Brasher and Berghaus to “Tie the Knot” under Berghaus Name

Some surprising news reached us last week; Brasher, one of Britain’s most loved footwear brands, is to ‘join together’ with fellow UK Brand, Berghaus. The result of this will be that the Brasher brand will effectively cease to exist, and selected Brasher boots will be sold under the Berghaus name from Spring/Summer 2015 onwards.

Brasher boots will be sold under the Berghaus name from Spring/Summer 2015
Brasher boots will be sold under the Berghaus name from Spring/Summer 2015

This development has been made possible because both Berghaus and Brasher have been owned by the same parent company, Pentland Group, since 1993. The rationale for the merger, as given by Berghaus in their initial marketing drive the new integrated boot range, is that Berghaus are “the UK’s number 1 choice for fabric hiking boots”, with Brasher being “the UK’s number 1 choice for leather hiking boots”. On paper therefore, Berghaus stands to become the UK’s “number 1” hiking boot brand full stop after the merger. Of course, we all know that these things are never that simple… Still, providing Berghaus play their cards right over the next 12 months, and can win over a significant share of existing Brasher customers, the ‘new’ Berghaus boot range should do well.

The real reason for the merger is probably more complex. Reading between the lines, Pentland Group clearly fail to see sufficient value (or profit) in the Brasher brand to sustain it as a standalone entity, following successive failed attempts to introduce new Brasher products, and persistent distribution issues. In what seems to be an attempt to make the most of Brasher’s credibility and popularity to gain brand leverage in the leather boot market for Berghaus, this merger seeks to set Berghaus up as the most “complete and commercial” walking boot brand; producing both fabric and leather walking boots under one roof for the first time.

That said, many people will be deeply disappointed that Brasher, one of the greatest British outdoor brands, is to be lost. Founded by Chris Brasher, pacemaker for Roger Bannister’s 4-minute mile, 1966 Olympic Steeplechase gold medalist and London Marathon co-founder; Brasher boots were born in 1978 as the solution to the discomfort of stiff, heavy leather boots. Since then their ‘out of the box comfort’, light weight and performance have won Brasher boots a place in the collective heart of the British hillwalking public. It’ll be a sad day, when after 37 years of producing some of the UK’s favourite walking boots, Brasher ceases to exist.

For an overview of the Brasher brand and its significance, check out this brief video history:

The new Berghaus footwear range will be available from Spring 2015, and will include classic ex-Brasher boots such as the Hillmaster, Fellmaster, and Supalite. It is due to be advertised through the “biggest ever footwear advertising campaign” conducted by Berghaus, which will surely have an impact. However, it may struggle to win over those people left mourning the demise of Brasher.

First public opinion, and then profitability, will be the indicators as to whether or not the merger has been a success for Berghaus. We’ll be following this story with interest.

The Brasher Hillmaster GTX: one of the popular favourites that will bear the Berghaus name in less than 12 months time
The Brasher Hillmaster GTX: one of the popular classics set to bear a Berghaus logo in 12 months time

 

We’d love to hear what you think about the integration of Brasher into Berghaus. You can let us know your opinions on the matter on our Facebook page (Webtogs – The Camping & outdoor Shop), Twitter (@Webtogs), or Google Plus (+Webtogs). Or just comment on this post via WordPress! You can also shop for our range of Berghaus boots direct at Webtogs

 

Thanks for reading,

Phil

3 thoughts on “Brasher and Berghaus to “Tie the Knot” under Berghaus Name

  1. A very sad day have alway brought Brasher boots because they are the best value for money, not sure this will work, time will tell

  2. Heard about this merger when I was buying my fifth (and final it seems) pair of Brasher Supalites early this year.

    Just trying to buy my fourth pair of Mayan Sandals and it seems that they are not being produced under the Berghaus name. In fact can only see a few of the lines that Brasher used to produce.

    A great shame to see this brand go.

  3. Well I have been very pleased with the very stiff sole on some Brasher made/ Rohan branded shoes, so I thought that I would try and find something similar directly from Brasher. That’s when I discovered that they have been subsumed into the Berghaus brand. And when I followed the links to “mens shoes” on the Berghaus website I was amazed to find that the entire choice consisted of just two pairs of extremely gaudy trainers. In my mid 50s, and seeking footwear to suit short breaks that might include some moderate walking as well as sightseeing about town, casual dining and travelling, I require a strong shoe, not an out-and-out hill walking boot. Whilst Brasher offered such products it seems that Berghaus have abandoned that market, odd since many say that the active older generation is the sector that has the money and is expanding.
    So long Brasher, it was nice knowing you and very sorry to see you go.

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