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Ochsner to Distribute Etxeondo Apparel

Published August 19, 2008

WHEELING, IL (BRAIN)—Etxeondo has appointed Ochsner International as the exclusive importer and distributor for Etxeondo cycling clothing in the United States.

Rudy Riemer, sales manager for Ochsner, said Etxeondo has a high-end, racing heritage that fits Oschner’s focus on distributing world-class road racing equipment.

Based in the Basque region of Spain near the city of San Sebastian, Etxeondo has a longstanding relationship with the Euskatel-Euskadi professional cycling team. Etxeondo designs and manufactures all of its cycling apparel in its own factories in Spain.

“We liked the family aspect and we liked how they owned their own production. Everyone who is there is an employee of the company. We met all the seamstresses and saw all the factories where they were sewing clothing,” Riemer said. “We liked the whole feeling of the company. It is a hard-working, blue-collar, racing-oriented company. We fell in love with that boutique mentality because we share the same thing at Ochsner.”

Orbea USA distributed Etxeondo clothing in the United States for the past three years. Tony Karklins, managing director for Orbea USA, described Etxeondo clothing as the “best stuff made,” but said that it is difficult to sell European-made clothing because of the double hit from the euro-dollar exchange rate and import tariffs.

Riemer said Ochsner sells to about 3,000 retailers, but some 300 of those stores really focus on high-end items. He said Ochsner would target sales of the Etxeondo line to those core customers.

“We’re looking to grow with some existing Etxeondo customers and in high-end specialty bike stores,” Riemer said.

Ochsner’s agreement to distribute Etxeondo has an open-ended timeframe but both parties have set a goal of at least five years, according to Riemer.

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