National distributor Helmet House is partnering with the owner of the Fieldsheer brand to broaden its apparel lineup this year and potentially add even more brands in the future.
The distributor announced a partnership with Ansai Sportswear, a China-based manufacturer, that will provide Helmet House with exclusive distribution of the Fieldsheer product line. The apparel line was previously distributed by Western Power Sports.
Ansai’s Hangzhou City plant produces the Fieldsheer brand as well as several products for Tour Master and Cortech, Helmet House’s house brands.
“Aligning Fieldsheer’s products with Helmet House’s core distribution strengths provides additional strategic opportunities for product design and development, sales and marketing for all our brands as well as increased ability to launch new product lines in the future,” Mark Gandy, Helmet House’s director of products, said in a press release.
More immediately, the partnership allows Helmet House to provide apparel brands to three different types of consumers. Current house brands Tour Master and Cortech have been designed for touring and performance riders while Fieldsheer will be geared to the rider looking for a little more aggressive styling, says Richard Kimes, Helmet House’s national marketing director.
“The idea is to come with a coordinated approach to allow a store to have one-stop shopping across several segments,” Kimes said.
A revamped Fieldsheer lineup is scheduled to be introduced to dealers later this summer.
“With the Ansai partnership, there will probably be more brands coming down the road that will appeal to other types of consumer mindsets,” Kimes said.
Alex Loukaides, vice president of Ansai, in a press release noted the new partnership will allow the Fieldsheer brand “to strategically move beyond its current market position, not only in the United States but internationally as well.”
Ansai operates a facility in Hangzhou City, China, and employs more than 2,500 in the design, development, testing and manufacturing of not only motorcycle and sports apparel, but luggage, gloves and related products.
“After 30 years in the powersports industry, we have seen many changes that have helped raise our level of expertise,” Len Loukaides, Ansai’s president, said in the press release. “From our beginnings in England to our involvement in the United States, we now work with customers all over the world.”
Terms of the business arrangement were not released, including whether a financial partnership beyond the distribution agreement now exists between the two companies. Kimes did note, “Helmet House is moving closer to being a manufacturer than ever before and Fieldsheer is taking more control of distribution than probably ever before and the two companies are really taking on a very coordinated partnership approach to it.”
As part of the new partnership, the two companies also noted:
No current changes are taking place for warranty claims although that figures to change moving forward with the revamped Fieldsheer line being brought to market later this year.
At this point, the companies say they do not anticipate developing a helmet line.
— Neil Pascale
Copyright 2009 Powersports Business