Well, I didn’t see this coming. It was announced that Orvis has bought Ross and Scientific Angler from 3M.
My first reaction was “Didn’t 3M just buy Ross? Why would they then turn around and sell it?”
Hearing that the Ross and SA lines would not be absorbed into the Orivis brand made me think that this might actually be a pretty savvy move by Orvis.
Orvis has a perception problem. For reasons probably related to there being such things as Orvis pleated khaki’s, Orvis has an image in the fly fishing world as being stodgy and elitist. Now, personally I think the reputation is off-base here and I think they have some really fantastic gear at price points equal to, or even less than, some of the other top brands in the business.
Ross, on the other hand, is a working man’s brand. It has none of the brand baggage that Orvis seems to carry. If you combine the brands, you lose the cool factor of the Ross brand… that Made in the USA, solid-at-a-solid-price perception.
While you don’t see many Orvis stickers on the Yeti coolers, you do see Ross stickers, and that’s why the deal, as it stands, makse sense to me.
The Trout Underground has some theories of his own.