Rainy days have turned to sunshine with 50% increase in revenues for the relaunched Ryder Cup weatherwear brand. This return to profitability underlines turnaround success following acquisition by Edinburgh Woollen Mill. The reintroduction to the US market is “imminent”
PROQUIP, the specialist Scottish golf weatherwear brand and Preferred Supplier to the European Ryder Cup Team 2010, has returned to profit little more than a year after being acquired by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd.
The leading designer and manufacturer of ultra-lightweight rain suits, which has been selected to supply more Ryder Cup teams European and American than any other weatherwear brand in the biennial match’s history, is expected to report a 50% increase in revenues compared to last year.
The European Ryder Cup Team will line up this week in a bespoke version of the ProQuip’s new Ultralite Tour rain suit, featuring its lightest and quietest waterproof fabric ever, one of 17 new products to have been launched in the past 14 months following significant investment from Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
“ProQuip’s turnover is expected to be up more than 50% on last year, and with further product extensions planned for 2011 this trend looks set to continue,” said Paul Gerrard, the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Director responsible for managing the ProQuip brand.
“We are also close to securing a deal with a partner in the USA to relaunch into the world’s largest golf market within the next few months,” Gerrard added.
Among the innovative new products that have helped restore ProQuip’s fortunes is a Water Repellent Knitwear collection, featuring premium British lambswool and luxury Italian spun Merino, specially treated so that water beads up and runs off the wool.
“The product and technology expertise of ProQuip, coupled with its brand association with the Ryder Cup, European Tour and a strong and loyal customer base, made the brand an attractive acquisition,” explained Paul Gerrard.
“There has been a sharing of best practice between the two companies and we have moved ProQuip’s head office from North Berwick to Edinburgh, which has been beneficial to the business. More importantly, we have invested in new products to expand the line. The Water Repellent Lambwool Knitwear we launched in the spring has been a tremendous success, which is why we have now extended the line to women’s wear, plus new Water Repellent Merino Knitwear for men.”
ProQuip is now plotting its return to the USA, where the brand was previously prominent at many leading resorts and Top 100 golf courses.
While Edinburgh Woollen Mill has 192 mainstream stores on the high street, plus a successful online store, ProQuip remains an independently run brand and business with its products sold in specialist golf shops, predominantly at golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
Paul Gerrard added: “While trading conditions remain challenging and we face competition from global sports brands, there is recognition in the golf trade and among consumers that a specialist company from Scotland, the home of golf, is still the leader in its field. And, with a little rain at the Ryder Cup in Wales this week, giving our rain suit television exposure in 750 million homes across 180 countries worldwide, the future is very bright for ProQuip.”