Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 20th, 2014 at 4:36 pm
A significant chunk of global eyewear brand Smith Optics will move to Portland early next year.
The news was confirmed today via a story posted this afternoon in the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper.
Here’s more from the IME:
Safilo [Smith’s parent company] CEO Luisa Delgado came to Ketchum from Italy this week to discuss the results of the location study with Smith employees, local government officials and media, among others. Delgado announced the relocation plans today, Oct. 20.
As part of Smith’s integration within its parent company, it will be controlled out of the global Safilo Group headquarters in Italy.
Delgado said every effort would be made to either relocate or provide a severance package for Smith’s 85 Ketchum-based employees.
Portland, Ore., was selected out of several Western U.S. locations as the new design center for Smith Optics. Some 35 employees will see their Ketchum position transferred to Portland during the first half of 2015.
Smith Optics is well-known is cycling circles for their downhill goggles and full line of cycling-specific eyewear. Earlier this year, Smith expanded deeper into cycling with their Forefront helmet.
The company was founded in 1965 and has been based in Idaho ever since. Safilo, the part company is a huge Italian-based conglomerate that owns several eyewear and fashion brands including Fossil, Banana Republic, Hugo Boss, and others.
Stay tuned for more details as plans for the Portland-based office firm up.