Merrell Milestone: Highlights from 30 Years

1981
• Rossignol ski executives Clark Matis and John Schweizer hatch a plan for a new hiking boot company based in Waitsfield, Vt.

• Randy Merrell makes custom boots for $500 a pair. The boots are praised by Backpacker magazine.

• Randy Merrell begins working with Matis and Schweizer.

• Matis designs a high-performance, but more affordable boot.

1982
• Randy Merrell officially joins the company.

• The firm receives a $10,000 cash investment from Bank of Vermont.

• Italian sourcing is secured.

1983
• The first shipment is delivered to Hudson Trail Outfitters and Marmot Mountain Works.

• The company designs its first Gore-Tex boot.

• Separate lasts are developed for men and women for better fit.

1984
• A new last is created with more toe room and narrower heels, specifically for North American feet.

1985
• The two best-selling boots are the Merrell Eagle and Merrell Super Comp.

1986
• Randy Merrell sells his interest and returns to custom boot making.

• The company sells its 25,000th pair.

1987
• The firm is purchased by Montreal-based Karhu.

• Sourcing moves to Asia.

1988
• Annual sales reach $4 million.

• A subsidiary is established in Canada.

1989
• Annual sales reach $6 million.

• A U.K.-based subsidiary opens.

1990
• Annual sales hit $10 million.

• With 700 accounts, the company sells 300,000 pairs per year.

1991
• Business launches in Scandinavia.

1992
• Annual sales reach $20 million.

• The brand begins selling in Japan.

• Technical sport sandals are introduced.

1993
• The firm grows to 38 employees.

• 82 different styles are offered.

1994
• Merrell merchandise is sold in 22 countries.

1995
• The company teams up with Vibram for new outsole designs.

1996
• Millennium Series of boots is introduced.

1997
• Wolverine World Wide Inc. buys the brand.

1998
• The Jungle Moc is born.

1999
• Footwear News names the brand as Athletic/Outdoor Brand of the Year.

2001
• Women’s and children’s product is introduced.

2002
• Total shipments of the Jungle Moc hit 3.5 million pairs.

2003
• The Land Sandal collection debuts.

2004
• The “Let’s Get Outside” tagline is adopted.

2006
• The brand enters the trail running category.

2007
• Apparel and accessories launch.

2008
• A line of packs and bags is rolled out.

2009
• 10 millionth pair of Jungle Mocs ship.

2010
• The brand is sold in 151 countries.

• Sponsorship begins for the Down & Dirty National Mud Run Series events.

2011
• Merrell, in partnership with Vibram, develops the Barefoot Collection.

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