Pentland Brands is rationalizing the management of its various brands in the U.K. by closing two offices in Stockport and Wakefield, which currently host the operations of its two team sports brands, Canterbury and Mitre, respectively. These operations are set to be moved to Speedo's existing international headquarters in Nottingham early next year. The group's office in Sunderland will continue to house the Berghaus brand.
The move is expected to affect about 100 employees currently employed at Stockport and Wakefield. Negotiations are being held to offer to some of them the possibility to move to Nottingham. Pentland Brands employs around 1,700 people across the world.
The announcement follows a number of other steps taken in the last 13 months to simplify structures and relations with clients and suppliers, to maximize the potential of the brand portfolio and to pave the way for future investments in new brands, allowing their smooth integration into the group.
That includes the already reported reorganization of Pentland Brands last year into two divisions under two new leaders. Run by Chris Stephenson, the Active division includes Speedo, Canterbury, Berghaus and Mitre. The Footwear division, which is run by Richard Newcombe, covers the other brands and licenses held by Pentland: Boxfresh, Ellesse, Kangaroos, Kickers, Ted Baker and Red or Dead.
The two divisions report to Andy Long, chief executive of Pentland Brands, who is based at the group's head office in London.
Separately, the company is working on the launch of SAP across the brand portfolio, combining it with a new website, pentlandconnect.com, where clients can place orders for its multiple brands and check the availability of the products in real time. The roll-out is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018.
Pentland says it is also investing in product innovation, new marketing initiatives and a new sales and planning function, which was assigned to Nadine Thompson earlier this year.
Formerly with Procter & Gamble, she was in charge of U.K. sales for Berghaus between 2013 and earlier this year. As reported in our last issue, Berghaus has made a lot of progress in the U.K. in recent years.
These additional moves are designed to enhance the management of Pentland's whole portfolio, making it more efficient and opening up more career opportunities for employees to work across multiple brands and projects. To this end, Pentland is setting up a series of “Commercial and Marketing Academies” where they can develop their skills.
In another separate move that we have already reported in detail in the last issue of the Outdoor Industry Compass, Pentland is looking for a new manager to succeed Richard Leedham, who has decided to step down as president of Berghaus after 22 years with the brand, leaving the business in early 2018.
He has agreed to assist in the next few months in the recruitment of a new brand director. As reported, Pentland has credited Leedham with running a team that has turned the business around, delivering sustainable profits and re-focusing the brand, concentrating on priority markets, improving processes and controlling costs.