lordhelmut wrote:I guess what I'm really asking is, despite increasing labor costs overseas and standard yearly inflation, what is the main difference between a pro shell made from Arcteryx to Patagonia to Marmot to North Face? Are they charging for a logo or is the craftsmanship really all that more spectacular? I've heard from credible mountaineers that using Frogg Toggs for 20$ are sufficient enough for them in the summer months, and they just get a new pair when they breakdown. I've seen expert skiers and boarders ride around the mountains in the dead of winter in Carharts.
And if these companies do unload most of their inventory during their massive sales, where do the profits come from? Sorry, I'm almost completely ignorant how retail works, but I do know that nobody should pay 680$ for a jacket. If labor costs are in fact increasing, but they are still selling most of their stuff at wholesale prices during their sales, where do the profits come from?
Good questions Brian. I have wondered this for years, and never gotten a good answer from anyone!
Essentially, I have always wondered what (if any) tangible differences are there between the top brands. Undoubtedly people can ramble on about branding, consumerism, image, perceptions, etc. I have no doubt in my mind that these play a huge role in brand like Arx and Patagonia charging high prices.
But is that all of it? Does the name alone warran the extra hundreds of dollars? It can't be the only difference, can it?
I would love to hear about the craftsmanship/production which supposedly sets apart the top brands. It would be cool to hear one of the product engineers try to defend a $600 Arcteryx shell against a comparable North Face for half the price. It is materials, stitching, better machines they are made on (??) or what? No question that all retail is marked up 100% of cost, but what exactly are physical the differences in the products that warrant such high prices?
Like I said, I've never really seen anyone be able to answer that question in a satisfying way....
"Human beings climb at their peril. Some might think that by climbing a great mountain they have somehow conquered it, but we can be only visitors here."