Lowa is reinforcing its investments in Asia with the appointment of Matthias Preussel in the new position of sales director for Asia-Pacific. Preussel previously worked as head of sales at Mammut, helping to set up a Chinese subsidiary for the Swiss outdoor brand, supervising its operations in South Korea and Japan, and dealing with several regional distributors.

Preussel will be replaced at Mammut from September by Oliver Arndt, who was previously at Aquarius Consulting in Hong Kong but also spent more than three years in the territory as chief operating officer for Bogner Asia.

Lowa says that the Chinese market will be Preussel's top priority. The outdoor footwear company wants China to make about 10 percent of its sales in the mid-term. Lowa declined to provide details on the current share of Asia or China in its sales but this should be discussed at a press conference scheduled for June 12. Apart from China its most important markets in the region are Japan, Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia.

Lowa adds that the company is not planning any changes in distribution in China or other Asian countries on the back of Preussel's appointment. Lowa has long been sold in China by B.C. Sports Group, which has turned it into one of the most established specialist outdoor footwear brands in China. B.C. Sports is the company that built up Northland in China. It supported Lowa's sales by opening scores of dual-branded Northland and Lowa stores but the strategy has been adjusted to focus more on the footwear brand.

A fluent Mandarin speaker, Preussel has long cultivated his interest in Asian business, starting with his study at the Ostasien-Institut in Ludwigshafen.

His contacts and languages skills were built up through a three-year assignment to lead Head's Asian business, and then three years as head of international sales at Uhlsport.