MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN)—The North Face debuted its new line of mountain bike clothing and accessories at Sea Otter last week, a sign of the popular outdoor apparel company’s commitment to expand into the bike market.
The North Face, based in Northern California’s East Bay, launched mountain bike apparel last spring in its company-owned stores and at select REI locations, and now is looking to branch into specialty bike shops, said Haley Caruso, sports marketing manager for The North Face, as she worked inside the orange, dome-shaped tent at Sea Otter.
Caruso said introducing mountain bike apparel was a natural progression for The North Face, which is known for its technical snowsports, hiking and running gear.
“We already have fabrics that wick moisture, jackets that keep you dry and shorts that stretch with you,” she said.
Identifying new categories and niches is also important for continued growth outside the outdoor space where the brand is already dominant, said Mark Trevithick, a tech rep for The North Face also working at Sea Otter.
“If we want to continue to evolve, to be relevant to consumers, we have to cater to what they’re doing,” Caruso added.
The mountain bike collection includes men’s and women’s shorts, jerseys and jackets, as well as gloves, hydration packs and gear bags.
The North Face, which is owned VF Corporation, will also exhibit at Interbike for the first time later this year. VF Corporation’s portfolio includes 30 other lifestyle brands such as Wrangler, Vans, Reef, Nautica and Eagle Creek.
(PHOTO: The North Face tech rep Mark Trevithick models a jersey and shows shorts from the company's new mountain bike collection).