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Fri Nov 6, 2009

Karhu Extends European Distribution

Legendary Finnish Running Brand Expands its Reach to Germany, Austria and Italy 

Beverly, MA (October 29, 2009) – KARHU, Finland’s legendary running brand announced today that it is expanding in Europe. This coming spring Karhu will be reaching a significantly wider European distribution network. On the heels of launching award-winning Fulcrum footwear in N. America in 2009, KARHU will soon be available in the Finnish, German, Austrian and Italian markets in Spring 2010. 

“With new German, and Italian partners KARHU will firmly launch itself into the Central European running market. At the same time we have taken control of KARHU's footwear distribution in Finland and Scandinavia through our subsidiary KARHU Nordic AB,” says Huub Valkenburg, chief operating officer, KARHU. “KARHU’s Fulcrum technology has been tested and tuned to deliver the best Natural ride, a position that resonates strongly with today’s runners,” says Huub Valkenburg CEO KARHU. 

KARHU reports that it has reached an agreement with RONO, Run & Style GMBH & CO.KG, located in Heppenheim, Germany to distribute KARHU footwear in both Germany and Austria. Run & Style also owns the renowned running apparel brand, RONO and is well established in the German and Austrian running specialty and sporting goods trade.

“KARHU, the brand and KARHU’s Fulcrum technology have a distinguished positioning that many German runners fondly remember from a time when KARHU was the number one running brand in both Germany and Austria. The updated technology platform has again been embraced by a number of our leading running specialist and the initial sell through has been remarkable”, said Kai Marquardt, president of Sports & Style GMBH.

In addition, KARHU also announced that it has reached an agreement with Higro Srl, located near Bologna, Italy to distribute KARHU footwear throughout Italy. The team behind Higro Srl combines over 20 years experience in the Italian market from the Benetton Sports Group as well as Puma.

“KARHU’s iconic design language stands out in the running shoe industry and has been embraced by the running specialist. We look forward to re-creating the momentum of the brand one runner at a time,” said Cinzia Pistore, CEO of Higro Srl.

This distribution comes on the heels of a successful launch year in North America. This distribution comes on the heels of a successful launch year in North America. The brand has exceeded expectations and continued to achieve success in the running specialty market. KARHU’s Fulcrum technology has been tested and tuned to deliver the best Natural ride, a position that resonates strongly with today’s runners.

About KARHU

Born in 1916, KARHU is Finland’s legendary running brand. Meaning “bear” in Finnish, KARHU has an authentic heritage in running and a deep connection to the outdoors. KARHU follows the Finnish principles of design simplicity and running purity in providing technical running and outdoor gear for nearly 100 years. KARHU shoes have been worn on the feet of some of the greatest Finnish runners, including Boston Marathon champion Olavi Suomalainen, and Paavo Nurmi, giving rise to the Flying Finns. Engineering innovative product that promotes a “Natural Ride and Feel”™ through the patented Fulcrum™ technology, KARHU footwear products are sold globally by specialty retailers. KARHU is owned by KARHU Holding B.V. and designs, markets and distributes KARHU branded products. For more information about KARHU, visit www.karhu.com

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