N.Y. Times Looks At “Secret Sauce” Behind North Face Remaining Hip, But Pervasive
Usually when a brand "moves from urban chic to suburban moms, or from elite athletes to everyday wear, it loses some luster," but North Face seems to have "escaped that fate, and is embraced by the city student, the rural rancher and just about everyone in between," according to Alina Tugend of the N.Y. TIMES. SportsOneSource data shows that North Face in '12 accounted for 33.5% of the U.S. outdoor apparel market. North Face President Todd Spaletto said that he "doesn’t even know who the company’s typical consumer is." Spaletto: "We don’t measure. We don’t look at average age or where they live. We know where our products are being purchased, but we don’t track or market around specific household levels." Tugend wrote it is "not surprising that North Face is cautious about how it presents itself." It is "hard to convince customers of exclusivity once a brand is everywhere." The company "clearly sees the danger, and it walks that tightrope very, very carefully." North Face in '12 reported global revenue of $1.9B, up from $242M in '01, "right after it was bought by VF." Athletes said that North Face has "managed to maintain, and even improve, its quality control and innovation." North Face has "50 store locations and 16 outlets across the United States; one-third of its business is international." The company said that online sales "are growing and accounted for about 5 percent of North Face’s revenue last year" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/17).