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SI takes a look at Remington's outdoor clothing line.

SI Takes A Look At REMINGTON'S OUTDOOR CLOTHING LINE

If ever there were a marriage made in Heaven, it is the one that exists between Remington and their parent company, the giant E.I. DuPont Company. DuPont is an acknowledged leader in the chemical and textile fiber market and Remington has their finger on the pulse of the American outdoorsman. Nobody who hunts is unfamiliar with the Remington name and it was a logical move for Remington, in 1986, to enter the outdoor clothing market.

The line takes every advantage of hightech fibers and innovative design to provide apparel of unparalleled utility. Of this I can speak from personal knowledge for I've been using some of their gear for some time now and the best example I can think of to prove my point is also one of the simplest and most inexpensive products in the line. It's a ball cap.

While quail hunting I wear a blaze orange Remington cap for safety and, even if the weather is cool, the hard work often leads to perspiration. The Remington cap is made with a sweat band of THERMAX, a highly absorbent fiber that rapidly wicks water away from the skin. There's nothing more annoying than a drop of sweat in your eye just when a covey flushes, but the THERMAX sweat-band really works.

Science of Fibers

The clever use of fibers technology to improve the life of the hunter and outdoorsman is seen throughout the Remington clothing line and it only took me a few minutes with Remington's clothing specialist Hugh James to see how thorough this commitment is. One of the most important considerations in hunting clothing is warmth, and Remington and DuPont have pooled their talent to design and make fibers that mimic the insulating qualities of wool and down and the basis for the entire line is a "system" of garments that, when properly layered, will be both warm and functional. And it is here that the science of fiber design is most obvious.

Several of the Big Game and Waterfowl parkas make use of a fiber called THERMOLITE that has insulating properties that are very close to down when dry and twice as warm when wet. The fiber is 10 microns in diameter which just happens to be the wavelength of heat radiating from the body. Without getting too technical this means that heat will be reflected within the layers of fiber rather than passing through and being lost to the atmosphere. James explains the technology in his presentation, but states, "The science is really just thrown in for the customer still buys because of fashion or fit." Of course there's no way you can see this but it's a useful selling point.

A Look At Remington's

THERMAX Underwear

Underwear is the heart of any cold weather outfit, and Remington's underwear makes use of THERMAX, to provide both insulation and a means of moving perspiration away from the skin. We all know how easy it is to become overheated, even in the coldest weather, if you must hike through rough terrain to get to the hunting grounds or run to get into position for a shot. If the first layer of clothing becomes wet it loses much of its insulating power and you don't seem to ever get warm again. THERMAX is a hollow fiber that provides both bulk (for insulation) and a channel through which moisture can be wicked away from the skin via capillary action. It was no small feat to design and build a fiber to do this... and this is only one example.

Remington's High-Tech

No-Sweat Socks

Socks tend to be something many hunters either ignore or just use whatever happens to be handy but there is room here as well for the high-tech approach and Remington has a system for this need. The Liner Sock is designed to provide both warmth and a means of removing the moisture of perspiration that seems to plague feet. Even moderate exertion can make your feet sweat and the use of THERMAX fiber provides both insulation and moisture removal. For the second pair, you may choose either standard Field Socks or Extreme Weather Socks depending upon the climate. The field socks use a blend of ORLON, THERMAX and a core spun blend of cotton and LYCRA for both warmth and comfort while the Extreme Weather Socks use the HIGH TREK blend of wool, ORLON and HOLLOFIL for a better degree of heat retention.

Shirts/Sweaters

The next item in the layering system is a shirt of sweater and Remington has both that are equally at home in the hunting field or for casual wear. Shirts are made of WORSTERLON, a Dacron fabric that mimics wool without the scratchiness, and the several sweater styles are made of HIGH TREK, a novel blend of wool, HOLLOFIL and ORLON. The combination is washable and actually is warmer than an equivalent wool sweater.

Outer Garments

Outer garments are designed for the type of hunting use and are available in Upland, Waterfowl, and Big Game styles as well as the specialized Silent Stalker line. There is also a very useful combination jacket known as the Ultimate Climate that is suitable for everyday wear as well as most hunting applications.

