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Business Week Magazine On Perk Perkins And Orvis's New Product Success

December 12, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

Perk Perkins talks on-stream to Business Week‘s Charles DuBow and says that while you can hear the thud of sales hitting a low point, products like the company’s new Helios rods are a reason to celebrate. Who doesn’t find it interesting that a company like Orvis — by all accounts a “lifestyle” retailer — is finding success in a niche market where single-channel manufacturers are seeing orders drop dramatically. Maybe it says something about Orvis’s forward-looking marketing techniques (they’ve been among the most aggressive at acquiring new customers online), or maybe it re-states an important point: good product design matters.
“Standing thigh-deep in Vermont’s Battenkill River, tying a nymph onto the leader of his fishing rod and wearing a beat-up green cap with a feather sticking out of it, Leigh ‘Perk’ Perkins Jr. doesn’t look much like a CEO. The tanned, sinewy, 56-year-old looks more like a fly-fishing bum, and the grace and accuracy with which he casts his line indicates the many years he has spent on the water.”