Peter Schöffel and the Arlberg

Peter Schöffel and the Arlberg

Peter Schöffel

From a highly interesting and informative conversation, a pity we can only share an excerpt.

Peter Schöffel, CEO Schöffel Sportbekleidung GmbH

Arlberg Magazine, #1 – Winter 2013/14.

What is your connection to the Arlberg?

For one, we have a 25 year working relationships with Ski School Arlberg, in fact they are one of our biggest accounts. And for another reason, our working relationship with Richard Walter, Ski School Arlberg director, has over the years become one of friendship. Last but not least, I have spent since many days especially in winter, my free time alone, or with my family, on business, in this amazing ski area. Thankfully it is only a two hour drive from our headquarters in Munich. I simply love the people here, the mountains and of course the snow…


Do you see any commonalities the Arlberg adds to the connection with Schoeffel? 

The Arlberg is the cradle of skiing, and there is a lot of history here. Schöffel was founded in 1804, so being one of the oldest Bavarian family owned company – I see there are many similarities. We are  an example of older entities striving to stay modernized and yet remain authentic.  This is not a contradiction but simply exciting!

Is having a long history more of a detriment or is it an advantage?

It depends on what you make of it! For example the Arlberg proves that the theme “winter sport” has modernized itself, but again remains true to itself. While I’m in St. Anton, I get the impression one doesn’t rest on past laurels, but instead learns from the great trove of experience without being forced into being modern or need to be modern.


From your point of view, what does this mean from the standpoint of brand promise – whether it stands behind a destination or a manufacturer?

Brand means attitude - and attitude is: not being able to please everyone. Again, I see a parallel here. The Arlberg has a similar positioning as Schoeffel– which is a high-end natural sportiness without the pressure to do well.


Does this conformity help in competition with other vendors?

St. Anton, I find is extremely international. It’s reflected in the products offered in the various ski shops and this is to our benefit in the high end department. Very few resorts in Austria can compare with St. Anton.


How important is to you which retailers are showcasing your products? 

We weigh a great deal of importance on worldwide partnership building. And INTERSPORT Arlberg is right there with us as they believe in the same values, they share our passion in offering great products and they are a great partner to have as they stand by you even when the market gets a little rough. As we build high end value into our products we of course need to see the value in our sell price. Therefore the sales consulting practice must be a match and a similar company philosophy and business model is ideal.

It’s like in a partnership - retailers and medium-sized manufacturers such as Schoeffel encourage and challenge each other. If we don’t get the No. 1 placement with our retailers, we rather wait a year or two before we go onto no. 3. However, in St. Anton we have arrived at our destination!


Am I hearing you correctly that you see us as the No. 1 sporting goods retailer in St. Anton? 

I believe that to be the case in St. Anton anyway. Intersport Arlberg is one of our very important partners in Austria; they helped us get to where we are today.

Does your connection with the Arlberg and ski school actually also help you with product development? 

This is an extremely important point! For a ski school such as in St. Anton our clothing is their uniform. A ski instructor is between 80 to 100 days of the season outdoors, in every weather condition, at various temperatures, and at challenging elevation. This presented challenges in terms of comfort, climate fluctuations, and lightfastness and water resistance.  These challenges have grown steadily over the 25 years of our partnership. Alone the environmental requirements with regards to material production, where do I find lightfastness , tear resistant and easy to carry fabrics, during this time a great deal has changed. We do view the Ski School Arlberg as our large-scale field test with over 300 instructors giving us excellent feedback and information. 

Thank you for the interview.