Originally Posted by Patch
Not to quibble... but I'm going to. TNF would be a faint memory if not for acquisition by and investments from venture capital groups that infused the 'brand' with cash while concentrating the efforts of management to deliver a viable long-term strategy.
Good products are one thing - but a 'parent' company can often help weather the ups and downs internally without interrupting the overall development & production of the brand. Sure Polaris is going to need their cut, but they bought into what they feel (and others may or may not agree with) is a sound brand and product line. Doubtful they will junk up a newly acquired income stream. Keeping the CEO is step 1... and they did. If they had other plans... they would have scrapped the whole operation right away and re-sold it bit by bit, squeezing every drop of cash out of it right away.
I don't see how a parent company or a new ownership structure would affect ones consideration of Klim gear. In my opinion, it should serve to strengthen it.
Doubtful. TNF was pretty innovative at the time. I still have the original TNF jacket that they put Gore-Tex™ in. It's absolutely bomb-proof. It really is something you would consider climbing a mountain in. It may not have been as big or as popular as it is now, but it's my opinion, it'd still be around. TNF is little more than a fashion brand, now.
Oh, trust me, they'll leave Klim alone for a little while, then they'll start creeping in. They'll start insisting they use another similar weight material for the non-abrasive areas because they can get it a little less expensively and it won't compromise the jacket in any way. They'll start using things like Hippora in a different line because it's less expensive than Gore-Tex™. They'll introduce that less expensive line to make the brand more "accessible" to other riders. Then they'll look at the sales of the Adventure Rally and decide that if they convert the production lines that are currently making the Adventure Rally over to another product, they can increase sales by some percentage. I've been present in meetings like this.
Can a larger company help a smaller one by taking it over, sure. Is it always good for the smaller company in the long run? Nope. The parent company is going to do what's best for the bottom line of the parent company and as long as that coincides with Klim's vision, they won't change it. When those ideas start to diverge, Klim's toast.