Tretorn Makes Outdoor Player

NEW YORK — Armed with a lighthearted new ad campaign and tighter product line, a refocused Tretorn is eyeing growth in the outdoor market.

Late last month, the brand — which saw global adoption of its preppy styles in the 1980s but then lost ground — debuted “Swedish Goodness,” a digitally focused campaign.

Tretorn GM of North America Loris Spadaccini said the effort will drive all the brand’s initiatives in the second half of 2010 and beyond. The campaign, which will include Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other outreach, pairs Tretorn-shod men, women and children with the brand’s new mascots: Oskar the bear and Karl the moose.

“We don’t want to take the outdoor market too seriously,” Spadaccini said. “It’s not just [about climbing mountains], it’s also about going to Central Park or Boston Commons.”

According to Spadaccini, the campaign will help raise awareness in the U.S. outdoor market, where the brand has been working to reestablish itself in key retail channels. Overall, Tretorn expects more than 50 percent growth from 2009 to 2010, he said, and the outdoor segment is central to those plans.

“[We’re putting] more and more focus on going after outdoor retailers and enlarging our distribution and entering bigger channels,” Spadaccini said, citing EMS, where the brand will be carried this fall, and REI, where it is now in 25 doors.

Also important will be outreach to independents and their young, trend-savvy customers.

Lexi Wornson, owner of Des Moines, Iowa-based Back Country, said she brought in the Tretorn rainboot and weatherized sneakers to appeal to shoppers who look for travel and around-town wear.

“We take the attitude that the person who wants to go hiking or backpacking is the same person who goes to art openings and farmers markets and to see live music,” she said. “Tretorn offers a very usable product. It’s highly functional.”

For Skokie, Ill.-based Uncle Dan’s, Tretorn’s appeal lay in targeting underserved markets, according to buyer Nicole Jensen. “Tretorn gives you this cool, a little bit edgy [feel]. It’s not your mainstream Hunter,” she said. There is particularly opportunity for the brand, Jensen added, for high school- and middle school-age girls, and in the men’s market.

Moving forward, Spadaccini said, the company plans to expand its rubber boot line, as well as its winterized, waterproof sneakers.

Along the way, Spadaccini said it’s important to highlight the brand’s roots. “We don’t want to become a multibillion-dollar [player],” he said. “We want to keep the Scandinavian heritage and be a nice, niche brand.”

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