Darn Tough Vermont will meet increasing consumer demand and prepare for growth in 2011 by making several major infrastructure investments throughout the year. The company’s Northfield, Vermont hosiery mill will increase its number of knitting machines by nearly 50 percent, half of which will be the latest generation of seamless knitting machines. Furthermore, the company plans to add 8 to 10 additional employees and will install the most modern computer software for managing supply chain, inventory and manufacturing.
Nike has announced the grand opening of its largest distribution center in Asia, the China Logistics Center in Taicang, Jiangsu China. The new 650,000 square foot facility is on target to be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System) accredited warehouse complex in China. Construction of the facility generated 1,800 jobs and is expected to provide up to 1,500 permanent jobs by 2015.
According to recent reports from the Army Times and The Seattle Times, in the summer of 2008, a team of Army advisers working in eastern Afghanistan found soldiers' equipment had become too heavy. Hauling body armor, weapons and a variety of other equipment, the weight often topped 100 pounds, wearing down soldiers and restricting their movements when they came under fire from insurgents.
The advisers, part of the Asymmetric Warfare Group, have helped lead an effort to lighten each soldier's load. The team worked with an Army force that specialized in rapid procurement to buy lighter gear directly from commercial vendors, including sleeping bags from Mountain Hardwear that were nearly 11 pounds lighter than the standard Army bag.
Luxottica, owner of several eyewear brands including Oakley and Ray-Ban, has entered into an agreement pursuant to which it will acquire Stanza and High Tech, two sunglass specialty retail chains totaling more than 70 stores in Mexico. This transaction marks Luxottica’s entry into the sun retail business in Mexico, a country where the group already has a solid presence through its wholesale division. Over time, the stores will be rebranded under the Sunglass Hut brand, the largest sunglass specialty retailer in the world.
Sole and ReCork, the nation's largest wine cork recycling program, partnered with the 53rd Grammy Awards to serve wine sealed exclusively with natural cork and recycle all the closures. Wines sealed with the cork were also served at the MusiCares Person of The Year fundraiser honoring Barbra Streisand two days before the Awards on February 11.ReCork collected the stoppers and is providing them to Sole, who is manufacturing a line of products from the recycled cork.
La Sportiva has entered into a new joint venture with the Fulgent Sun Group, the brand's Asian manufacturing partner, to distribute its products in China. The two companies have created a new corporate entity called Fujian La Sportiva to further develop and promote the brand in Asia. This partnership will address the rapidly emerging Chinese outdoor market and strengthen supply chain worldwide.
VF Corporation has promoted two executives, Steve Rendle and Scott Baxter, to the newly-created position of Group President. Karl Heinz Salzburger, currently Vice President, VF and President, VF International and a member of VF’s Operating Committee, will assume the new title of Vice President, VF and Group President, International. Rendle and Baxter will join Salzburger as members of VF's Operating Committee and all three will continue to report to Chairman and CEO Eric Wiseman.
Black Diamond has disclosed that it is targeting fall of 2013 as a possible launch time for an outdoor technical apparel brand, expressing the view that both apparel and footwear represent significant long term opportunities to extend the Black Diamond brand.
CEO Peter Metcalf commented, “The next few years hold an extraordinary opportunity for our brand and the next logical step is apparel. We believe the market demand for Black Diamond apparel is substantial and, if executed well, that this category can become equal to or larger than the balance of our business within 5 years of launch."