Kathmandu business performance

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Kathmandu business performance

Postby creeping_moses » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 6:48 pm

I brought a whole lot of Kathmandu shares in very early 2014 (~$3 each) just prior to them topping out. They have since been in a downward spiral and were trading today at $1.34 after reporting a significant 6 month loss to January ($1.8m).

Any thoughts about this trend from a consumer perspective?
How do they come across to you guys compared to competition?
Is their gear as crap as some make it out to be?

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/busines ... 7275806775
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Gadgetgeek » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:47 pm

They could be good, whoever does their designing has a distinct style. The trouble I've found is that their own gear has a really wide range in quality, but price-wise is out of step with a lot of other gear. Or the lower end gear is just re-brand of obviously other equipment. I've got one of their sleeping bags that I got on heavy discount, and its alright for the price I paid, but I've seen some rain coats that didn't even have seam tape. the backpacks are functional, but they don't impress me. In general when you can get the same quality gear from blackwolf or denalli, for half the price, why bother?
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby corvus » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:53 pm

I believe that most of their gear is good quality and suitable for the purpose it is their marketing that is flawed ,over price then put on sale at a "vastly" reduced price to suck in joe blow on the street .
Kathmandu puffers are common as street wear in Devonport and none of them will get nearer to the Bush than the trees on Victoria Parade :lol:
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby pazzar » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:05 pm

Says a lot about their pricing when they seem to be offering 60% off regularly, but still have margins of around 60%.

I think they do have some decent gear, and Gadgetgeek is correct about some things just being rebranded as theirs (Their water bladders are actually Source brand with a Kathmandu logo on them), but I don't think that their RRP is an honest reflection of the product - but then that could be said about most outdoor retailers.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Hiking Noob » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:09 pm

I don't bother with any store that changes colours/styles every year without necessarily improving the product. Kathmandu accessories at half price are still dearer than other brands at full RRP and that is just crazy as the other brands have an importer and a reseller both making some money on a product.

I no longer shop on % off as every chain store has their massive 50% off sales and it's usually just the home brand rubbish because they run greater than 100% markup to get suckers in. Anaconda can sell current season bikes at 50% off and at that price they are only marginally better value than bikes from Norco, Merida etc at full RRP.

I used to buy Kathmandu stuff on sale but I don't even set foot in their shops now as the pricing has gone full retard, and everyone knows you never go full retard.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby DarrenM » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:15 pm

Gear is ok for the most part.....Marketing.....mmmm.

Good time to buy the shares.....they seem to be on sale.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Strider » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:22 pm

DarrenM wrote:Gear is ok for the most part.....Marketing.....mmmm.

Good time to buy the shares.....they seem to be on sale.

Kathmandu's marketing is nothing short of excellent. They understand their market well and they exploit it perfectly.

Their sales strategy might be controversial among some, but it clearly works extremely well.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby DarrenM » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:24 pm

True Strider!

I probably should have said pricing instead.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Strider » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:33 pm

And I should have said that it works well, ignoring the recent $1.8m loss! :lol:
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby blacksheep » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:43 pm

I'd buy if I was an investor in other peoples business. I know of some really good recent appointments in product, design and CEO positions that I really believe will see them kicking goals. There is a bit of pressure in NZ with T7 now having serious cash behind them, but their house brand project is a few seasons off really shaking up Kdu. I can't tell what MD's are up to, they seem to change their strategy so often, and Paddys commitment to core won't see them reaching the bigger market anytime soon. Uniqlo are a real threat. Madcap look like they have lost direction and are becoming lost in no mans land.
Kdu shares may have been too high, but take to 30,000ft view and their next 18mths looks solid to me. They are the one major retailer in the nz/aus outdoor that are demonstrating a positive and exciting future. (maybe I should go back :? )
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:39 pm

Their share price is like their product pricing. Previously it was their full pricing and now 'on sale'. LOL
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Hallu » Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:40 pm

