/ PRODUCT NEWS: Alpkit Limited Edition Quickdraws
So we approached DMM to bash out a limited number of quickdraws for us to show we are serious about making serious gear.
And here they are: Alpkit McGraw's.
Fully spec'd DMM Prowires and dyneema slings, but with the Alpkit motif. Available as packs of 6 in either 12cm or 18cm, or as a mixed set of 12 with 5x12, 5x18 and 2x25cm.
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/news.php?id=2550
Just ordered mine...
They look fantastic.
I can't really see the point of these being made or people buying them over the standard DMM prowires. They are the same spec and price as standard DMM kit So these are for people who just want Alpkit stuff for the name or possibly the colour.
I've got a few alpkit items and have always been pleased with them and the sales support and turnaround times have been great but i've always thought that their aim was to produce quality cheap almost non-branded/home-brand stuff based on design and economical sourcing of materials etc. So just buying in something from a already well known producer and just sticking the Alpkit name on it and selling it just for the name seems wrong.
Like they have said they want to start creating their own gear, and this is their way of starting off in this area of the market. Seems to be working fine so far.
I do see your point, but I think you've answered your own questions. They have already said they want to work with DMM and this is a limited run. The colour thing might swing a bit of business their way (aren't DMM prowires all blue/silver?)
It sounds like neither AlpKit nor DMM have finalised what their future arrangement might be, and they are just "seeing how it goes". Of course AlpKit aren't going to undercut DMM's prices on products made for them by DMM. Maybe there's a pipe dream of DMM branding its cheaper gear (do they a low-cost solid gate QD, for example?) as AlpKit, if it works out, and keeping the DMM name for the jazzier stuff? I dunno.
Don't forget, DMM don't do sleeping bags or roll mats or titanium mugs or rosewood chopsticks - maybe they fancy a bit of that action.
I'd quite like some orange QDs actually, might order some :-)
As for the "buying them in", well that makes sense to me, and answers woolsack's point as well. AlpKit would struggle to break into the "safety-critical equipment" market on their own (just look at all the threads on this site asking "are Kong nuts any good? Is Quechua gear any good?" etc.
Oh I know that, sorry, I was just referring to the number of threads you get here asking about such-and-such brand that's either not well known in the UK, not well known for particular types of equipment, or both. I picked those two as random examples. I've got a fair amount of Kong wires (and the exact same wires can also be found branded as Zero G too....oh there's an example - the amount of people asking "are Zero G ropes safe?" :-) )
So whilst we might say that Kong, Zero G etc have not made inroads into the UK market yet, I was saying that AlpKit have not made inroads into the "safety equipment" market yet, and appear to be trying to do this in some sort of partnership with a well established brand.
As for your final point...well AlpKit are clearly looking to spread their wings a bit. The bouldering mats were a slightly bold new venture for them iirc, as people had previously seen them as a place to get sleeping bags and down jackets. I'm sure that when they started out they pretty much announced that they were starting with "easy" products and hoping to expand into all sorts. But I dunno.
I'll leave the bunfight now :-)
We are still focused on making quality, good value gear. This isnt going to change anytime soon. This product isn't meant to define any sort of new product line, remember as much as we are a brand we are also a shop. This is just one more thing that an outdoor shop can sell.
Although not an amazing saving "i think" we can still say we are the cheapest uk made quickdraw on the market. For some people the Alpkit name will be a plus and for many it would a minus, thats life.
There are probably 3 reasons that will work well for us doing them.
1) I get some new quickdraws
2) We can give to them climbers we sponsor
3) There great promo prizes
In the background we gain a little more experience selling specialist climbing gear, but this perhaps is a longer term project.
I think some people are reading too much into this.
I like the Alpkit "we did it because we wanted to" approach.
It's quite refreshing.
for the record I was being sarcastic.
Seems pretty sensible to me. Wild Country have Clog for their low-end gear, but DMM has no equivalent (at least that I'm aware of).
Crux, a DMM partner (not sure the details of the financial/corporate arrangement there), makes clothing and sleeping bags - but yes, lots of gaps still there to be filled!
I'm sure DMM have that well covered, they probably dont need us as means to enter the low end of the price spectrum. However they are also a contract manufacture, and make lots of bits for lots of companies.
The Crux/Dmm tie up looks like an ideal alignment. Dmm already have strong sales and distribution, why duplicate this if you have non competing brand.
I think your three reasons fit fine, Giving them away as promo prizes and giving them to your sponsored climbers is an excellent way of getting your name around in a different area/market, and getting new kit is always good especially if it's free.
Thanks Nick, and I'm sorry for speculating on what your business plans might be! I was just trying to defend AlpKit from everyone shouting "this is really stupid" :-)
Am still annoyed I never bought any Alpkit shoes :-(
I just want to say that mine (12 bore) have just arrive and they look amazing ( maybe 'amazing' is a little over the top for a quickdraw, but 'good' didnt quite cut it).
A great krab on a great sling, a snazy colour, and for only 8.50€ each.
Also fantastic service, as they arived in Finland after 5 days (including a weekend) for only 6€ postage.
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