The Brunton Outdoor Group, the U.S. company controlled by Fenix Outdoor, has launched an interesting new “Summit Team” program to spur higher orders for the Brunton and Primus ranges of outdoor products in the U.S. and Canada. The program is intended to regain the confidence of independent retailers through a variety of incentives and to discourage discounting.

Coming after an older partner program that required minimum orders of $1,000 to participate, the new program sets a minimum of $5,000 for a variety of benefits including automatic replenishment for four categories of products, supply of POS material, a dedicated toll-free phone number for customer service, a 5 percent discount and the opportunity for the retailer to pay after six months instead of three. The retail partner will also get first chance to order any closeouts.

On the other hand, the participating dealer will have to give some visibility to Brunton and Primus products in the store and respect the minimum prices recommended by the company.

The aim is to guarantee a 40 percent gross margin for the retailers, some of whom are tempted to buy products at a discount from a wholesaler as part of a broader deal.

Joel Bell, who is running the program as Brunton's new national sales manager for specialty markets, mentioned an encouraging response to the new program. To help implement it, he has expanded the number of sales representatives and split them between the hunting and outdoor retail channels. Bell has spent almost 30 years in the sector, first acting as a retailer, then as a sales rep and then running a network of sales reps that was eventually acquired by Brunton in 1989.

Brunton, a U.S. company specializing in backpacking and outdoor accessories, became a property of the Fenix Outdoor group two years ago, and it has since been used by the Swedish company as a vehicle to market its own brand of camping stoves, Primus.

Prior to that, when it was integrated with the distribution of Gerber's knives and other tools by Fiskars, Brunton favored the larger retail accounts.