They went too big too soon. Huge stores, a ton of different products, sales prices all year, it's just a huge mess in which the consumer gets utterly lost, the task is daunting. They appeal to families, people new to the outdoors, or casual bushwalkers with shallow pockets, but they could be easily swept back by someone with a clearer marketing strategy, and a simpler line of products. The French brand Quechua is what Kathmandu aspires to, but Kathmandu doesn't have their inventive mind. Quechua came up with the 2 second tent, a all-in-one sleeping bag/pad, what did Kathmandu come up with ? Nothing. They work because they have no competition : they're the first affordable outdoor gear brand in Au/NZ, two countries who historically kept buying local branded gear. If a European or American affordable brand decided to conquer the Au/NZ market, I doubt Kathmandu could face them unless drastically changing their approach.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby wayno » Fri 27 Mar, 2015 5:21 am

on the whole kathmandu gear is reasonable quality, good quality materials, reasonable designs that have improved a lot over the years, although i dont like their packs and avoid their own branded shoes.
torpedo7 have a massive online presence now with big sales. ... the weather seems to make a big difference in kathmandu's sales... mild weather kills their winter sales especially... they have stock according to what htey think they will sell they make high volume in advance, and when they dont sell what they anticipate then htey have to get rid of it with little profit... they trade on updating their styles regularly.
the nz market is full of casualties in recent years in an over saturated market, snowgum, and mountain designs quit nz and the berghaus distributors, and columbia.. and now FCO
independant retailers are closing up their doors all over the place. kmandu have been opening stores all over the place, have to wonder how many stores are making a profit and whether they have to consolidate their shops.. they arent selling cheap stuff and opening a shop where people dont have much money after a long recession may be questionable..
torpedo 7 sell a wider price range of gear than kmandu, so if you dont want to pay the price for high quality materials its a good option to buy from.
go to a kmandu shop when theres no sales and theres barely anyone there, they are only making money during the sales and in the meantime paying top dollar for high street shop rents... its interesting, if you are selling a quality product won't people be willing to go looking away from the high st to buy it? or are most people sheep and only buy from the high street as much as possible?
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby GPSGuided » Fri 27 Mar, 2015 7:38 am

But when they do have a 'sale', it's a packed house. I don't know why people keep coming back for their crappy items eg. Base layer thermals.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Hiking Noob » Fri 27 Mar, 2015 7:45 am

Hahaha, Quechua, a friend of mine spent a good chunk of his time on the OLT swearing at his Quechua pack. It was a pig of a thing, they seemed to do things differently for no reason other than to do things differently, he put it up for sale when he got back.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Empty » Fri 27 Mar, 2015 1:31 pm

You need to understand the reasons why they posted a loss. I am not a shareholder and not all that interested in examining their performance but as an investor you will receive a director's report as to why they posted a loss.

Losses are not necessarily related to sales performance. They can be because of a write down of debt, business expansion and acquisition costs etc.

A read of the balance sheet will be more insightful than a straw poll of occasional customers.

For what it is worth I have owned a lot of their clothes over many years and cannot fault it. Many outdoor companies (think Mountain Designs, Macpac and on-line sellers like Wild Earth) are now following their vertical marketing model and as long as you understand it, as a consumer you can work it to your advantage.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Hallu » Fri 27 Mar, 2015 7:51 pm

Hiking Noob wrote:Hahaha, Quechua, a friend of mine spent a good chunk of his time on the OLT swearing at his Quechua pack. It was a pig of a thing, they seemed to do things differently for no reason other than to do things differently, he put it up for sale when he got back.


It's not gear meant to tackle the OLT, although a friend of mine was fine doing it with Quechua shoes and pack. It's mostly for families, you wouldn't take their 2 second tent for a multi-day bushwalk. Some of their gear is meant to be tough, but that's not what they're good at IMO, they're mostly good at cheap inovative stuff for casual use. It's camping gear you use on a music festival or clothing for day walks. I wouldn't trust it in rough terrain.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Eremophila » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 10:19 am

Not sure if city stores are the same, but the lack of trained/experienced staff is abysmal. They employ kids off the street who appear to know nothing about the products they are selling.
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Kathmandu business performance

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 10:21 am

Part of their recent years' successes also came in the form of fashion. Down jackets are in these days and so are outdoors clothing for casual wear. Taste may change somewhere down the line.
Last edited by GPSGuided on Sat 28 Mar, 2015 12:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby wayno » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 10:37 am

Eremophila wrote:Not sure if city stores are the same, but the lack of trained/experienced staff is abysmal. They employ kids off the street who appear to know nothing about the products they are selling.


same in the city shops i've been to
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby MacMan » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 1:15 pm

When I was climbing intensively 20+ years ago, Kathmandu was my go-to shop for most things. There was one store that I knew of in Hardware Lane here in Melbourne. Their gear was simple and good. I still have a backpack which did 5 years of school every day, another 5 of uni, was dragged up crags and carted shopping in the motorcycle. Apart from one stuffed zip it's intact. Their old fleece stuff used to be top notch. I have a sleeping bag which was a huge investment at the time and has been top notch. Other than being bulky and heavy by today's standards it's still perfect.

