Close to 50 years in the performance outerwear manufacturing industry, KTC has gained a wealth of experience. Not only from a manufacturing side but also as a brand through its purchase of Mountain Force in 2011.
Since then, Mountain Force has seen a large downturn in the wholesale market. Lead from the front, by the popularity of convenience-driven e-commerce. Other factors affecting margins, were the doubling of standard manufacturing wages in China over the last 10 years, and the plunging price of competitors garments, which in turn lead to a compromise in quality in the performance outerwear industry. And while KTC is happy to step out beyond cave, we weren’t prepared to do so to the detriment of our trusted craftsmen and women, and the importance we place on quality.
This doesn’t mean to say the wholesale market is anywhere near dead, but rather Mountain Force firmly believes in a new role for our brick and mortar sports retailers. These are the specialists and ambassadors the brand relies on. We look to them to help us reinvent and reimagine new Omni Channel constructs where physical and digital complement each other.
So not only could one order Online, but if it suits them they could ‘Click and Collect’ in-store, or book a private fitting and consultation, but also receive special member access in the future to Mountain Force’s digital showroom.
As KTC helps Mountain Force drive its collection from manufacturer to consumer (M2C), it does so while bringing it’s ever-reliable and long-trusting ambassadors, its retailers, along for the journey.
Looking ahead to our 50th anniversary next year, KTC decided on a new mantra of ‘beyond cave’: a never-ending curiosity to overcome stepping outside one’s comfort zone, and experience the world beyond the horizon in any weather. This permeates through everything we do. From investments in technology to develop better convenience tools for the garment industry to new steps forward in reinventing outdoor sports rental, and of course, steering our showcase brand Mountain Force on a new and exciting path.
We are convinced this mantra is the key to our longevity.