In a grand Kiwi stroller marriage, phil&teds has successfully acquired Mountain Buggy. The press release we received via fax this morning stresses that this is not a “takeover” but rather an opportunity to create a dynamic new synergybetween the two New Zealand-based brands.
Mountain Buggy currently runs a manufacturing facility in New Zealand, a key reason for the outstanding quality and reliability of their products. Meanwhile, phil&teds, which manufactures in China, has had spectacular growth in the United States with their clever “in-line” double design, but they have struggled to maintain quality control while keeping up with the demand. phil&teds has indicated no immediate plans to shutter the Mountain Buggy factory, but instead plans to “run the Mountain Buggy factory in New Zealand before making any decisions,” according to Campbell Gower, phil&teds chief cook & bottle washeri (aka CEO?). “The key is to be internationally competitive.”
“Basically it will be business as usual to ensure that we maintain market confidence in the high quality Mountain Buggy brand and product.”
This is good news, overall. phil&teds is in the midst of establishing their US-based operation, and I’m thrilled with the quality of the people who are on board. I’m glad to hear that the Mountain Buggy product line will continue, and that the manufacturing process will not see any immediate changes. But for the longtime US distributor of Mountain Buggy, our good friends at Sycamore Kids, I’m sure this news is disappointing. phil&teds will have some big shoes to fill, to provide the level of service to both the retailers and the consumers that Sycamore Kids has gotten us accustomed to.
The phil&teds crew in the US will basically be restructuring and relaunching two of the biggest all-terrain stroller brands in the United States over the next couple of months, a daunting task for sure. But they have a good team ready to go, and I’m very optimistic. And whether this is just a happy coincidence or not, the US office of phil&teds is based in the very same town in Colorado that Sycamore Kids calls home. So maybe there’s some potential for synergy here on this continent, too.