Over the last 5 years or so, I have walked out of Kathmandu stores thinking quality isn't what it used to be. My money stays in my pocket. I find a better product elsewhere for not much more money. I'm past the point where I'll shop solely on price because the days of top name shops only carrying top quality gear are gone. Now that they have gone mass market, I suspect this will never change for Kathmandu and my days as a customer have been and gone.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby wayno » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 1:35 pm

depends if you're going to thrash your gear there are other brands that will stand up to that better. the market has diversified a lot in the materials used in gear... lightweight is in. and more lightweight gear has come into the range.. you need to scour the shop and see if they have what you're after, gone is the day when most things were bombproof, kathmandu has been a bit swings and roundabouts over the years trying to find where they want to be, they are making a lot of stuff for backpackers that doesnt have to be as robust, or bushwalkers doing short trips on good trails. problem is people now dont realise what gear will suit them best and faced with a wide array of designs can often walk out of the shops with gear that isnt best suited for their trips..
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby geoskid » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 6:42 pm

blacksheep wrote:
MacMan wrote:When I was climbing intensively 20+ years ago, Kathmandu was my go-to shop for most things. There was one store that I knew of in Hardware Lane here in Melbourne. Their gear was simple and good. I still have a backpack which did 5 years of school every day, another 5 of uni, was dragged up crags and carted shopping in the motorcycle. Apart from one stuffed zip it's intact. Their old fleece stuff used to be top notch. I have a sleeping bag which was a huge investment at the time and has been top notch. Other than being bulky and heavy by today's standards it's still perfect.

Over the last 5 years or so, I have walked out of Kathmandu stores thinking quality isn't what it used to be. My money stays in my pocket. I find a better product elsewhere for not much more money. I'm past the point where I'll shop solely on price because the days of top name shops only carrying top quality gear are gone. Now that they have gone mass market, I suspect this will never change for Kathmandu and my days as a customer have been and gone.


from 1994-2000 they had only the one designer who worked on their apparel/tents/footwear/sleeping bagand handled the buying for boreal, wild country and beal...back then gear was made by someone who used it and the company aimed to make gear that lasted with good fabrics and with some good sales activity occasionally...Post 2000 their focussed shifted to a bigger market and all comes with it, but they sure made big money! (I know where he works now if you are interested in products built with that love still ;) )


Point taken. :D
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby geoskid » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 6:55 pm

corvus wrote:I believe that most of their gear is good quality and suitable for the purpose it is their marketing that is flawed ,over price then put on sale at a "vastly" reduced price to suck in joe blow on the street .
Kathmandu puffers are common as street wear in Devonport and none of them will get nearer to the Bush than the trees on Victoria Parade :lol:


Yeah, I know a few of them. They take great pride in telling me they spent several hundred dollars on them. I guess the market for cashed up street wannabe adventurers is not to be sneezed at.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby Ent » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 7:40 pm

Interesting reading and the comments made. In my humble opinion when production of Mountain Design, MacPac, and Kathmandu shifted off-shore to low cost (slave labour?) countries quality and sizing took a downward spiral. It almost that a person is recruited to shift production off-shore and just mirror what they had done before.

One thing I noticed especially was the sizing. The XL and XXL became tents. Now at 114kg I am no figure of athletic performance but styling inspired by sack designers came the vogue with bulky body and short arm length in those sizes. Much hype is made that nothing changes but take a shirt or jacket from pre the profit chasing motive and and sleeve length is much longer and body closer cut with longer back length. Interesting you take just about any shirt made in China and the sizing the remarkably close to each other regardless of manufacture/marketer but significantly different to an Australian or NZ made shirt, for those old enough to dumpster dive to the back of the wardrobe.

I once worked for a company that "designed" and imported clothing for the tourist market. This market closely mirrored the outdoor market in design as that is what your younger tourist wanted. The sizing was set by China standards that meant nothing fitted me. Yet some of the older samples made in Australia for another outdoor brand that the company in the long past had distributed, but got taken over and shipped overseas, fitted me rather well.

Part of the reason is a "design" is chosen and generally comes from the northern hemisphere and then a pattern is made and standard sizing applied. Now these ratios used to scale up a garment were once specific to a manufacturer, but now rather standardised to the world market. So you get a tendency for fat bodies and short arms. Also, cutting patterns can affect wastage so a tendency to cut to fabric width rather than to a person's size. I wear Hugo Boss suits simply as that is the only suit I can buy off the rack. So it is not just outdoor wear.

