Zooper, the Oregon-based stroller company best known for their three wheel strollers, has fired all its sales reps and has scaled back its operations.

Zooper's former sales reps are emailing baby retail stores to say the company is "restructuring"—but has no stock left. And no new products will be available in the near future. The company has "dismantled the USA sales force with the hope to re-open in the future."

We have always given Zooper good marks for their strollers, which emphasized value over high prices. But the company has been in a downward slide for the last couple of years—they didn't release any new models since 2006 and skipped showing at the biggest convention for baby products in Vegas earlier this month.

Zooper's main problem was their market strategy: the company only sold its strollers in independent stores and few online dealers. Unlike competitors that diversified into chains (even Bugaboo is selling its Frog stroller online via Babies R Us), Zooper stuck with smaller stores. When the entire baby industry begain feeling the effects of the sour economy, Zooper was the first to take a hit. Its small size made it impossible to compete against the likes of Maclaren, Peg Perego and the onslaught of new brands in recent years.


Zooper has emailed us the following update:

We here at Zooper were quite amazed to find your article and would like to
correct a few points.  First, we are still in business.  Second, we still
have our company sales staff but we have chosen to let go of our
manufacturers reps.  We do have very low inventory levels currently and
instead of replenishing them, we have decided to go ahead with the
production of our 2009 line which is due to be released in January.  Third,
we did release new products in 2007 and 2008 and we have sold to the online
chain stores.  Fourth, we continue to offer warranty on all products sold.

Thank you,

Zooper / Lan Enterprises, LLC.