Danner boots, founded in 1932, is an old dog that has spent the accomplished year acquirements added than a few new tricks.
The aggregation has pushed into its own brick-and-mortar storefronts, rather than relying alone on added retailers. It has alien several boots and added cossack targeted at – to the agitation of some commonsensical Danner purists – the “lifestyle” market. Its website and focus on amusing media reflect a new way of presenting a accepted brand.
Collaborating on cossack and added articles with agreeing companies, aperture three Danner food this year and hinting at added retail outlets to appear accept been the best arresting changes. Adding to the amount of difficulty: The changes accept taken basis at a time back the company’s buying and administration has been activity through a decidedly agitated period.
Marketing administrator Laurie Shaw said the coercion isn’t afterwards reason.
“We accept a admiration to abound above a alcove cast that is accepted aloof in Northwest,” Shaw said.
On Monday, the aggregation appear the aperture of its third Danner store, at Tanasbourne Town Center in Hillsboro adjoining to Nordstrom Rack. A fourth abundance is appointed to accessible in December at The Landing at Renton, abreast the Boeing aerodrome south of Seattle. In September, Danner opened the boutique-style Union Way abundance in Portland, beyond from Powell’s Bookstore.
Its antecedent retail acquaintance was bound to the factory-outlet abundance it opened in 2010 abreast Portland International Airport. That abundance appearance the company’s cossack recrafting shop.
Until the accomplished few years, Danner was accepted about alone for cossack awash to bodies who formed in the woods, a architecture armpit or on a branch floor. About a third of the cossack is congenital at its Portland branch – the blow is outsourced to assorted adopted assembly sites, primarily China, Vietnam and Italy.
“Quality, craftsmanship… utilitarian,” retail analyst Jennifer Black said, anecdotic the company’s heritage.
But Danner absitively it capital to be added than assignment boots. So this year the aggregation and its designers accept leaped with both (booted) anxiety into the apple of collaborative affairs projects, teaming with Woolrich Woolen Mills and Tanner Goods on abstracted projects. Each has been formed out with caliginosity artefact launches in Portland featuring hors d’ouevres and alive music.
A accord with Beckel Canvas Articles of Portland is planned for 2014.
In a way, Danner is aloof accepting with the times, said Brad Walhood, administrator of retail development.
“The way in which brands acquaint to barter in the aftermost 10 years has changed,” Walhood said. Barter “really appetite to apperceive the accomplished story. With our brand, with 80 years of heritage… we feel like we’ve got an amazing cast adventure to acquaint and amazing product.”
Company admiral said the advance into Danner affairs boots began in Japan in the backward 1980s, area its band of account boots were accepted added as appearance statements than cossack for job sites.
Danner responded to Japanese distributors’ requests for variations on the acceptable styles. American retail barter saw those articles and requested agnate addition for the U.S., Shaw said, arch to Danner’s barrage of the Stumptown Collection aftermost year in 2011.
More retail openings can be accepted abutting year, said Craig Cohen, carnality admiral of sales and marketing.
“Danner affairs to accessible food as opportunities arise,” Cohen said. “It’s not an action to backfire U.S. retail growth… if it makes faculty to our business as a accomplished and is not cannibalizing our accepted administration base.”
Cohen said added than one added retail aperture could be accepted in 2014, crumbling to name abeyant locations.
The Burnside abundance offers a attending at Danner’s estimation of what a baby retail boutique in chichi burghal area would attending like. The beyond Tanasbourne site, as able-bodied as the branch abundance and the abundance planned in Renton, shows what a beyond Danner abundance will attending like. Danner’s architecture agents formed with architects on the stores’ designs.
Danner’s U.S. bartering ally accommodate the alfresco giants REI and Cabela’s.
But the accomplished year has additionally been one with affluence of backroom tumult.
LaCrosse Cossack Inc., Danner’s ancestor company, was awash aftermost year to ABC-Mart, a huge Japanese cossack retailer. The aggregation went from a about captivated to private. The LaCrosse arch executive, who backward afterwards the sale, larboard abruptly beforehand this year. A Nike adept was assassin to booty his place, but he larboard adequately bound thereafter.
Front-line advisers took these changes in stride, befitting their eyes on the opportunities in advanced of them, Walhood said.
“We accept a cast that’s added than 80 years old,” Walhood said. “Changes in administration accept to happen. That’s allotment of life.”
— Allan Brettman
Correction: Charles Danner founded Danner Shoe Mfg. Co. in Chippewa Falls, Wis., in 1932 and confused the aggregation to Portland in 1936. A antecedent adaptation of this adventure said afield that the aggregation was founded in Portland.
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