Scott Sports Buys Garmont Boots Outright

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Scott Sports confirmed that it bought Garmont’s ski boot sector earlier this year and plans to bring Garmont’s alpine line back to the U.S.

In September, Scott announced it acquired Garmont’s North American distribution for an undisclosed price, but it kept mum that it also bought the boot molds and intellectual property and brought four boot-focused Garmont employees into the Scott fold.

“We took a very reputable brand, acquired their assets and properties—including intellectual properties—and are adding even more resources,” says Adam Greene, Scott’s U.S. marketing manager. “There’s a lot of technology within the boot line that has been underpromoted.”

Scott Sports ski boots, Cosmos

Scott Sports still isn’t releasing financial details. Garmont footwear isn’t part of the acquisition, though, as Garmont Italy wasn’t interesting in divesting its footwear business, Greene says. And Scott Sports is bringing back Garmont’s alpine ski boots to the U.S. in addition to keeping its full line of backcountry and telemark boots.

“We saw a definite need, given the quality and performance of the product, to include them in the line,” Greene says.

All the boots, for now, will still be made in the same factory in Montebelluna, Italy, but Greene says Scott revamped the Garmont tech fitting for next season. Beyond 2013-14, Scott will be in full control of boot development.

Bob Gleason, founder and co-owner of The Boot Doctors in Telluride, Colo., says he has mixed feelings on the acquisition. On one hand, more mainstream brands are entering the freeride and resort-accessed backcountry market, making more competition. But on the other hand, it’s a growing market.

“It’s an interesting time for them to be doing this,” says Gleason, who like many dealers carries Scott accessories. “Maybe it’s a great opportunity. It’s going to be how they play it that makes a difference.”

Scott Sports has vast distribution, which should help the brand—including its newly acquired ski boot line—grow, but not every retailer may be ready to pick up a new line of skis.

“I really haven’t felt that I need to have Scott skis in here yet,” Gleason says.

But Scott ski supporter Adam Justin, owner of Pro Ski Service in Seattle, is eager for Scott to take over Garmont’s ski boot category and have a wide variety of products available.

“I’m actually super duper excited because I think that they might be able to create a truly out-of-the-box [product] that kicks ass,” Justin says.

While he won’t stock the boots unless there are remarkable changes, Justin says, given Scott’s history, he’s hopeful Scott can take the boots to a new level through product development and marketing.

“What I like about Scott is it’s a U.S.-held company with somebody in charge that values not just the profit…but doing quality work,” he says. (Editor’s note: Scott was founded in the U.S. but is privately owned, and its corporate HQ is in Switzerland.)

Scott Sports hopes the acquisition will help it increase penetration in shops, but Greene says the brand isn’t in a position to force product lines on retailers who don’t want them. He says retailers can expect deeper discounts as they go deeper into the brand, though, and that model could incentivize some retailers.

Scott Sports ski boots, G1 alpine boot

“It means I’m going to have conversations with the Scott rep,” says Gleason, who in the past has left those conversations to his accessories buyer.

Greene says he knows Scott Sports has to prove its products before ski shops will carry the gear—especially skis.

“Getting people on product is key first and foremost,” he says. “We experienced the same thing in our running shoe division.”

That’s part of the reason the brand reorganized its rep structure—to ensure there’s sufficient representation in each area that can attend demos and support shops with more than occasional clinics.

“That’s a directive from the top—from our sales management,” Greene says.

Categories: Products

11 Responses to “Scott Sports Buys Garmont Boots Outright”

  1. Common Sense says:

    One brand trying to be everything to everyone with no unique product or strategy to differentiate it beyond a logo is why no one is asking for it and won't be. These are the type of decisions that have already lead to decreased strength in Scott's brand's previously core product categories like poles as you see in the SIA numbers.

    • JimmyJoe says:

      I'm sure you are aware Scott has made a significant investment in Multiple sales forces to handel the many areas Scott has moved into… you never hear anyone whining about K2 doing too much, Burton doing too much, etc… You aslo fail to tell the whole story as to the areas we have grown like Bikes, Ski's, Running etc… I understand it's much easier standing from the outside looking in… but we are doing just fine thank you!!

  2. El Guapo says:

    Justin needs to do his homework. Scott is not a US held company and has not been for many moons. It's 100% owned and operated by the Swiss. If anyone buying Scott thinks they're supporting the good old u s of a they're wrong.

  3. JimmyJoe says:

    While indeed Scott has Swiss owner ship… 100% of their Goggles are Built in Ogden Utah. Our poles sales have only dropped because we cannot compete with cheaper grades of matierials coming out of China and will not lower our standards just for pricing advantage. We currently employ over 200 americans in production, sales, and North American managment.

  4. Henry R. says:

    Yet another traditional ski boot on the market, just what we need?????

  5. Futdok says:

    That so called ” new traditional boot ” on the market is not new and is a kick ass boot FYI!
    Just because it’s got a new logo and you’ve finally noticed it does not make it new….

  6. I always hold up Scott as an example of a global brand that many baby boomers still associate with 'Ed Scott', 'Sun Valley', and those gorgeous blue aircraft aluminum (how I'd love a pair!). Of course, it hasn't been that way for DECADES now and is likely far more known in Europe than the USA. (Though I AM glad to hear that they make goggles in UT.) I think maybe Garmont were underpromoted in the tiny, tiny (though growing, but still tiny) AT market (good margins for those who carry that stuff, b/c inventory is usually the biggest challenge). Best of luck to them with it!

  7. RockNRolla' says:

    Here at the shop Garmont used to be our best selling boot brand because tele was the lightest thing for the backcountry, however with AT gear getting lighter and lighter we saw garmonts disappear from our boot wall. I'm kind of sad to hear that the relatively small company that treated us SO well has melded into a ridiculously huge company. Say bye bye to the little guys I guess.

    • BootDR says:

      If the boot disappeared from your wall why would you be sad to see somebody else try and revamp it? you did not support it when they were the little guys so they weren't able to compete. If you love the small comps, support them. Just like the mom and pop shops going under, you complain when it happens but didn't care enough support them when you buy on-line. Just say-en.

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