2nd Quarter 2008
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Profile of Lowe Alpine: a pioneer in the outdoor leisure market
published in Issue 25, 2nd Quarter 2008
Lowe Alpine is a pioneer in the outdoor leisure market. It has earned a strong reputation for the quality of its outdoor apparel and equipment and for its highly innovative approach to product development and design.
The Lowe Alpine brand appeals to those with a love for the outdoors and is particularly popular among climbers and alpinists. It is internationally recognised and sold in more than 30 countries.
Like many of its rivals in the outdoor industry, the company was established by outdoor enthusiasts with a vision to improve upon a product already on the market, in this case climbing gear. It was founded in 1967 by Greg Lowe, with the assistance of Jeff and Mike Lowe. All three were keen mountaineers. The original vision and enthusiasm of the founders still pervade the organisation, and there is a large number of outdoor enthusiasts among the company’s staff.
Since Lowe Alpine was established, it has had five owners—the latest being Italy-based Asolo. Not surprisingly, the frequent change of ownership has been disruptive for the company’s operations. Nonetheless, the company has not been distracted from its primary focus on innovation. Indeed, Lowe Alpine is defined by innovation, and many of its new products and technologies have won widespread acclaim.
In the future Lowe Alpine will continue to do what it does best in a bid to remain faithful to its core customer group—outdoor enthusiasts in general and mountaineers in particular. It therefore has no immediate plans to diversify into new product areas although it hopes to broaden the appeal of its brand among mainstream consumers.
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Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing markets in the global textile and clothing industry--and market growth is being fuelled by an emergence of new fibres, fabrics and innovative materials. The market's growth prospects are also being spurred by increasing demand for performance properties in mainstream fashion.
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