Hi-Tec Fine-Tunes US Plans

Hi-Tec is sharpening its focus on the American market, thanks to the appointment of a new U.S. CEO.

The Amsterdam-based outdoor company recently announced that former global marketing director Simon Bonham would take the reins of the company’s U.S. subsidiary, which oversees the Hi-Tec and Magnum brands.

Speaking at last week’s Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Bonham, along with company CEO Ed van Wezel, said they had aggressive plans to drive growth in the U.S. in key accounts and bring the U.S. in line with global business, which van Wezel noted has tripled over the past three years.

“There was a disconnect between the head office and the U.S. subsidiary,” van Wezel said.

He added that going forward, Bonham’s 17-year tenure at the company should be a major resource for the company.

“We want to bring back drive and energy and we need to improve our distribution channels,” Bonham said.

Hi-Tec has made progress in its goal to move away from value-price retailers and into independents and specialty accounts, said van Wezel, but more work remains. To that end, the company will look to partner with brick-and-mortar retailers in the e-commerce space.

“We want to improve our visibility to the consumer. Online, it’s not difficult to get a bit lost,” Bonham said.

On the product side, Bonham said, the firm will implement a “much better segmentation strategy.” For fall ’13, the line has been trimmed dramatically, with 40 percent fewer SKUs in the U.S. and 30 percent globally, to focus attention on new and best-performing styles.

And Hi-Tec will continue to focus on price, with 80 percent of the line retailing for $80 to $130. “Value is important,” Bonham said.

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