French sports group Rossignol unveils 2026 plans
Rossignol is aiming for the half-billion-euro mark. The target, heralded in the past by Bruno Cercley, former CEO of the French group specialising in sport apparel and equipment, is in the cross-hairs of his successor, Vincent Wauters, who has been in office since February 2021.
This despite the fact that business volumes for the parent company of the eponymous ski brand, but also of Lange, Dynastar, Risport, Look and Kerma, have shrunk in recent years. The Rossignol group, founded back in 1907 and majority-owned since 2013 by Scandinavian investment fund Altor, reported a revenue for fiscal 2021-22, closed at the end of March, of €313 million, up 28% over the previous year. But in 2018-19, the group’s revenue was nearly €380 million. However, the group has since sold several assets, including bike brand Felt and trail-running brands Raidlight and Vertical.
Three years from now, by deploying the Ascension 2026 plan, the Rossignol group is planning to generate sales worth €500 million, morphing into a more environmentally friendly sport industry player. To achieve these twin objectives, the group said it will implement a strategy reconciling industrial performance with sustainability. A plan that applies to its sport equipment business, where the group wants to boost the assortment of eco-designed products and its range of recyclable skis, like Rossignol’s Essential line. But also to its apparel and footwear categories, labelled as “soft goods” at Rossignol, which currently account for more than 20% of sales. For the Spring/Summer 2023, the group is working on product traceability, and is also keen to develop a range with reduced environmental impact.
The group has announced it will invest a total of €50 million by 2026, including €27 million in industrial investment. The sum of €15 million is specifically earmarked for sustainability investments. The Rossignol factory in Sallanches, in the French Alps, will be transformed into a site specialised in eco-designed and recyclable skis, with an additional knowledge centre on how to give products a second life. The group will also tap this investment to develop and commercialise more environmentally friendly products.
“With the [Ascension 2026] plan, we are moving Rossignol and its 115 years of history into the future, committing ourselves to creating sustainable, inclusive products and sharing the inspiration of mountain sports, both in summer and winter,” said Vincent Wauters, CEO of the Rossignol Group. “Through this roadmap, we are proud to announce we will make industrial and environmental investments focused on renewable technologies and life-cycle management, including the ability to repair products, resell them, give them a second life and recycle them. We will notably make our Sallanches facility, the last remaining ski factory in France, the world’s leading factory for eco-designed and recyclable skis,” he added.
While the group aims to reduce its industrial waste by 40% by 2025, and cut its carbon footprint by 30% by 2030, it nevertheless has ambitious plans for apparel and footwear, both set to grow significantly according to the Ascension 2026 plan. The group indicated that soft goods already account for 40% of the Rossignol brand's sales in France and for 25% globally, and is targeting a total revenue for the categories of €150 million in 2026.
To reach this goal, Rossignol will rely on boosting direct online sales, but also on expanding its brick-and-mortar retail footprint. The group has recently launched Start Gate, a new multibrand store concept dedicated to mountain sports, in Switzerland and Canada, and intends to deploy Start Gate in all its expansion regions.
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