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The Alps have reached the capacity limit

He speaks freely, fluently and quickly, and he wipes out a picture from his Smartphone to the wall. What is Christoph Engl, 57, says, that although he reads the 200 sporting goods dealers and manufacturers in the chamber of the Levites. Their hope of growing business in the light, more and more fitness and health conscious human self-deception, warns the head of the Oberalp group, which includes brands such as Salewa and Dynafit. English is only Recently-in-chief. In the sports business, he is a newcomer. Because of all the hand goes wrong.

Mr English has in times of climate change and growing ecological awareness of the winter sports have a future?
snow is one of the biggest desires at all, most of the people on earth have never seen in your life snow. To move in the snow, is one of the few opportunities where you can still make his own tracks. Yes, the winter sport has a future. And snow, it may also produce artificially. A ban would be as a Hotel by the sea would be allowed to have no Pool. In practice, more and more people are often than on the beach next door. Why? Because the Pool is the safety variant of the sea. However, I also believe that the Alps have reached the capacity limits.

What the mountain teaches the people?
The mountain is a school of life. He teaches you, you self-confidence, he makes you your limits pretty brutal feel, he can slow you down sometimes, it teaches you Teamwork, it drives you to your limits, forces you not to give up, but to fight, and the last reserves of energy out of you. And you learn when it's time to humbly repent.

the same Is true for you personally?
Absolutely. My first Solo climbing tour, I was 17 years old. This experience, to be without a partner, alone, to me, was incredibly valuable. I'm still as often as I can skiing, Hiking in the mountains, for Climbing, Running,. Those who get into the mountain, is marked by him for life. I'm fascinated by how powerful, hard, and indifferent of the mountain to the Individual. He alone determines the rules and forces me to leave my comfort zone. But the only way to progress.

are you a lawyer, were tourism Manager and business consultant. What made you decide to be the boss of a sports goods company?
Personal reasons; I wanted to be more with my family in South Tyrol-and not so much on the go. At first I hesitated, as Heiner Oberrauch of the owner family of the Oberalp group is no longer called, I'm the Youngest. But then I was attracted to the new industry, and I saw the opportunity to make a difference. As one who comes from the outside.

What do you see when you look from the outside?
on the one Hand, the sporting goods industry is highly interesting. On the other hand, you make something by yourself. They will behave as they would grow, the market is saturated, at least in Europe, and it is only a brutal displacement takes place competition. You take the Outdoor Segment. In 1995 there were 300 vendors worldwide, now there are about 1300. Actually madness, especially since 50 per cent of the total turnover is generated by six manufacturers. And although there is no more growth, you are undaunted at the Traditional. In Winter, the trade Skis in the Shop, in the summer the running shoes. Everything, as always.

What speaks against it?
Every Hotel that wants to be successful needs today is a concept for 365 days in a year. With seasonal business alone, no one survived. In our industry it is similar. We need offers, which can irritate the whole year, the customers, and not commodity, which after four weeks in the Shop again in the closeout. Another Problem is that we have to offer all middle-class products.

The means?
Sensible sports are not article cheap and not expensive. Running shoes or Outdoor Jackets. Us the big, expensive icons are missing at the very top. Decathlon, the French sports Discounter with many in-house brands, is expanding and evolving to what is Ryanair in aviation: Who wants it cheap and simple, then. At the upper end of the scale, the major impetus is missing.

top Nike and Adidas, with a huge advantage, and growth.
. However, in contrast in the fashion or in the case of cars there are in the sporting goods area, not a real luxury brand with a jet power. No Gucci, no Ferrari, no one, is the style-forming and pioneering. Us the icon, to which all look up to and worship, all is missing, because she sets the Trends and desires of awakes. If in the area of electronics Apple brings a new device on the market, the in the world news, only the presentation is already a Ritual. In the sports article industry creates, it is not a brand that all of you admire, you admire and emulate it. Us the real innovations are missing. In winter sports, such as the last of the snowboarding, the Surfing on the snow. A long time ago.

Where are the sports market?
where the customer wants it. But we are not set up. The manufacturers produce the goods and hope that the dealer will sell it to the customer somehow. So how for decades. The functionality of the shoes or textiles, which is still at the core. But In reality the customer buys because he needs something, but because he wants it. Everyone has running shoes, outdoor jackets at home, because I can't come up with functionality. You don't need to arouse greed, it's about the customer buys a product because he needs it, but because he wants it.

As of the trade must react to it?
The time of large sales surfaces is not over, because the rule, much of the surface is equal to a lot of sales. A lot of goods on a lot of surface area, which makes impression like a big Breakfast buffet in a top hotel. But if people are Overweight, change your claims. Then you want to selection is not huge, but something Special, something Better, good for you. Size and scope are no matter. Based on our industry this means: The dealer with many brands and many products.

And what the dealer is asking?
The specialist says its clientele with a high degree of professional competence: I've been looking for from the many for you the Best. In other industries the works for a long time, take out the cosmetics. Each bought his creams and perfumes at home, anyway. Because the manufacturers put a charm of the New. The customer will then have the new scent or the new wrinkle – cream-and buys. You know how people buy?

you Say it.
buy pure habit of certain brands or products. If you want to break this habit, you need to set strong incentives. Innovation must make a habit of questioning, otherwise it is too weak.

As you want with the Oberalp group, a manufacturer and merchant at the same time?
We originally come from the trade, but today is a hybrid. 75 percent of the sales we generate through our brands, and the remaining quarter with brand packages that we provide and especially in Italy, to traders. Our own four major brands Salewa, Dynafit, Pomoca and Wild Country have a strict thing in Common: they all have to do with the mountain. On this topic we need to focus.

But there is still enough mountain athlete?
Everything we produce has to work on the mountain under the most extreme conditions. This is our promise. It does not mean, however, that our products can only be used. It is a question of Mindset, of attitude. Who wears one of our mountain sports brands, makes a Statement. With Salewa to show, that mountain is important, that is bergaffin and to the mountain itself. With Dynafit, it is committed to the performance and speed on the mountain as a form of expression. This is a question of life style as the SUV car. Most of these all-terrain vehicles will not be driven where you can you need of the landscape well, but in large cities. Of people who want to show that you are an adventurer.

What is someone who runs into a mountain of clothes by the big city?
Him, it's about values such as safety, sustainability, simple life, nature, originality. That's why he's walking around in a Shoe made of Loden cloth instead of plastic. His jacket is wool, insulated with Alpine against the cold, and not a synthetic fiber made from petroleum. With this approach, you can develop a 365-day products. For people who want to have something that could work on the mountain.

What does this mean for the sports article manufacturer with a view for the Winter?
to move in the mountains, is much more than just skiing in the Winter. So, we need in addition to the classics, but also products that make the Winter even without the snow to the positive experience. Shoes made of other materials or with other soles, for example. Winter is more than snow and ice.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 14.01.2019, 15:12 PM

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