Posted on 17 10 2012
Bridgedale Pushes Ahead With International Development
Despite the challenges within the UK Outdoor market sector, Bridgedale has continued to grow it’s international sales. Recognized as a leader in sock technology, Bridgedale’s market share within the UK has continued to grow over the last two years as has distribution throughout its other 40+ international markets that already include USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Israel plus the Nordics as well as Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. International sales now make up over half of the business and provide a significant opportunity for future growth.
This global development has all been achieved with a relatively small but focused team. As opportunities continue to open up Bridgedale has put in place a development plan to strengthen the growing international program.
Bridgedale is pleased to announce that Christian Benedikt has joined the Team as Business Development Manager for Europe, with immediate responsibility for Germany and Austria before expanding his roll to include Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and other Eastern European states. Christian joins us from K2 Germany where he had responsibility for the snowshoe and XC ski sectors which included the Madshus, Atlas and Tubbs brands.
Christian will have an office base at Invia which represents Mountain Equipment throughout Austria, Germany and Italy and is a sister company within the Bollin Group. Based in southern Germany, Christian will be very well placed to cover Central Europe and provide Bridgedale with a much clearer focus on these territories. Invia will continue to offer a distribution service throughout Germany and Austria.
Steve Fowler, Bridgedale’s Managing Director said “Bridgedale continues to grow as a global brand and a technical leader in sock excellence. To support this growth we are continuing our investment in people, product development and marketing with a clear objective to build targeted international markets towards the market share we hold in the UK. Our sales and marketing team based in the UK has been working at full stretch to get to this point, now, with the full support of our parent company The Bollin Group, we are able to expand our operation starting with the appointment of Christian. We are also recruiting for a newly created position of Product Manager to be based at our office in South Cumbria. Once the Team is complete it should allow Bridgedale to continue to push forwards on a global frontier with particular emphasis on the North American and Pacific Rim territories”.
Bridgedale has completed phase one of it’s re-facing of the brand within the UK and USA. New packaging and point of sale is in place in key retailers and the results already show positive results especially across the MerinoFusion and CoolFusion categories. Carolyn Dunn, Bridgedale’s Marketing Manager says “With cool autumnal weather fast approaching we are looking forward to the next few months. Demand from some major retailers is now outstripping the cautious forecasts with the result that overtime working is now in place in our Northern Ireland factory to meet this sudden surge in demand. As part of our development we are pleased to announce we are now working with polar explorers including Alex Hibbert, Dixie Dansercoer and most recently announced, The Coldest Journey Team headed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. The Coldest Journey Team undertook extensive cold chamber testing to ensure they have the best equipment for this epic winter journey; Bridgedale WoolFusion Summit socks were their selected sock of choice; something we are very proud of – UK made socks for a UK expedition team”.
The re-facing process continues throughout other international markets at varying pace but should be completed in time for SS13. This will see the launch of Bridgedale RUN, a category extension developed to address the heightened demand for trail and running products. Further category extensions are planned through Autumn 2013 into Spring 2014