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Sorry - did know where to post this...

Does anyone know why Backyard Outfitters is closed? I checked their website today to find out about pants and shirts to order and the site was not behaving well. I called and the recording indicated that as of 31Dec07, they were no longer in business... anyone?
 

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The owner of BO had a death in his family and was out of the country most of December attending the funeral and other family matters. They're also having issues with Woolrich and have severed business relations with Woolrich.

A post by Fernando at another forum:

Hi All – As most of you know, for the past two years, Backyard Outfitter designed, field tested, and brought to the marketplace the Elite Series line of clothing for Woolrich. Woolrich has terminated Backyard Outfitter’s right to distribute the Elite Series product line on a wholesale basis. For the past few weeks, Backyard Outfitter has been attempting to seek an amicable resolution with Woolrich to ensure that Backyard Outfitter could fill dealer backorders and continue its involvement with developing and designing the Elite Series product line, but Backyard Outfitter has not been able to accomplish that. Accordingly, Backyard Outfitter will not be designing any additional products for the Elite Series, nor will Backyard Outfitter be involved in any marketing or promotion of the Elite Series product line. Backyard Outfitter is naturally disappointed in this outcome, but wanted you to know that it has valued your support and our relationship. Without it, we would not have been able to launch the product line into the marketplace as quickly and as strongly as we did. For that I personally thank you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I am currently out of the country to attend my father’s funeral, but I will be back in the States on the 11th and will be logging on to check emails that evening.
__________________
Fernando
 

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Update from Fernando:

Hi Everyone –

I wanted to give you an update with regards to Backyard Outfitter, Woolrich, and the Elite Series line of clothing. Due to the circumstances between Woolrich and Backyard Outfitter, BYO was forced to shut down in December of ‘07.

Since that time it has come to my attention that the staff of Woolrich, Inc. has attempted to re-write history. They are now making claims that they designed the Elite Series line of tactical clothing and brought the product line to the market utilizing their resources and contacts within the industry. Those statements are factually incorrect. To add insult to injury, they removed any mention of BYO from their latest catalog, a catalog that was put together for Woolrich by BYO long before the companies parted ways.

For clarity sake, BYO designed the Elite Series line of clothing, Woolrich sourced it overseas at the factories that they use for their regular clothing, and BYO would then distribute the line. We also took on the task of marketing and promoting the Elite Series to the shooting community. In short, BYO developed a turn-key division for Woolrich.

The Team Elite shooting team is not a part of Woolrich. The Signature Series line of embroidered clothing is not from Woolrich. The Vickers Tactical gloves are not from Woolrich.

Now, moving forward….the people that designed the Elite Series have gotten together with additional supporters to form Elite Operator Tactical. EOTAC will offer a new line of “Operator Grade” clothing and accessories. These designs have features that came about from feedback from the end users. Instead of relying on a third party to have the clothing produced, we have secured our own sources to produce the clothing to our standards. Along with the new clothing line, we will have the Vickers Tactical series gloves, including new versions of the basic design.

We are very thankful to have the support of the shooting community. As soon as we have our website fully running I will post an announcement. In the mean time, please hang tight. I promise you will like what we have in the works.
 

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I dont think I will buy any Woolrich anything if thats how they do bidness.
 

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Well, there's always two sides to every story. Who knows what contracts and business arrangements they were operating under, or whether the obligations were fulfilled? Business deals rise and fall constantly. I have heard some things about the business aspect of the Woolrich Elite/BYO deal and it is not necessarily the implied "big bad Woolrich"... not seeing the actual balance sheet it's hearsay to me so I won't repeat it. Suffice to say that while BYO is lamenting wearing the "sackcloth and ashes", Woolrich is scrambling now to put things back together so this was obviously not a long-planned decision.

The Elite clothing line is very good and if the quality is there I will continue to buy it so long as it is. I hope BYO is successful in its new venture and if its new line is of good design and quality, I'll buy that too, or maybe instead of Elite!
 

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I'm not privy to the business arrangement that Fernando had with Woolrich, but I remember Fernando asking me in the Spring of 2005 if I thought there was a market for a quality tactical line of clothing designed to compete with the 5-11 line. I told him absolutely, as I thought when 5-11 separated from Royal Robbins that their quality had fallen off. He told me then that he was in the process of convincing Woolrich to produce just that, and that he was in the process of designing the product and arranging ß testers.
Next thing I knew, Woolrich was introducing such a line, and Fernando was the front man.
I know who I believe; I've bought my last Woolrich product.
 

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I am a former Woolrich employee. I was around during the build-up and introduction of the Elite Series, and what is presented in the previous posts is not the entire story, and I'm sure the version being presented for the fall out isn't either.
 
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