Merger Leads to ‘World’s Largest’ Kayak Company

The result of a strategic 2017 merger between two large industry contestants, Michigan’s KL Outdoor and Quebec-based GSC Technologies are officially stepping out as Hemisphere Design Works (HDW), in what could be the world’s largest maker of kayaks. The existing HDW house of brands currently commands an industry-leading 30% of the market, said the company, and has forecasted of double-digit growth through 2020 of its leading flagship brands Sundolphin, Future Beach and Evoke. HDW said it is planning to further accelerate its market share in this quickly expanding outdoor segment by ramping up production to accommodate the coming needs of this category.

“Our goal with this merger and repositioning is to not only to cement our place as the industry leader, but to also set our company up to generate higher production yields while also expanding our overall distribution capabilities,” said CEO, Chuck Smith.

HDW’s long term plan is to create an industry leading entity that can facilitate organic growth, gain potential acquisitions and continue to design and make boats that appeal to beginners and advanced paddlers alike, said the company. HDW has begun consolidating its brand portfolio to increase production capacity, provide a more focused and higher quality product, and better accommodate growing retailer demands.

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In order to further position itself to deliver on orders faster and more efficiently, HDW is in the process of bringing a new plant online in Atlanta to be the cornerstone of a planned expansion into the Southeast region. With the newly expanded production and distribution capabilities HDW is not only seeking to expand heavily into independent retailers across the country, but grow the presence of all their brands in retailers across the nation.

“Hemisphere Design Works is more than just a company of brands,” said VP of Sales and Marketing Wes Mooney. “Our goal isn’t just to sell more kayaks, it’s to elevate kayaking into the forefront of recreational pastimes for years to come, and we are now positioned to make this happen with more production power, better distribution, and the marketing influence to succeed.”