BENTONVILLE, Ark. (BRAIN) — After more than 10 years in the road cycling hotbed of Portland, Oregon, Rapha is now moving its North America offices to Bentonville, Arkansas.
Since 2017, the London-based brand’s majority owner has been RZC Investments, controlled by Steuart and Tom Walton, the grandsons of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. The Walton brothers have been active in promoting Bentonville as a cycling destination and bike-friendly community. The Waltons also are investors in Arkansas-based Allied Cycle Works.
The company said the move was driven by Rapha’s launch of a mountain bike apparel line this year.
“(Bentonville’s) proximity to the emerging OzTrails MTB network, the incredibly fast-growing gravel landscape and the continuing emergence of Northwest Arkansas as a cradle for all kinds of cycling development will help to foster this direction and the impact that Rapha North America can have in the US and beyond,” said Jake Rosenbloum, the head of Rapha North America.
“Portland was a natural home for Rapha as the brand started to expand across North America and the office and Portland-based staff have helped inform and define the brand over the last 10 years. Over the next few years the Rapha brand will evolve into new markets and we need to make sure that our office location supports our future strategic aims,” Rosenbloum added.
A company spokesman said he could not disclose how many Portland-based employees will move to Arkansas but he said all Portland employees were offered a relocation package. Rosenblum will make the move. The move was scheduled to be completed by March 1.
“We understand the Portland cycling community might be a little disheartened with this news, but we’d like to thank all of our friends, fans and collaborators here for over a decade of warming support and hospitality,” Rosenbloum said.