Watershed USA has formed a new division with a wholly owned subsidiary, doing business as Axis Outdoor. Axis Outdoor will be responsible for the distribution, marketing, and brand management of the product side of Watershed’s business. Watershed USA will continue to specialize in fulfillment, back-office and supply chain support.

Officials from the company also announce that, beginning June 25, 2004, Axis Outdoor will become the North American distributor for Granger’s after-market waterproofing products.

The move will solidify Watershed USA/Axis Outdoor as the most experienced team in the after-market waterproofing category by uniting the company with the UK’s market leader and the oldest name in the business, Granger’s (est. 1936).

“This new partnership gives us a chance to bring to market products that we only dreamed of in the past,” said Morrie Trautman, president of Watershed USA. “We hope to breathe some new life into a category that’s been stagnant in terms of offering new innovation, beginning with our launch at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show.”

Granger’s has been looking to team up with a winning partner for the past two years, beginning with the hiring of Allen Slade, who was most recently with Patagonia Canada for 14 years. Slade was hired to research the North American market and find the path to success for Granger’s. That search brought Slade to Morrie Trautman and Mike Curtis, President and GM of Watershed USA respectively.

Karolina Jones, general manager and head of product development said that Granger’s will be increasing its efforts to bring new and innovative products to market, specifically engineered to the needs of the North American consumer.

While Slade was researching the market for Granger’s, Chris Mork, who manages customer care and product research teams at Watershed USA, was leading an 18-month project, in which he tested nearly every after-market waterproofing product available on the market today, and some that were still in development. Through this testing process, Mork found continually that Granger’s formulas were superior to any other in the North American or European markets. His tests were validated by SATRA, an independent European testing agency.

Expect a new Granger’s at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. The brand will show all new creative/logos, as well as the introduction of new products and formulations. Watershed USA/Axis Outdoor very much looks forward to catalyzing the Granger’s product line with its market-leading expertise.

“Grangers, along with Watershed USA, will be committing significant financial and marketing resource to establish the brand as the dominant player in the North American market for years to come,” said Martyn Rose, owner of Granger’s,

Watershed USA recently announced the severance of its distribution agreement with Nikwax products after an 11-year relationship (May 21). During that time, the dedicated team at Watershed USA has been completely committed to offering the highest level of customer service, on-time deliveries, the best reps in the industry and the most comprehensive working knowledge of the after-market waterproofing category in the specialty outdoor market.

Prior to making the announcement about its separation with Nikwax, Watershed USA also announced (April 22) the creation of a custom fulfillment and back-office operation business specific to the outdoor market. The new venture is already up and running and has signed its first major client, PacSafe Designs travel products.