SmartWool LLC will begin operating in Canada through parent company VF Corp’s Canadian platform, VF Outdoor Canada in 2015. SmartWool will join The North Face, Vans, Reef and Jansport to take advantage of the logistical, planning and back office support of VF Outdoor Canada.
“SmartWool is committed to a partnership business model,” says Mark Satkiewicz, SmartWool LLC president. “By investing in the business and moving to the VF Outdoor Canada platform, retailer partners from Halifax to Victoria will benefit immensely through a direct connection to the brand.” To this end, all sales reps will remain unchanged, providing stability and consistency to Canadian SmartWool accounts. SmartWool retailers will also benefit greatly from investments in marketing assets and other tools to elevate brand awareness and drive sell-through.
SmartWool products have been distributed in Canada through Bud Shirley and BlueRiver Trading (BRT) since 1996. BRT will continue to support SmartWool through Dec. 31, 2014. “We could not be more grateful to Bud, Helyn and the entire BlueRiver Trading team for nearly 20 years of dedication,” adds Satkiewicz.
“To SmartWool, I say welcome and bienvenue,” says Francois Goulet, VF Outdoor general manager. “To SmartWool retailers, I can promise the same commitment to excellence and growth that we have delivered on for all of our brands.” Under Goulet’s guidance, SmartWool is in the process of hiring a sales and marketing lead to manage brand efforts across the country.
SmartWool recently celebrated 20 years in business and is widely recognized as the global leader in Merino-based socks and apparel for the active mountain lifestyle.