Edelrid, the German supplier of climbing gear, is preparing to open its own North American subsidiary in November, in Bend, Oregon, from where it will supervise sales in the U.S. and Canada.
For the last three years, Edelrid's climbing gear for the outdoor market has been distributed in these two countries by Scarpa North America, from its facilities in Boulder, Colorado. Scarpa North America will continue to run sales, distribution and marketing for Edelrid until the end of October.
Edelrid's projected turnover should reach about €27 million this year, with some 10 percent of that coming from the U.S. market. The company said the growing scope of distribution and brand awareness made it logical to open its own business in North America. It will have sports, safety and adventure park business divisions.
Edelrid North America will be managed jointly by Blair Williams and Paul Nanawa. Williams, who was appointed as marketing and sales director, previously worked as Edelrid's sales agent for work safety products. Nanawa, former sales operations manager at Scarpa North America, is to take care of operations and finance. The company will start with four employees.
There are apparently no plans for the subsidiary to sell Vaude, the much larger German outdoor brand, although Edelrid is controlled by Vaude. The Vaude brand is distributed in the U.S. market by Liberty Mountain. Edelrid and Vaude continue to be run quite independently, even though Vaude owns the climbing gear company and their offices are only a few miles apart in southern Germany.
The company will focus on equipment in 2016 but apparel may be added at a later stage. Edelrid's offering in garments includes Monkee, a small German brand of technical climbing apparel using sustainable materials, which Edelrid acquired earlier this year.
About 60 percent of Edelrid's production takes place at its head office in Isny, focusing on ropes, harnesses, webbing, slings and other climbing gear. Other production chiefly takes place at the Vaude factory in Vietnam and at climbing equipment and apparel factories in Europe. The company is at the forefront of sustainable production for climbing equipment, boasting the first Bluesign-certified rope and harness.