Company intends to create Internet conglomerate.
Frank Lipiro, president of silverzipper.com asserts the snowboarding industry is being attacked by large outside companies bringing prices down. To fight it he feels companies have to be more aggressive–and he’s backing that up with action.
The company, silverzipper.com, is the new owner of Robern Skiwear, Inc.–the parent company of Drift snowboard clothing. Both were bought by Saber Capital, Inc. as part of a deal for silverzipper.com, Inc. The company has also changed its name from Saber Capital, Inc. to silverzipper.com, Inc.
The silverzipper plan is to raise capital through stock offerings and buy small, established, apparel and accessory brands in snowboarding as well as other sports so their business isn’t seasonal.
"Retail has to look beyond the big brands because they’re all the same," says Lapiro. "They should be looking for entrepreneurial small brands for differences."
According to Lipiro, tentative plans for the next eighteen months call for silverzipper.com to raise around 50-million dollars and acquire five or six companies–definitively big goals.
The acquired brands would continue with normal channels of distribution and, more importantly, over the Internet. The company’s Internet strategy is to create a unique retail model for selling the niche brands they acquire or partner with.
"We view it as brand building," says Lipiro. "If we can continue to build through the Internet we might get the customer going to retailers." He claims the Internet strategy won’t hurt retailers because the distribution isn’t large enough to adversely affect them.
The company plans to be extremely competitive with their retail pricing (jackets will retail for 100 to 150 dollars). "We see our product as intensely price-value oriented," says Lapiro. "Our core competencies will continue to be moderately priced. We have to be price oriented–that’s our niche"
The advertising will be limited to cross-linking with other sites as it grows larger–any vehicle that brings more involvement in its sites. Although not up yet, the company plans to have the site running by October 1.