Porvair International, maker of the SealSkinz range of waterproof gloves and socks, saw a year-on-year 36 percent uplift in sales, by value, in 2004. The company - which bought the SealSkinz name from DuPont in 1998 - is introducing many new products towards the back end of 2005, including hi-vis socks and a race glove.

SealSkinz increases sales; expands range for 05/06

SealSkinz now offer 17 products for cyclists to wear in wet and cold conditions. This is a long way from the first pair of ankle length Porelle Drys, launched in 1997.

"SealSkinz is no longer a quirky, one-off product sitting on the bottom shelf," said Giles Polito, SealSkinz’ sales and marketing manager.

"With sales growing significantly over the past years we hope our new 2005 range will enable our customers to stock a wider range of SealSkinz products and generate important income from this category."

The growth rate of 36 percent could have been bigger, said Polito:

"We are aware that we had stock issues in 2004 which prevented the growth from reaching 50 percent. This is the main issue for our business in 2005 and we plan to start making stock for September orders in March."

Polito said new PoS materials shipped in 2004 helped some shops triple their sales of SealSkinz products.

New products for a September 2005 launch include a hi-vis bike sock, rrp £20, and the Race Glove. rrp £30.

The Race Glove has a leather palm and is designed to be very close fitting using the Porelle dxt waterproof membrane and stretch fabric to the back of the palm. There’s a Velcro cuff and retro-reflective strips on the knucles.

The Winter Technical Glove, rrp £35 has similar features to the Race Glove but has has a longer cuff and Primaloft insulation.

Below the Race Glove is the Windproof Glove, rrp £15, "designed for those cyclists who want to take the edge off a cold day but do not need waterproof properties," said Polito. There’s also to be a SealSkinz windproof cap, rrp £12.50, designed for under-helmet use. This features stretch panels to the back, wind proof panels to the front, and a micro-fleece lining.


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