Before The North Face
bought La Sportiva in 1998 , Ed Sampson
, Colin Lanz and Heinz Mariacher , the principles of La Sportiva , reacquired the distributorship in early June under the name La Sportiva North America.
...Ed Sampson , president and CEO of La Sportiva , says the company is working hard to get back to its roots
.Did we lose some shelf space.Yes , with some dealers.When we were owned by The North Face , we did not have reps that were dedicated only to La Sportiva , so we lost some momentum , says Sampson
.At the same time , we also got the brand in other places..La Sportiva
has been able to reestablish some lost relations with retailers.Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder , Colo.-once the largest La Sportiva dealer in the country-officially rekindled its relationship with La Sportiva
For the climbing market , the resurgence of La Sportiva
means more competition for shelf space in retail shops.
We've been hearing that dealers still see the price-point category as the strongest , but the consumer is now looking for a high-quality product and that plays well for us , says Sampson
.In addition to the Merak , La Sportiva
offers the Cliff at $99 retail and the Focus at $125 retail.
Other news from La Sportiva
is the introduction of a light-hiking line of footwear that follows closely on the launch of the Boulder approach shoe , which Sampson
says just debuted positively at retail.
The brand will introduce the mid-cut Stratos , an approach shoe with sticky rubber , at $95.The new Energy light hiker ( Suggested Retail , $75 ) will be introduced with seven other models of light hiking footwear , ranging in price up to $150.
Meet Scarpa's Dominatrix.Sales of Scarpa rock shoes , distributed by Black Diamond , are continually picking up , says Black Diamond's Bercaw.He
says that this past year Scarpa saw its best sales figures since 1995.