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HOLMENKOL: New distribution network in the USA

Sat, Aug  29, 2009 - By Christian Steiler

HOLMENKOL, a leading specialist in high-tech sports coatings, is restructuring its US distribution network – and forging alliances with strong local partners. Over the past seven years, Carl Helmetag and Jed Rockwell have successfully established and positioned the firm in the US. Now, to more effectively cater to different markets, HOLMENKOL has secured new distribution partners whose expertise dovetails with the needs of individual target markets.

Over the course of the past seven years, while Carl Helmetag and Jed Rockwell were successfully establishing HOLMENKOL’s market position in the US, HOLMENKOL reached a key decision. They realised that the best way to strengthen US market standing would be to place distribution in the hands of several experienced specialists.

Montana Sport North America in Groveland, Massachusetts, is the new sole distributor for HOLMENKOL universal ski and service waxes for sports equipment specialists and ski service workshops. Scott Thirkell, managing director at Montana Sport International, sees the new partnership as ”an ideal addition to the Montana product range”. In turn, HOLMENKOL will be able to draw on Montana’s longterm expertise in ski wax – and benefit from the firm’s well-established customer base of ski specialists in the US.

Sport Thoma (The Race Room) in Lincoln, New Hampshire, has been chosen as the new US distributor for alpine racing wax. Racing experts Peter Kailey, owner of Sport Thoma, and Eric Larson, manager of The Race Room, are looking forward to bolstering HOLMENKOL’s strong market position in downhill racing. Peter Kailey explains that Sport Thoma values “close customer relations and  excellent customer service, both on and offline” – making the firm a perfect distribution partner.

Boulder Nordic Sport, Colorado, brings further proven expertise on board for HOLMENKOL – this time in the cross-country racing market. Nathan Schultz, owner of Boulder Nordic, is convinced that HOLMENKOL’s ground-breaking innovations in Europe – such as nano-cfc® technology – definitely have ‘license to win’ in the important US cross-country racing market. He explains why: “Skiers who want to win races go for top-of-the-range products. We’ve analysed the market very closely – and the future belongs to HOLMENKOL.”

Sport Thoma and Boulder Nordic have prepared brand new sales strategies and intend to intensively target up-and-coming racers and professional racing teams of all ages, as well as ski clubs, academies and racing events. Both companies see excellent customer relations and direct contact with the racing target group as the cornerstones of success.

HOLMENKOL is also drawing on the support of specialists for its aquatic range. Envere Marine in Santa Barbara, California, is the new distributor for water sports racing as well as wholesale, marinas and aquatic services. With sensational successes under its belt, HOLMENKOL has an excellent reputation in the aquatic market – making this sector one which the firm constantly strives to expand and develop. “The rumour of HOLMENKOLs product performance is already around” says Tom Isaacson, owner of Envere Marine.

For lubricants and maintenance products for mountain and street biking, HOLMENKOL is still in search of the best possible distribution partner, who should have excellent contact network to Bike teams and racers.

Christian Römlein, HOLMENKOL board member, is certain that restructuring the firm’s US distribution network will help to grow in the US and strengthen its market position further. “Market conditions are turbulent at the moment – making this the perfect time to position ourselves close to the end consumer. This will pay off in the short, middle and long term. HOLMENKOL has charted a clear course for growth, and is set to boost its US profile – by staying close to the market and remaining an innovative powerhouse.”