ESPRIT GETS MOONSTONE

Byline: Karen Parr

NEW YORK — Esprit de Corp has purchased the brand and selected assets of Moonstone Mountaineering, a manufacturer and distributor of technical outerwear and sleeping bags.
Moonstone, based in Arcata, Calif., will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Esprit and will shift headquarters to San Francisco. The firm had been in Chapter 7.
Esprit chairman and chief executive officer Jay Margolis said he believes Moonstone can grow from a $13 million business to $100 million in the next four or five years. He declined to comment on details of the acquisition.
With Moonstone, Margolis intends to use some of the same strategies he used to rebuild Esprit, such as strengthening the production systems, warehousing, financial systems and customer service.
He intends to keep Moonstone distributed in specialty retail stores such as Paragon — a sporting goods and activewear specialist here — and will not sell to department stores.
“This is not a sportswear company — this is about high-performance gear,” he said. “Our goal is to be the most technically advanced in this group.”
Marketing plans for building the Moonstone brand include sponsorships of elite climbers and backpackers, hikers and other extreme-sports people, Margolis said. Esprit has also named Ed Schmults president of Moonstone. He was formerly chief operating officer and chief team leader of Patagonia.

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