Kombi Sports is Canada’s most recognized winter glove brand. A leading glove manufacturer since 1911, the Montreal-based company entered the market as a producer of leather and work gloves. Over the years, Kombi reached new heights with the launch of its winter gloves product line and its expansion into the winter product category including base layers, socks, headwear, kid’s outerwear, and a variety of cold weather accessories.
Dedicated to Quality
Kombi is well known for its high value offering. ‘Waterproof’ and ‘warmth’ are key words in the winter sportswear industry and Kombi emphasizes these characteristics across its products. Patrick Menard, Director of Sales and Marketing with Kombi, told The Canadian Business Journal, “Kombi recognizes a brand that can cover you from head to toe with different product categories, offering the best value for the price. Our base value is innovation and we are recognized by the industry as a company that always innovates and is in front of the trends to bring the best value and price to the market.”
Aside from a high value offering, a commitment to quality separates Kombi from its competition. The company is a dominant player in the snow sports product category and its heritage as a well recognized, Canadian designed and operated family brand are invaluable. Since Kombi entered the winter sports market in 1961, its customers have developed a genuine trust with the brand, realized through the next generation of customer loyalty.
“We are Canadian just like our customers. The Canadian consumer knows the Kombi brand extremely well. We are proud to inform all international markets that we are Canadian,” Mark Pascal, Vice-President of Kombi, summarized. “China, for example, is very excited to have a Canadian brand. In Japan, we’ve been there for over 25 years, and almost all of their Kombi merchandising has a Maple Leaf.”
Moving forward, the challenge is to grow its existing categories – such as cross country gloves – to the stratosphere of winter products. Growth opportunities exist in foreign markets such as China. This year, Kombi initiated product sales to China and will soon display its brand at a Chinese trade show. Pascal added, “South America also has opportunities. This year we had sales in Chile … With its growth, if we get the right partner in Russia, it would be a great opportunity as well.”
Sourcing and developing a stronger cross country glove line is critical in providing greater visibility and traction in Kombi’s cross country market share. Kombi remains a strong category leader with its existing customer base and is adapting to modern digital branding strategies to attract new customers and evolve in the sportswear marketplace.
New Product Launch
Most recently, Kombi launched its Radiator glove, which has already received plenty of positive feedback and taken the industry by storm. Designed with a lithium ion battery in the cuff, the Radiator glove is a heating glove, rather than an insulator, that keeps your hands warm for the long haul.
“Insulation does not have heating qualities, it has warming qualities. If you put a cold hand into an insulated product, your hand will stay cold for a certain time,” Pascal said. “But if you put a cold hand into our Radiator glove, it warms you up.”
Menard added, “We were able to bring this technology to the mainstream because we are coming with a high-end product and an affordable price. We can really grow this category for retailers and for ourselves. We’re evolving and bringing more products to the consumer.”
The Radiator glove adds a new layer to the winter sportswear industry and pushes Kombi forward with its goals for growth and an initiative for increased visibility not only across the Canadian marketplace, but the global stage. From design to product, Kombi Sports continues to bring the best in technology and innovation as the winter sportswear industry leader.