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|Articles - December 2010|
|Wednesday, November 17, 2010|
General manager Dave Hansen started working at the business in 1981. A friendly, soft-spoken man who himself could have been an extra in that iconic 1960s movie, he points out during a tour of his shop a collection of jackets hung under a stack of rejected leather. A yellow elk-hide jacket stands out from the others. “That one has been to shows all over Japan,” he says. “I’d say it’s worth, oh, $25,000.”
Ross Langlitz was a motorcycle enthusiast who lost much of his right leg to a bike accident in the 1930s. He founded Langlitz Leathers in 1947 in his basement, where he whipped up jackets for friends. By the time Hansen married Langlitz’s daughter, Jackie, in 1981, it was a well-established shop for leather lovers. The shop relies on word of mouth to promote its product.
The word gets around. Sales exploded in the late 1990s following an article in the Wall Street Journal that featured the shop. “We had a backlog for almost two years,” Hansen says. But following the recent recession, sales declined and the average wait time is now around one month. In the past few years, the shop laid off two of its 15 employees. Despite its drop in sales, its custom jackets still attract customers with money to spare. “The top 1% of the world is a lot of people,” Hansen says. When Hansen bought his first Cascade jacket in the early 1970s, it was $75. It now goes for $850.
Before the recession, Langlitz split its business between catalog and drop-in customers; now 80% of business is non-local. These catalog shoppers are from around the globe, most of them Japanese.
Hansen first started selling to the Japanese market in the early 1990s. “Two [Japanese] sailors came into the shop during the Rose Festival one year and bought jackets,” Hansen says, adding that he gets about one-third of his revenue from Japan.
Hansen credits foreign interest in his products to the rebel-without-a-cause Americana image of their jackets. “Folks like old American stuff made by old American companies.”
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
This year has been so dry we were caught napping when it finally started to sprinkle. Hopefully you didn’t get caught in a downpour while eagerly awaiting — don’t deny it — our curation of Oregon-grown wet weather wear.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER
Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
The traditional model of sports teams using paid media to get their message across is disappearing as teams look instead to social media to interact with fans.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
As we worked on the October cover, it became evident that Nick Symmonds is a hard man to catch — even when he’s not hotfooting it around a track.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA WESTON
In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS | CFA
Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.
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