For those that have an Aussie foot brought up on barefoot childhood might find surprising that the BXX fitting in the Scarpa brand is considered by Scarpa rather weird as the narrower BX is intended for over ninety-percent of the market in Italy. Now hands up that have found that even the BXX fitting is too narrow. Sizing is unique to ethnic groups, and I suppose as Australia has become very diverse in ethnic background the old ratios are been dropped for Asian sizing. Better larger in the body rather than too tight appears to be the marketing logic.

What I find must frustrating is stitching quality, and to a lesser concern fabric quality, has gone. Please explain the argument that nothing has changed when a NZ MacPac shirt over twenty years old is still my go to shirt for winter, but every other shirt made in China has failed after a couple, and if lucky a few, outings. Similar Mountain Design polar fleece jackets, after countless washes with the black on the zips long gone replaced polished brass now showing, are still going strong. None of the new Chinese production has gone close to lasting the distance.

Also, design suffers. A great tent is one that enables you to live in adverse conditions. We now see a spate of designs that were described as bed wetting designs. By that climb out for a call of nature when it is raining and your sleeping bags cops a soaking. My first tent (apart from the hand-me-downs) was a MD Kaon. It is clear that the designer never walked in Tassie as it is a good example of what happens when someone that has not done the hard yards calls themselves a designer. Older designs, despite been heavy, were often good to live in. Hilleberg tents generally represent the designer that heads out for months on end. Only thing I wished was Bo Hilleberg was 6'4" not 6'2". Similar Tarp Tent come from a designer that is interested in long epic walks where weight is important.

Sure money outlaid on purchase is important, but frankly when it comes to value for money the Aussie made stuff is much better as their life expectancy is many time longer. The issue is we have a mass market addicted chasing "bargains". This means a business model that is based on fashion driven by keeping material and manufacturing costs as low as possible while aiming for a premium is a real money spinner. Funny thing was when I did marketing the strategy of using a well regarded brand and then dropping quality but holding price was actually called the "rip-off strategy" in the text books. Brand milking is a smoother sounding term. It is said Kathmandu makes their money on sales which suggests recommended retail price is inflated.

So Kathmandu, Mountain Design, MacPac, etc have a model that basically sells clothing and other gear as a fashion item for the backpacking market. Assuming that they get the styling right, and people see value in "prestige", they will do extremely well. The much smaller bushwalking market is increasing going non mainstream for packs (One Planet), tents (Hilleberg, Tarptent, etc), but there appears to be no true bushwalking clothing, but looking at NZ, hunting brands are starting to head into the more technical fabrics with emphasis on toughness. Though walking around though I am going to shoot something in a National Park not my style.

It is interesting to consider music. Now independent labels (Indie music) are the music of choice for a growing number of people. So the big brands are no longer the power house of money making. I tend to think that with the internet and people shopping, and referring each other to specialist brands, the mega brands will loss out in niche markets, and hence the "image". But hey, buy a gift for a fourteen year old girl and you find brand names still count.

Despite what we like to think here, most of the people I work with think I that am stark raving bonkers to head bush off-track for days. Especially in winter. So not surprisingly that is where the mass market is not aimed at. Curiously though my recent much used Polar Stretched tops are Kathmandu, so somethings they sell are good for bushwalking. Just need to be selective and not kid ourselves a brandname that makes everything from tents, sleeping bags, packs, to clothing is a reflection of absolute quality. But park yourself at Kitchen Hut in summer and you will see the recent recruits lugging up packs with surplus gear strung on, with a single brand name evident. As long as they greatly outnumber us, and take for fact recommended retail price equals quality, then mega brand-names will turn in good profits when the economy is good. Now maybe the mass market is waking up that a Target shirt is much the same as a Kathmandu one?
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Kathmandu business performance

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 7:58 pm

11 full paragraphs. Impressively XL, or was that XXXXL by old Australian sizing?
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby geoskid » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 8:09 pm

[quote="GPSGuided"]11 full paragraphs. Impressively XL, or was that XXXXL by old Australian sizing?[/quote

Not bad for Ent!
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby blacksheep » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 8:31 pm

Yeah. I have a son due in 2 weeks. Rather think about that, not this.
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby north-north-west » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 8:38 pm

blacksheep wrote:Yeah. I have a son due in 2 weeks. Rather think about that, not this.

Would it be in bad taste to make comments about the earth having moved for you . . . ?
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Re: Kathmandu business performance

Postby geoskid » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 8:57 pm

blacksheep wrote:Yeah. I have a son due in 2 weeks. Rather think about that, not this.
Cheers.

Congratulations Cam!
New baby son is much more important.

(Would be very interested to hear from proud new father if you want to tell the world - I know I did)

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