Most of these feature a Gore-Tex lining for waterproof service and are also treated with DuPont Zepel for stain resistance. Most are available in camouflage patterns as well as standard colors such as tan or loden. Each line has an accompanying pair of pants which share the construction and colors of the jacket.

Same Fibers Offered In

Gloves & Hats

The line also contains compatible gloves and hats that make use of the same fibers technology. I've already mentioned the Ball Cap, but there are many others including stocking caps and balaclavas made of THERMAX. There is also a variety of gloves for any weather condition.

As the clothing line has grown, each garment has been field tested to insure that it does what it is intended to do and Remington's marketing takes into account requests from dealers or consumers for additional products or changes in existing pieces. For example, early editions of some products made extensive use of Velcro fasteners, but comments from the field suggested that there were situations where this type of fastener was simply too noisy. These were reviewed and simple snap closures were substituted on pockets, etcetera, that had previously been fastened with Velcro.

Greater Utilization Of

Products A Goal

One goal of Remington's clothing marketing, is to develop products with greater utility. Crossover into street wear, for example, is something that can be beneficial to both the consumer and dealer. With this in mind, colors have been added and subtle styling changes made to several of the garments so that they can be at home both on the street and in the field. I, for example, routinely wear an Ultimate Climate jacket on rainy days in place of a conventional raincoat.

The entire line is based upon one simple premise; that is to keep the wearer comfortable regardless of the weather. The logic behind this is impeccable, for a hunter who doesn't have to spend all his time worrying about keeping warm or dry is likely to hunt more and probably buy more ammo or another gun. Of course Remington sells those too.

If everyone had the opportunity to spend an hour with Hugh James (his cohorts call him the rag man), I suspect we'd all look as if we were uniformed. So thorough is his knowledge and so absolute is his enthusiasm that listening to Hugh describe the products is like taking a graduate course in textile engineering and you emerge from the meeting wanting no less than one each of the 130 products in the line.

And it seems as if there's good news for the dealer as well. Remington clothing is sold only through their already established line of dealers, you won't see it in the clothing stores, and since it is sold dealer direct, there is a significant profit potential. The markup on clothing is pretty high and can, in a time of shrinking margins, mean real money in the dealer's pocket.

Some dealers have argued that adding clothing items to their already large inventories is simply too much and there may be some merit to that, but there's no requirement that you carry the entire line. James suggests that retailers carry only those items that are likely to appeal to their specific customers. If, for example, you operate in an area where waterfowl hunting is popular, pick items from that line that can be used in your area. Nor is it necessary to carry all sizes of a particular item and you can consider what is likely to be needed by the average customer and have a small stock of those. If the items sell well, you can always plow the profit back into more items for next year.

Special Promotional

Program Offered

Remington has also recently introduced a promotional program that will give dealers an opportunity to have a few specific items from the clothing line without having to inventory many items. Special packages have been designed for waterfowl and turkey hunting that include guns, ammo and a few selected clothing items. The entire package is shipped together and is specially priced to offer better than average profit opportunity. It's a good way for the dealer to "test market" some clothing to see how it sells in his particular store.

A few other items are also grouped with the clothing for marketing purposes. These are the popular Remington knives, a growing line of luggage and gun cases, and a few gun cleaning and care products such as Rem Oil and Rem Clean. Remington's goal would seem to be one-stop shopping for the hunter and outdoorsman and, with the addition of boots to the clothing line last year, they're well on the way.

PHOTO : Remington's "Quallofil" stuffed jacket

PHOTO : Remington even has an insulated Radar Cap besides their ever-so-popular popular Legion Caps and Ball Caps.

PHOTO : Remington's "Thermax" turtleneck in standard-weight is always a "best seller".

PHOTO : How about one of Remington's Crew Sweaters made of "High Trek" yarn?

PHOTO : For perfect concealment in the marshlands, Remington's "Worsterlon" shirt in marsh camo pattern is the answer.

PHOTO : The company also has a line of outdoor knit gloves. Here is a pair of their "High Trek" knit gloves.

PHOTO : Their "Thermax" Union Suit will surely keep any hunter warm.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Publishers' Development Corporation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Perry, Charles
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Apr 1, 1989
Words:1757
Previous Article:Dressing for success; "new-age fabrics can greatly increase both the comfort and success of today's hunters."
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