Simond, the French brand of climbing equipment acquired two years ago by Décathlon’s parent company, Oxylane Group, has started to widen its product range with the small-scale launch of climbing footwear and apparel under the Simond brand, sold only in Décathlon stores for the time being. They should be made available to other retailers in due time.

Specializing in metal climbing gear and based at Les Houches in the French Alps, Simond remains independent from Quechua, Décathlon’s label for outdoor products, which is established just down the road in Domancy. However, the Simond team has been reinforced with several employees from Quechua to support its rapid growth and its diversification into apparel and footwear.

Simond’s sales have grown by a factor of 10 since the acquisition as higher sales of its products in Décathlon stores have more than offset declining sales to other retailers in countries where the chain is strong. All the private-label products for climbing sold in Décathlon stores have carried the Simond brand name since last October, and this is the case for the new line of climbing shoes and clothing. Décathlon is by far the biggest retailer of outdoor products in Europe, with sales in the category estimated at more than €1 billion.

Meanwhile, several sources at last week’s OutDoor fair in Friedrichshafen told us that Simond was considering a move into ropes. They would most likely be manufactured by Cousin Trestec, a company based in the north of France that already operates as a supplier for Millet and Petzl. Cousin Trestec also supplies Décathlon with nautical ropes. Its products are represented in several other categories of sports products, such as strings for tennis rackets, since Cousin owns half of Major Sports, the company behind Tecnifibre.