Last week, Kurt Ronacher took over as President of Böker USA. Ronacher spent a year with Böker USA as General Manager before taking the reigns from Dan Weidner, who was President for nine years. The transition was planned from the start, and it provided Ronacher with a firm grasp of the issues and opportunities facing Böker USA.
The company is known to outpace other major brands in new product releases, and he sees its prolific output as a key part of Böker’s identity. “We typically carry more models than most of our competitors,” Ronacher says. “We get ideas from all over the world at any time.”
Böker USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sölingen, Germany-based Böker. With only 20 employees working out of its Lakewood, Colorado headquarters, Böker USA is a lean operation when compared to its 150 employee-strong parent company. But according to Ronacher, the stateside subsidiary is assigned a great deal of autonomy. For example, Böker USA sources knives available exclusively in North America, like the five piece Patriot line.
The wide range of knives and product line variations between the US and European Bökers has led to some pricing inconsistency across the brand’s vast catalog – a problem that Ronacher is working to remedy. A key focus in his first year as President will be to work on what Ronacher calls “a more cohesive pricing strategy.”
The new President also plans to increase the visibility of Böker products with a more mainstream audience. “I think we need to be better known by non-knife enthusiasts,” Ronacher says. To address the issue, he is working to place a limited selection of products in big box stores, as well as expand upon Böker USA’s relationship with L.L. Bean. Until now, the retailer has offered a few special edition Böker knives from time to time, but Ronacher also wants to see standard Böker blades in L.L. Bean cabinets.
> > Keep your folders awesome. Grab a Pack of 5 Microfiber Blade Sleeves for $8.99 < <
Böker USA isn’t forgetting its core audience either. Buyers will be pleased to hear that the company has reached a new deal with Fox Cutlery, the Italian manufacturer responsible for the Böker PM-3 and the Böker USA line. Ronacher confirmed that effective September 1st, Boker USA will take over US distribution of Fox Cutlery products. “It’s a great relationship between two similarly-sized companies.”
Knife featured in image: Böker Plus USA Blue Satin Knife