By acquiring U.S. backpack manufacturer Gregory Mountain Products in July, Samsonite, the world’s leading luggage brand, has stepped into the outdoor business. For 38 years Gregory Mountain Products has been the longtime leader in
technical backpacks, renowned above all for quality, comfort and fit.
“Gregory will stick to that strategy of high quality, comfort and fit under the Samsonite umbrella”, states Fabio Rugarli, President Samsonite Europe, and thus defines the direction Gregory is heading for. “Gregory will stay an independent brand and will continue to focus on technical backpacks of highest quality within its core business, the outdoor industry.”
Also in terms of personnel, Gregory sticks to what has been successfully built up in the past: Andrea Meerholz continues in her role as Brand Director Europe under the Samsonite umbrella. She will work out of Samsonite’s Swiss office in Dietikon near Zuerich and add further resources to that Gregory Europe office. Gregory’s established European sales structure wil lalso be kept.
“We want to assure the trade that Gregory will stay part of the European outdoor industry andtheir contacts continue to be those outdoor experts they are familiar with,” explains Andrea Meerholz, aiming to strengthen the confidence built up with the trade
partners in the past. Well established national customer service offices will support the local dealers.
Andrea Meerholz describes some of the advantages of being under the Samsonite umbrella: “Samsonite hasa very strong administration and logistic platforms, as well as huge warehouse facilities in Belgium – this will add to our performance on shipments.” The strong and experienced marketing team in Belgium is expected to support the brand activities and strengthen the brand’s image in Europe.
Ultimately, Andrea Meerholz points out the advantage of the largely autonomous European organization: “In
Europe, we will benefit from a European-minded product approach and Samsonite’s close to market strategy.” By being close to the market, Gregory envisages to create a collection with a European-driven design language taking into account to a much greater extent than in the past the needs and wishes of European customers. Gregory plans to develop a powerful European marketing strategy.
Fabio Rugarli commented: “We are very happy to enter the outdoor business on such a high level with Gregory and to benefit from the existing know-how of the team. At the same time we are eager to support Gregory in the best possible way with Samsonite resources and competences. We want Gregory to become one of the ‘Big Players’ in the European outdoor backpack market!”