Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)/Walrus, Inc1982-1996
Product Manager/General Manager
With annual sales of $300 million, REI is a diversified supplier of recreational products.Recruited to the position of Product Manager in 1982 as the company’s first “outsider,” my scope of responsibility involved annual sales of $20 million and an average inventory of $6 million.In addition to marketing and product planning, I was responsible for purchasing, packaging and information systems in both retail operations as well as mail order/catalog sales.
•Introduced a brand name marketing strategy that increased product lines sales by 20% with margins of 40%; and,
•Negotiated a strategic offshore manufacturing partnership that provided factory direct pricing and margins of 50%.
Finally, during my tenure as Product Manager annual sales grew from $40 million to more than $250 million. Building on this success, I was appointed General Manager and tasked with starting up a new subsidiary that specialized in the design, manufacture and marketing of a specialty product line for a particular market segment.In addition to strategic planning and operations:
•Personally negotiated an acquisition valued at $2 million for less than $250,000 through use of innovative licensing agreements;
•Increased margins in the company from 8% to more than 39% while taking sales from $550,000 the first year to more than $1.1 million in year two;
•Introduced an exclusive private label program with internationally know brands that led to significantly enhanced incremental revenue; and, importantly,
•Built a company from startup to annual sales of $6.8 million at 39% margins with overhead expenses of less than $1 million.