as theMobilizer, Vindicator, and Invasion, they are sure make an assault on the footwear scene in 06'. The Steep Tech footwear line incoporates the durability and utility associated with North Face footwear with a smooth new urban look. Keep your eyes open for these new urban assault shoes as some lucky retailers may see them as early as the holidays.


Thule to acquire part of Sportsworks'

Thule has signed a letter of intent to acquire the quick load bike racks divison of Sportsworks'. Beginning May 9 this line will be available to all Thule dealers. Sportsworks' innovative T2 hitch system and the instagator truck bed mount will be a nice fit into the Thule line. This will round out the Thule line and enable a greater distribution of the Sportsworks' products. Sportsworks' will continue their focus on the bike-rack for buses line.