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  • Writer's pictureS. Lowell Gilliland

Designed For Quality – The WRANGELL Solution

In this blog post we wanted to take a bit more time to tell you about our vision and business structure here at WRANGELL. If this is your first time reading the GOAT NOTES blog, reading the Forging WRANGELL blog #1 will fill in a few gaps. It can be accessed here.

WRANGELL is committed to producing only the highest quality equipment possible. We accomplish this by unwaveringly adhering to our vision of producing innovative products that provide solutions to the problems faced by our customers while creating local economic value through domestic manufacturing. All WRANGELL outdoor gear products are made in the USA. Our bottom line is quality, not standard industry profit margins. We also don’t offer a low-level product line; we only make gear that holds up to the highest level of use. This allows you to venture further into the backcountry because you are supported by the innovation and durability of WRANGELL products.

WRANGELL’s business structure was carefully created to support our products. Since our products are designed with a different mentality than mainstream outdoor brands, our company is also structured differently to ensure that we can produce higher quality products. Most outdoor gear manufacturers design their products to meet industry average price points after retail markups are added to the wholesale price. Standard markups for outdoor gear can be higher than 60%. These markups help cover retail costs, but detract from the amount of actual money that is put into producing a product.

Here is a simplified example of this concept:

If an outdoor retail store sells a $150 rain jacket and they have a 50% retail markup on that product, the rain jacket was purchased wholesale from a manufacture for $100 dollars. The wholesale manufacturer also added their markup to the rain jacket when they sold it to the retail store (manufacturers markups for this category of products can be upwards of 25%). Using these numbers as an example, the $150 rain jacket you bought, cost the retailer $100 to purchase from the manufacturer, who added a 25% markup to their manufacturing costs of $75 to produce the rain jacket. This means that even though you spent $150 on your new rain jacket from an outdoor retail store, its performance cannot exceed the $75 sum of the components used to produce it.

Retail markups on outdoor gear usually go to cover costs such as renting retail locations, paying retail associates, and other overhead costs associated with retail sales. Average outdoor gear is designed and manufactured with these overhead costs in mind. By manufacturing products in this manner, suppliers and retailers can factor their markups into the final cost without exceeding the average market price.

Because WRANGELL designs outdoor gear to a specific quality and not to a specific price, we needed to design our business to accommodate this. That is why we created WRANGELL as a direct-to-consumer sales company. As a directs-sales company, you will never have to pay a retail markup when you purchase our products! This allows us to produce outdoor gear with quality as the bottom line.

Here is a simplified example of this:

If WRANGELL produced a rain jacket for $150 there would only be a direct sales markup instead of a wholesale and retail markup. This cost differential allows us to incorporate higher quality materials and components into producing the rain jacket instead of compromising on quality for the purpose of middle-man profit! Using the direct-sales business model allows WRANGELL to produce products with quality as the number one priority while still making them affordable for our customers!

One drawback of using a direct to consumer model for business is that a company’s exposure to potential customers is more limited than a traditional retail-sales type platform. This is where you, the future customers of WRANGELL, play a key role in providing exposure for the WRANGELL startup. One of the most valuable things you can do is tell people in your sphere of influence about WRANGELL as well as like and follow our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. By spreading the word about WRANGELL you have joined a community of hard-charging, relentless, and resilient people who require nothing short of the absolute best outdoor gear to support them on their backcountry trips and expeditions! Thank you for sharing in our vision! We are glad you have joined us on our journey of Forging WRANGELL. We believe that when vision and proper planning meet, value is created. This is business done right. This is WRANGELL!

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