The Swiss leading outdoor retailer, Transa Backpacking, just completed a new store franchising deal with Jack Wolfskin, a brand that the Zurich-based retailer first introduced in Switzerland nearly 20 years ago. In a related move, the former chief executive of Transa, Lukas Arnold, has agreed to take over the first and so far only Mammut store in Basel, which Transa opened last year, at an undisclosed price. The deal was necessary to separate Transa’s retail operations with Jack Wolfskin from those with Mammut, the Swiss market leader.
About eight years ago, Transa, which had been selling the brand in its own stores, started opening Jack Wolfskin shops as a franchisee. The first stores in Zurich and Basel were followed by openings in Chur, Bern, Luzern and Bielle. Formally, the retail operations in behalf of Jack Wolfskin are not in the hands of Transa Backpacking, the country’s largest specialty outdoor chain, but through its subsidiary,Transa Outdoor Trading, which is not only in charge of the development of mono-brand retail stores, but is also dedicated to Jack Wolfskin’s wholesale business in Switzerland. As of this writing, Transa Outdoor Trading is running seven mono-brand stores for Jack Wolfskin in Switzerland. On the other hand, Transa Backpacking, the parent company, is focusing on the nine multi-brand stores it currently has all over the country, which include two bicycle stores in Zurich and Basel and one discount outlet in Zurich.
The new franchise deal has just been agreed on between Jack Wolfskin and Transa. The parties did not disclose the length of the deal but it is safe to say that the two long-time partners are both interested in a long-lasting partnership.
Transa was founded in 1984 with its first shop in Zurich and soon spread all over Switzerland, concentrating mainly on the German-speaking part of the country. It quickly rose to become the No. 1 place to go for travel and outdoor equipment. At the same time it moved into the cycling business and was able to build up credibility on that market as well.