Portland becomes Global Sports & Outdoor Lifestyle Design Center
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 October, 2014 - Safilo Group, the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator and worldwide distributor of quality and trust, has announced today its decision to relocate key functions of Smith, its iconic US-rooted sports & outdoor brand today located in Ketchum (Idaho). This decision has been taken following an in-depth analysis conducted over the past year in collaboration with Smith’s top management, and with the goal of evolving Smith from its strong North American snow sport position into a global eyewear brand.
Safilo strongly believes in the global potential of the Smith brand and its development plan is an important element of Safilo’s Group strategy. It builds on the core strengths of the brand and adds essential new ones in order to reach the brand’s full global potential.
As a consequence, four key decisions have been taken with regards to the future locations of Smith:
- Portland (Oregon) has been chosen as the US West Coast location and will serve as the inspirational base for the product leadership activities of the Global Sports & Outdoor Lifestyle segment. Consequently, Smith design, product development, marketing, artwork, and e-commerce activities will relocate to Portland. Therefore the Portland site will become the Global Sports & Outdoor Lifestyle Design Center, creating and developing all potential future brands and products targeted at this consumer segment.
- The manufacturing of all Sports brands ski goggles will be concentrated in the Clearfield, Utah site, the current home of the Smith manufacturing and distribution center.
- In line with Smith’s goal to become a global brand and integrated part of Safilo’s portfolio, the global Smith business will be led out of Safilo’s Group Headquarters, side-by-side with Safilo’s other global proprietary brands Carrera, Polaroid, Safilo and Oxydo.
- To enable joint capabilities with Safilo’s USA Headquarters, the IT, HR and finance functions will be moved to Parsippany (New Jersey) where Safilo USA is based.
The objective is to write this new, global chapter of Smith from a range of strategic locations that enable the Group to design the future of the brand while capturing important synergies and integration opportunities within the Safilo family. Safilo and Smith are fully aware of and very sensitive to the implications of this plan to all employees and to the community in Ketchum. Consequently, this transition will be implemented carefully and considerately, and be phased gradually between 2015 and 2018.
Luisa Delgado, CEO of Safilo Group, is in Ketchum to discuss with all employees the plan, the strategy and the vision for the future of the brand, while a meeting with the key representatives of the local community is planned in order to discuss how to maintain a lasting heritage for Smith in Ketchum and to recall the bond with the community and the outdoor environment that has been home to Smith for the past 50 years.
“We believe in the Smith brand and we are taking decisions that are aimed at further developing it sustainably across the globe. To do so, we have to create a more efficient platform and Smith can strongly benefit from the synergies deriving from our Group as a whole”, said Luisa Delgado. “We need therefore to organize ourselves to leverage these opportunities”.
Priority regions for expansion will be Europe (2015), and then selected Far East and Latin American markets.