Mammut Sports Group has opened an office with eight employees in Hong Kong to support its business in Asian countries and to develop more regional product and marketing strategies.
The move was outlined at Ispo Munich by Oliver Pabst, who took over from Rolf Schmid as Mammut's chief executive in September. The Hong Kong office is to provide support in product development and marketing for activities in China, Korea and Japan.
The operation is headed by Oliver Arndt, who has been with the Swiss group for three years, most recently as head of sales for Asia-Pacific. Arndt previously spent several years in Hong Kong as chief operating officer in Asia for Bogner, the German ski apparel company where Pabst worked for nine years as chief sales and chief marketing officer.
Mammut has been working the Japanese market for about ten years and Pabst describes it as a focus market for the group. Mammut has adjusted its strategy to widen its reach in China by setting up its own business in the country.
In South Korea, the brand has been affected by the downturn of the market and is aiming to stabilize sales, but Pabst added that the market remains important for the brand, due to its potential for further development as well as its interaction with its operations in China.
The opening of the Hong Kong office appears to be part of Pabst's take on the five-year strategy launched at Mammut last year with support from Conzzeta, the public Swiss group that controls the outdoor brand. Some of the priorities were already outlined in July by Schmid, emphasizing over-investment in international markets.
Another priority put forward by Pabst is to build up a multi-channel strategy, with more support for retailers as well as investments in directly managed retail operations and online sales, requiring more direct engagement with customers. The group is preparing to set up a new store system in its core markets.
The management team has been rejigged for this purpose. As previously reported, Mammut appointed Matthias Hanny, formerly in charge of e-commerce at Bogner, as chief business-to-consumer officer from the beginning of March. Adrian Margelist has been appointed as chief creative officer from the start of April, after assignments with brands such as Esprit, Navyboot and Liebeskind. The changes led to the departure of Michael Gyssler, who has been with Mammut for eleven years as chief marketing officer, and Joachim Wallishauser, who stayed for less than a year as head of business-to-consumer sales.