Vista Outdoor is restructuring international sales operations for its growing stable of sports and outdoor brands to make them more efficient and profitable and to adapt them to the changing structure of the market at retail and wholesale.
Andrew Shand, the former vice president of international sales at Camelbak, will continue as vice president of international sales for the business units that group Vista's holdings in the outdoor segment with the exception of Bushnell's binoculars, rifle scopes and other hunting-related products. Their sales in Europe will be handled from Oct. 1 by Outdoor Marketing International, a German-based company near Frankfurt's airport that mainly targets hunting dealers. OMI already works for Vista's other hunting and shooting brands in Europe.
Based in London, Shand will continue to oversee sales outside North America for the other products covered by Vista's Sport Protection and Outdoor Recreation business units. The first one includes the balance of Bushnell's business, including its line of golf range finders and other golf accessories and the Bollé, Cébé and Serengeti brands of eyewear. It also comprises the Giro, Bell, Blackburn and C-Preme brands of sports helmets and related products for cycling and other action sports. The other unit, Outdoor Recreation, comprises Camelbak, Jimmy Styks and a recently acquired brand of outdoor cooking solutions, Camp Chef, that is not yet well known in Europe.
As part of the reorganization, Vista is moving toward a global shared services model with a Global Product Line (GPL) structure across the corporation. Thus, several functional roles formerly handled by Bushnell's subsidiaries in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy will directly report to the global business unit teams. Marketing and other support functions will be gradually centralized. As a result, the need for country managers in Europe will be eliminated Some of them have already left.
On the other hand, the management of Camelbak's customer service has moved from the U.S. to a multi-lingual office in Ireland that has already been working for Giro, Bell and the group's other action sports brands for the past 20 years.
Meanwhile, the brands in Vista's Outdoor Recreation portfolio will see their European sales handled primarily by distributors, with European sales directors reporting to Shand. In some countries, some of the brands will have the same distributor, partly because they address bike dealers. As a result Camelbak has started sharing distributors with some of Vista's brands of bike accessories in the Benelux countries, Norway, Sweden and Italy. This was already the case in the U.K., France and Spain. Most recently, Hermann Hartje, which has been selling Camelbak products to bike and outdoor dealers in Germany for seven years, has taken on their distribution also in Austria, a market that was previously serviced by Thalinger Lange.
Shand will continue to work through regional sales directors for the various business units under his responsibility. Cyril Pliquet, who was taking care of the actions sports brands in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), will also take care of Camelbak.