Companies in Limbo – Contour Coming back? Sombrio’s Future Unknown
After abruptly shutting down operations in August this year, Contour’s future has been a bit of an unknown. Now, almost as quietly as things shut down, Contour appears to be coming back online after being purchased through an auction by Clarke Capital Partners. Already an existing investor, Clarke Capital is planning to bring the company back online according to the most recent article on GeekWire. After going silent on all social media platforms, Contour recently posted to facebook and twitter with the message, “Happy holidays to all and thank you for continuing to support Contour. It has been a difficult time, as you may have read, but we are getting closer to having the website and customer support up and running. Stay tuned for new announcements. In the meantime, we see lots of demand for storyteller, you can find it here. Thanks to Joe Agustino.” With hopes for a formal announcement early this month, Contour mentioned they can be contacted in the interim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Contour appears to be on the way back, sadly it looks like Sombrio might be on the way out. Details, next.
As one of the pioneers in both freeride and freeride apparel, Dave Watson’s Sombrio has been a fixture on the North Shore for 15 years. As the story so often goes, funding problems have resulted in the storied brand being forced to shut their doors – maybe not permanently, but for the near future at least. Details were posted to the company’s website under the text – NEVER DEAD:
Dear friends, fans, and people of the global Sombrio circle,
We have some very difficult news to share with you, but first a little history.
Our customers and fans, love the innovations and products that Sombrio bring to market each year, and we thank you for this. This brand is the result of the dedicated riders past and present, so hats off to all of you. Back in 2011 and in an effort to grow with market demand, and share our vision with a broader audience, we sought out consultants to help us flourish.
The consultants had a grand vision of making Sombrio into a big company very fast with a network of our own retail stores. It seemed almost too good to be true but they were convinced it would work. In 2012 we raised funds from an investor, added staff to a great team, invested in systems, products, and began to execute on this growth strategy.
Sadly, it went sideways, as the retail expansion plan was way more expensive to execute than we were led to believe, barred with issues, and stores never opened. In an attempt to bridge the void, and re-kindle stability our family and primary investor stepped up. Our team re-aligned on our core channels, and worked tirelessly to good result.
However, even with all the positives achieved this year from our team, and a great season mapped for next – the perils of failed expansion has left the company with a significant gap – and one the investors have just weeks ago bowed out.
With these challenges we’re in an incredibly painful position in that we have to pause or halt business until we find a way forward, or a buyer. Granted, our door is still open, and were operational, our future is quite uncertain.
We want to thank everyone that has supported us and we apologize to anyone that may be disrupted in the process. We do remain optimistic Sombrio will land on its feet. We hope you understand that we did, and are doing everything during these tumultuous times to see Sombrio continue to live and breathe the two wheel culture.
Sombrio’s future will need someone with the resources, expertise and vision to continue bringing Sombrio’s innovative, high performance riding apparel to a huge market looking for an alternative to the status quo. We look forward to finding that white knight, rebuilding our team and making a charge for the peak.
Sincerely Dave Watson, Founder & President
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