Swedish helmet and apparel brand POC is establishing direct sales support for its retailers in NZ, beginning with snow sports businesses from the start of this month and incorporating cycling retailers from April 2023.
“Christchurch-based POC New Zealand, a subsidiary of POC Sweden which launched in 2019 as an APAC regional support office, will expand its scope to include all sales and marketing activities in New Zealand,” the company announced in a statement.
It said it is transitioning from well-known distributor Wide Open, which has “led a highly successful presence in the country”.
The POC New Zealand direct sales team will be led the organisation’s NZ Country Manager, Sam Wethey, who is based out of its office in Christchurch.
The statement says the “close partnership” between POC and Wide Open has led to them collaborating to design a framework for the transition of POC’s commercial activities in NZ. That framework will be separately shared with all existing POC retailers.
POC’s Managing Director for APAC, Cam Whiting, said the NZ market “aligns incredibly well with POC’s DNA, culture and strategic objectives” and was therefore chosen as the home of the company’s APAC operations.
“It is immensely exciting to add more depth to our presence in New Zealand. It is also bittersweet, as we close a momentous chapter with our good friends and colleagues at Wide Open,” Cam said.
“They have represented POC in New Zealand for almost a decade, setting a high benchmark for us to follow and improve on. We value and appreciate the considerable foundations they have laid.
“All retailers can expect to receive the same high-quality experience that POC offers in other key markets, with the added benefit of direct access to POC’s APAC regional team and expertise.”
Wide Open managing director Matt Whitaker said when his company started bring POC into NZ nearly 10 years ago, it was “immediately noticeable was that it is a special brand, be it the innovation, products or mission”.
“It has been an amazing journey, to have set it all up here and laid some foundations that POC will take forward.”