inov-8 makes France a direct market and sets big ambitions

UK-based inov-8 has set big growth ambitions for France after adding the country to its portfolio of European direct markets.

And to lead its charge, the brand – who specialise in innovative running, hiking and fitness gear – has appointed Emmanuel (Manu) Fedon as its new Sales Manager for France.

Fedon lives in Annecy and brings two decades of sports industry experience to the role. He previously worked for Asics and most recently enjoyed a hugely successful five years as Commercial Director for On Running in France.

Up until now inov-8’s business in France has been handled by a distributor partner, most recently Ricochet. However, from AW22 (Autumn/Winter 2022) onwards the country will join the UK, USA, Germany, Austria and Scandinavia as being a direct market for inov-8, who were founded in 2003 by Wayne Edy.

Tim Parkin, inov-8 Head of Sales, said: “We’d like to thank Ricochet for the fantastic job they have done over the last four years in building our brand and business in France. Their energy, enthusiasm and technical knowhow has been invaluable to us, and helps make them one of the strongest distributors in the sports and outdoors market.

“We’ve now made the decision to go direct in France as of AW22, which will allow us to place a greater focus on this key European market and set ambitious growth plans. We also feel it’s a real coup to have someone of Manu’s calibre at the helm. He has an outstanding reputation within the industry and a wealth of contacts across all of France.

“These are hugely exciting times for inov-8, both in France and globally. We continue to lead the way with the use of Graphene, the world’s strongest wonder-material, and are preparing to launch yet more world-first innovations across footwear, apparel and equipment in 2022.”

Fedon began his sports industry career in 2002 and worked his way through the ranks to become Sales Director at Asics, France. Following a three-year hiatus in the high-end watch market, he returned to sports business in 2017 and helped build On Running in France.

The 49-year-old said: “inov-8 is a brand I have always loved, and I feel honoured to have the opportunity to lead its build in France. I couldn’t be happier.

“It’s 2022 range and beyond is packed with the most innovative kit a trail runner, hiker, adventurer, or someone at the gym could ever dream of. The future is bright, and the journey will be incredible. It is with a lot of enthusiasm, passion and energy that we will approach this new era. Be ready to be surprised!”

inov-8 is owned by founder Edy, who in 2020 bought back the company from Japanese sportswear company Descente. Its headquarters remain in the Lake District, England.

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