Italian Board Factory Burns Down

Italian Board Factory Burns DownBrands expect to cover losses.

The Italian snowboard factory Sports RDP burned down September 7 and several snowboard brands have been scrambling to cover the losses, which could be quite significant. According to sources in Europe, the factory was producing anywhere between 45,000 to 100,000 snowboards and skis for the upcoming season, and had only delivered a few of those so far. Brands most affected were Lamar and Limited. “I don’t want to say how many we were having made there, but it’s a pretty large number,” says Mark Brasier, vp of sales and marketing for the brand’s parent company Gen X Sports. “It affected a good variety of Lamar and Limited models.”

He says they’re doing everything they can to fulfill as many of their orders as possible. “We’ve shifted production to six different factories around the world to get our boards made,” he says. “It’s not as bad as we originally thought. We’re pretty encouraged that we can deliver at least 80 percent of what we had ordered from that factory.”

Brasier says that one of the additional problems Gen X faces is the fact that its boards are sold as packages with boots and bindings. Deliveries of those products are on schedule. On a positive note, Gen X had been using two other factories to produce its boards and those factories are expected to deliver on time.

Jaysport was another company that had products being made there, but it was a limited number. “We were having less than a 1,000 made at the factory,” says Terry Deleo. He says they were mostly kids’ models and that those could be lost for the season.

Brasier says that Gen X has already contacted its retailers and they’ve been very supportive of the company, trying to offer solutions by either switching out products or accepting later deliveries. He says the company’s ship dates were between August 1 and mid October, and adds Gen X will make sure all retailers get at least something early, then follow up with fill-in orders.

“This has been a real good test for our company and we’re pretty pleased how positively people are dealing with it,” Brasier says.

The Italian factory had also been producing boards for several other European brands and in the past has made boards for Sims, Ride, and Kemper, among others.