Le Bent, an Australia-based maker of technical socks and next-to-skin layers, announced a new U.S. sales structure, developed with the number one goal of providing support to specialty retailers. Denver-based Erika Gurnett (pictured) will be leading the effort as the newly appointed U.S. sales manager.
Joining Gurnett is a small crew of independent reps in other key territories including John Segal in Northern California; Avert Guldemond in New England; and Jeff Darby in Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona. Despite COVID-related travel complications, Le Bent’s head of sales, Steve Walshe, will make his way to the U.S. from Australia to support the new team.
“The new model allows us to focus on not only winter, but year-round service,” stated Walshe. “By combining a dedicated representative in Gurnett with a professional team of experienced, on-the-ground independent reps, we feel we’ll be able to achieve the degree of service and talent that retailers and our brand require.”
Gurnett steps into her role following 10-plus years of retail experience. “Le Bent has a great opportunity to become a key player in the U.S. market in a number of different channels,” explained Gurnett. “Coming into this role I plan to put a high level of service and maintain long-term relationships with all of our retailers. Being surrounded by the froth that comes from all of us at Le Bent is the perfect amount of stoke I want to share with our US customers.”
As for Walshe, getting to the U.S. amid a global pandemic has produced its own set of complicated challenges, but doing so has remained a critical priority for Le Bent. “With so many challenges facing our international partners, it’s tough to develop a realistic picture of the genuine issues across the various markets from 20,000 miles away,” explained Walshe. “Years of experience have showed us that maintaining a close relationship with our retailers is crucial to our success and understanding the market. For this reason, we feel it is best that a representative from the brand’s leadership leaves the cozy confines of the relatively COVID-free Australia, to step into the trenches with our sales team and retailers. We’re going to get through this season together.”
The change in sales strategy coincides with the launch of a redesigned visual brand identity, including a new logo, website and packaging, that aligns with the brand’s premium positioning
“No doubt that 2020 has dished us all a series of unexpected, difficult blows,” continued Walshe. “But we’ve been managing them the best we can while still moving forward as a brand. We have assembled what I can only describe as a dream team and we are really looking forward to what is next for Le Bent in the USA.”