Dorel Industries Inc. announced a series of initiatives to rapidly expand its performance apparel division, which includes Sugoi. The moves include the previously-reported hiring of Chris Fuentes, a former VF Corp. marketing executive, as president of the newly named Apparel Footwear Group (AFG) as well as the exit of Stan Mavis, the former president of Sugoi.
Mavis was president of Sugoi since early 2006. Shortly after Pegasus Partners bought the Canadian apparel company from its founders, David Hollands and Carol Prantner. Mavis helped launch Pearl Izumi in the U.S.
“Stan was asked to leave,” said Rick Leckner, spokesman for Dorel Industries, in an interview. “He's a great guy but because of the plans that we have for ramping up Sugoi and ramping up apparel, we needed someone more qualified to take things to the next level.”
He said in the first year of the Cannondale acquisition, Dorel management “really had to kick the tires and shake things up in a sense to make sure we knew what all the pieces were.”
AFG will incorporate Sugoi performance apparel as well as the apparel lines of Cannondale, GT, Schwinn, Iron Horse and Mongoose in both custom and its regular offerings. Plans include an investment in new equipment, facilities and additional employees.
The move follows the creation in April 2009 of its Five Centers of Excellence program within its bicycle division, with the lifestyle and urban apparel and footwear business being based out of Sugoi in Vancouver, B.C. Sugoi is slated to begin manufacturing apparel for all the Cycling Sports Group brands. As of January 2010, Sugoi's operations will relocate to a 70,000 square foot facility in Metro Vancouver.
“An important focus of AFG will be to build the custom apparel business – developing specific riding and running uniforms for teams and clubs,” said Robert Baird, president of Dorel's Recreational/Leisure segment.
“The new Vancouver facility will allow Sugoi to increase custom apparel capacity and offer lead times well above industry standards. We've barely scratched the surface in this expanding market and expect Sugoi to triple its custom apparel business within five years,” said Baird.
Fuentes was most recently VP of marketing for VF's Intimates Coalition, which was sold to Fruit of the Loom in late 2007.
Sugoi saw an 8% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2009, and 9% growth in the second quarter.