Bradshaw Taylor, the British outdoor distribution company, has obtained a deal to sell the Sherpa Adventure Gear apparel brand nearly Europe-wide. The Nepalese brand will be displayed at Ispo early next year and deliveries to European outdoor retailers will start in the second half of the year.
Italy and Austria were excluded from the deal, because Sherpa is already sold there by Sport Alliance, the Italian retailers' cooperative.
Bradshaw Taylor will strive to establish the technical apparel brand by focusing on outdoor retailers, starting with a particular emphasis on the British and Scandinavian markets. The deal with Sherpa comes after Mountain Hardwear put an end to its U.K. distribution deal with Bradshaw Taylor this summer, to hire its own salespeople in the Lake District.
Sherpa is a Nepalese brand that was established in 2003 by Tashi Sherpa. It has already set up distribution arrangements in North America as well as several countries in Latin America and Asia.
Sherpa's head office is in Kathmandu, but it has a design and marketing office in Renton, Washington.
It also has three stores in Nepal, where most of the brand's products are made and where it employs about 150 people. Another distinctive aspect of the Sherpa brand is that a share of each sale goes to social projects, such as scholarships for deserving Sherpa children.
Bradshaw Taylor has a sizeable network of contacts and partnerships around Europe, since it has been handling several brands beyond its own market – apart from its deals for U.K. and Ireland with Keen and Schöffel. It has a Europe-wide distribution agreement for Royal Robbins, which is mostly handled by agents and distributors.
Another contract with Icebreaker was downsized when the New Zealand brand opened its own European office in Germany, but Bradshaw Taylor still takes care of Icebreaker's sales in the U.K., Finland, Denmark and Greenland. Furthermore, as reported in the Compass last summer, it recently inked another deal with Timbuk2, an American brand of messenger bags, covering the U.K. as well as the Benelux countries, Scandinavia and Finland.
Still, Bradshaw Taylor will probably not be using any of its existing partners for Sherpa, and it might recruit employed salespeople in other countries for the Nepalese brand.