In a presentation at this year’s virtual edition of the Gateway Conference in San Francisco, an annual invite-only conference that brings together the most compelling companies with the nation’s top investors and analysts, Clarus called the Covid-19 pandemic a “potential blessing” for its Black Diamond and Sierra brands, as new and former customers increasingly turned to the outdoors during the lockdown.
The protection of the company’s MAP pricing and the avoidance of massive direct-to-consumer advertising has generated a positive response from retail partners and continued market share growth. While Black Diamond only renewed parts of its collection in order to avoid seasonal problems during the lockdown, Clarus intends to expand its presence in the footwear and apparel sector, following on from the brand’s entry into the climbing shoe segment with the Momentum line in early 2018, which is now number 3 in its category at REI. The next step will be to enter the trail running footwear market.
Sierra, the Clarus brand that produces gun ammunition, has also been able to extend its recent success in the U.S. internationally. Launched in fall 2019, the business tripled its sales in the first seven months of 2020. Clarus expects sales growth to continue until the fall due to ongoing domestic political unrest in the U.S., and the order backlog has increased until the end of 2021.
The Pieps brand was not mentioned by Clarus during the conference.