This brand of Red Wing Shoes, which is introducing a new brightly colored line of outdoor shoes for spring/summer 2012, has signed up two distributors, one in Spain and the other one in Germany, to cover many different countries in southern, Central and Eastern Europe.

While focusing on different product lines to service their respective markets, the two new European distributors of Vasque have agreed to bundle their purchases for some of these items to reach better economies of scale for longer production runs and containerized shipments. The goods are shipped to the ports of Barcelona and Hamburg and then dispatched to the respective clients.

Snow Factory of Barcelona is one of the two partners, taking orders from customers in the Iberian Peninsula, France, Belgium and Italy through a network of agents. The company is also the Spanish distributor of K2 and Eider in the winter sporting goods sector, and carries Gregory for summer merchandise.

The German partner is Euro Hunt, a company that a year ago became a distributor for Irish Setter, Red Wing's brand of hunting boots, in Germany and many surrounding countries. Euro Hunt has set up a separate company, called BeeRox, to expand into the broader outdoor market.

Euro Hunt's contract with Vasque concerns the German-speaking countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania and several other countries that belonged to the former Yugoslavia. It excludes Russia and Ukraine, where Vasque already has distributors.

The new distribution structure was set up by George Brown, international director of Vasque, after trying out a more direct sales model, using a third-party warehouse in France and a network of agents in France, Italy, Spain and the U.K. This system was dropped because it was generating losses.

David Harrison, who was taking care of European sales and marketing for Vasque out of the U.K., is now handling the supply of work clothes for oil platforms under a different division of Red Wing.

Vasque has decided to place the U.K. market on standby. It is looking for distributors in the Scandinavian countries and others but is in no hurry, partly because of the capacity constraints that everybody in the sector is facing, coupled with strong growth in other parts of the world, particularly in Asia and South America.