The British brand is going to sell its merchandise via internet directly to consumers in the U.K. by March 2010. Berghaus sees the initiative as part of a broader strategy not only to extend the appeal of the brand, but also to develop the outdoor segment as a whole.

The company is busy appeasing its retail customers, who are not necessarily amused. Berghaus emphasizes that its investment in the development of the outdoor sector will also mean that its retailers will benefit from the initiative. The Pentland brand promises that it will continue to invest in and support U.K. trade customers.

According to company information, retail marketing, including store merchandising, staff training and marketing co-operations with retailers, represents a substantial part of Berghaus’ total budget for marketing. This shall remain unchanged.

OCC Outdoor, the trade publication that is the retailers’ voice on the British Isles, did not have problems bringing retailers to the telephone to comment negatively on Berghaus’ latest move. Richard Cotter, the brand’s president, told the same magazine that multi-channel retailing was a fact and was not going away. Berghaus’ announcement came a couple of months after its major competitor in Britain, The North Face, also decided to sell directly to consumers over the web.