Big news from the outdoor industry. I just heard the sad news from Joe O'Blenis and Bryan Hansel that Quebec kayak manufacturer, Boréal Design has closed its doors and will be filing for bankruptcy on Monday.
From La Presse.ca:
Director of the shop, Frédéric Patry said that attempts by the company management to find new investors were unsuccessful. Forty-five people lost their jobs.
Realistic, Frédéric Patry nevertheless retains a slim hope that a takeover could save the brand.
It’s a shame to hear about them go under. Boréal made fantastic boats and their construction and craftsmanship was second to none for sure. Over the 20 years in business, Boréal expended their company by purchasing accessory company, Beluga. They also developed a fantastic partnership with Maelströmkayak to manufacture and distribute their high-end sea kayaks.
From a business perspective, their product lines were appealing to paddling shops as they were able to offer both boats and accessories for the entire spectrum of paddling; from absolute beginner on a slim budget all the up to the highest end.
I have no idea of how the bankruptcy of Boréal will affect Maelströmkayak as they are a separate company with a factory to build their boats. I reached out to them for comment but haven’t received a response yet. I will update this post if I hear back.
Update [Feb 4, 2012]: I receved an email from Charles-Alexandre Desjardins one of the owners of Maelströmkayak. He said, "We learned about it the same way you did, which is unfortunate. That's about all I can say for now. Maelströmkayak is still very alive and we intend to continue our business."
Update [Feb 6, 2012]: I have written to Boreal Design looking for a statement as nothing has been posted on their website as of yet. I will post if/when I receive it.
Update [Feb 9, 2012]: Nikki Rekman Sales posted the following on her facebook page a couple of days ago:
We received confirmation from BORÉALDESIGN President, Eric Blouin this morning that the company is indeed in the hands of the bank and has closed its doors. BORÉALDESIGN was founded in 1991 by Natalie Simard and Eric Blouin and made a fantastic product. It is with great sadness that our relationship with BORÉALDESIGN has ended and we think about Eric, Natalie and all our friends who no longer have their jobs.
Flickr Photo Credit: Pub de Boréal Design? Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0