ASB MAGAZINE: Following a successful partnership with Byron-based distributor Seabreeze OZ for over two decades, SMITH announced the expansion of the global eyewear and helmet brand across Asia-Pacific with the creation of its owned Australian subsidiary to service its first direct-to-market approach. The division is headed by Matt Myhill, Senior Regional Manager to oversee the sales, marketing and distribution of SMITH products and brand strategies across Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China, and all other Asia-Pacific markets. SMITH Australia will utilize the well-established back-of-house function that currently exists for parent company Safilo, allowing for a simple transition of logistics, operations, and customer support. Myhill is supported by action sports veteran, Thomas Edgar, as Marketing Manager for the Australian market.
“It’s an incredibly unique and humbling experience to be handed the keys to a brand with so much history and I couldn’t be more thankful for foundation and growth Seabreeze OZ provided for SMITH for the last 24 years. They cemented the brand within the Australian market and established a healthy and ripe business for us to pursue the next stage of growth locally, in line with our vision for the entire APAC region,” said Myhill.
Given the current global brand strength and the new direct-to-market business structure, SMITH will be well resourced to provide its Australian retail partners the highest level of service, customer support, product, marketing, and operational capability to ensure the local execution mirrors the commitment to retail and substantial success seen in North America & EMEA.
“More than ever, retailers want to be able to authenticate price on premium products, and they want to see their brand partners lead with stories and activations that reward the support of retailers and customers alike,” continue Myhill. “With a particular focus on these things, combined with significant sustainability and social responsibility initiatives, in-house resourcing in sales and marketing, and tremendous pre-existing back of house functionality we are excited for the next stage of the SMITH brand in Australia!”
SMITH – a global leader in eyewear and headwear protection brand since 1965 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon – is best known for its leading global market share in snow goggles and helmets. The brand has recently taken a significant strong hold in the outdoor, water and cycling channels, particularly with the launch of bike helmets in recent years. Since the early 90s, SMITH pioneered innovative eyewear collections specifically for surf culture, creating authentic and purposeful designs that continue to dominate in the now prevalent surf eyewear market.
The brand decided to invest heavily in the APAC action sports market with the creation of the SMITH Australia subsidiary in February 2021 and has been managing the eyewear business since May 2021. SMITH Australia and Seabreeze OZ have agreed on a transition plan that will see a seamless handover of the business on October 1, 2021, ensuring minimal disturbance to current retail partners.
Originating from Sun Valley, Idaho, Smith was founded in 1965 with the invention of the first snow goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. With 56 years of innovation and design experience, Smith is widely known today as an industry leader that pioneers advanced eyewear and helmets that incorporate dynamic technologies, optimized performance and clean styling to fuel fun beyond walls. Smith seeks to power thrilling experiences in snow, surf, bike, fish and peak performance outdoor adventures with a comprehensive collection that exudes modern style and vibrant personality. To Smith, the experience is everything. Smith is part of Safilo Group.
Additional information is available at smithoptics.com.
VIA PRESS RELEASE