About Rocky Brands Inc.
Founded in 1932 Rocky Brands, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures and markets premium quality Outdoor, Work, Western, Duty and Military footwear as well as Outdoor and Work apparel and accessories. The Rocky Brands family of brands includes owned brands ROCKY, GEORGIA BOOT, DURANGO, LEHIGH, and the licensed brand MICHELIN Footwear.
To become a global leader in the apparel and footwear markets with increasingly profitable organic sales growth.
To delight consumers by delivering the best, innovative, comfortable footwear and apparel.
Our competitive strengths include:
Strong portfolio of brands. We believe the Rocky, Georgia Boot, Durango, Lehigh and Michelin brands are well recognized and established names that have a reputation for performance, quality and comfort in the markets they serve: outdoor, work, duty, commercial military, western and lifestyle. We plan to continue strengthening these brands through product innovation in existing footwear markets, by extending certain of these brands into our other target markets and by introducing complementary apparel and accessories under our owned brands.
To learn more about our family of brands, click here
Commitment to product innovation. We believe a critical component of our success in the marketplace has been a result of our continued commitment to product innovation. Our consumers demand high quality, durable products that incorporate the highest level of comfort and the most advanced technical features and designs. We have a dedicated group of product design and development professionals, including well recognized experts in the footwear and apparel industries, who continually interact with consumers to better understand their needs and are committed to ensuring our products reflect the most advanced designs, features and materials available in the marketplace.
Long-term retailer relationships. We believe that our long history of designing, manufacturing and marketing premium quality, branded footwear has enabled us to develop strong relationships with our retailers in each of our distribution channels. We reinforce these relationships by continuing to offer innovative footwear products, by continuing to meet the individual needs of each of our retailers and by working with our retailers to improve the visual merchandising of our products in their stores. We believe that strengthening our relationships with retailers will allow us to increase our presence through additional store locations and expanded shelf space, improve our market position in a consolidating retail environment and enable us to better understand and meet the evolving needs of both our retailers and consumers.
Diverse product sourcing and manufacturing capabilities. We believe our strategy of utilizing both company operated and third-party facilities for the sourcing of our products, offers several advantages. Operating our own facilities significantly improves our knowledge of the entire production process, which allows us to more efficiently source product from third parties that is of the highest quality and at the lowest cost available. We intend to continue to source a higher proportion of our products from third-party manufacturers, which we believe will enable us to obtain high quality products at lower costs per unit.
We intend to increase our sales through the following strategies:
Expand into new target markets under existing brands. We believe there is significant opportunity to extend certain of our brands into our other target markets. We intend to continue to introduce products across varying feature sets and price points in order to meet the needs of our retailers.
Cross-sell our brands to our retailers. We believe that many retailers of our existing and acquired brands target consumers with similar characteristics and, as a result, we believe there is significant opportunity to offer each of our retailers a broader assortment of footwear and apparel that target multiple markets and span a range of feature sets and price points.
Expand business internationally. We intend to extend certain of our brands into international markets. We believe this is a significant opportunity because of the long history and authentic heritage of these brands. We intend on growing our business internationally through a network of distributors.
Increase apparel offerings. We believe the long history and authentic heritage of our owned brands provide significant opportunity to extend each of these brands into complementary apparel. We intend to continue to increase our Rocky apparel offerings and believe that similar opportunities exist for our Georgia Boot and Durango brands in their respective markets.
Acquire or develop new brands. We intend to continue to acquire or develop new brands that are complementary to our portfolio and could leverage our operational infrastructure and distribution network.
Our product lines consist of high quality products that target the following markets:
Outdoor. Our outdoor product lines consist of footwear, apparel and accessory items marketed to outdoor enthusiasts who spend time actively engaged in activities such as hunting, fishing, camping or hiking. Our consumers demand high quality, durable products that incorporate the highest level of comfort and the most advanced technical features, and we are committed to ensuring our products reflect the most advanced designs, features and materials available in the marketplace. Our outdoor product lines consist of all-season sport/hunting footwear, apparel and accessories that are typically waterproof and insulated and are designed to keep outdoorsmen comfortable on rugged terrain or in extreme weather conditions.
Work. Our work product lines consist of footwear and apparel marketed to industrial and construction workers, as well as workers in the hospitality industry, such as restaurants or hotels. All of our work products are specially designed to be comfortable, incorporate safety features for specific work environments or tasks and meet applicable federal and other standards for safety. This category includes products such as safety toe footwear for steel workers and non-slip footwear for kitchen workers.
Duty. Our duty product line consists of footwear products marketed to law enforcement, security personnel and postal employees who are required to spend a majority of time at work on their feet. All of our duty footwear styles are designed to be comfortable, flexible, lightweight, slip resistant and durable. Duty footwear is generally designed to fit as part of a uniform and typically incorporates stylistic features, such as black leather uppers in addition to the comfort features that are incorporated in all of our footwear products.
Commercial Military. Our commercial military product line consists of footwear products marketed to military personnel as a substitute for the government issued military boots. Our commercial military boots are designed to be comfortable, lightweight, and durable and are marketed under the Rocky brand name.
Western. Our western product line currently consists of authentic footwear products marketed to farmers and ranchers who generally live in rural communities in North America. We also selectively market our western footwear to consumers enamored with the western lifestyle.
Lifestyle. Our lifestyle product line currently consists of footwear products marketed to more fashion minded urban consumers.
Our products are marketed under five well-recognized, proprietary brands, Rocky, Georgia Boot, Durango, and Lehigh, in addition to the licensed brand Michelin. For more about our Brands, Click Here.
Sales and Distribution:
Our products are distributed through three distinct business segments: wholesale, retail and military. You can find more information regarding our three business segments in Note 14 to our consolidated financial statements.
In the U.S., we distribute Rocky, Georgia Boot, Durango and Michelin products through a wide range of wholesale distribution channels. As of December 31, 2013, our products were offered for sale at over 10,000 retail locations in the U.S. and Canada.
We sell our products to wholesale accounts in the U.S. primarily through a dedicated in-house sales team who carry our branded products exclusively, as well as independent sales representatives who carry our branded products and other non-competing products. Our sales force for Rocky is organized around major accounts, including Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tractor Supply Company and Gander Mountain, and around our target markets: outdoor, work, duty, commercial military and western. For our Georgia Boot and Durango brands, our sales employees are organized around each brand and target a broad range of distribution channels. All of our sales people actively call on their retail customer base to educate them on the quality, comfort, technical features and breadth of our product lines and to ensure that our products are displayed effectively at retail locations.
Our wholesale distribution channels vary by market:
- Our outdoor products are sold primarily through sporting goods stores, outdoor specialty stores, catalogs and mass merchants.
- Our work-related products are sold primarily through retail uniform stores, catalogs, farm store chains, specialty safety stores, independent shoe stores and hardware stores.
- Our duty products are sold primarily through uniform stores and catalog specialists.
- Our commercial military products are sold primarily through base exchanges such as AAFES and consumer websites.
- Our western products are sold through western stores, work specialty stores, specialty farm and ranch stores and more recently, fashion oriented footwear retailers.
- Our lifestyle products are sold primarily through fashion oriented footwear retailers.
We market footwear and apparel products from more than 70 brands directly to consumers through three retail strategies under the Lehigh retail brand: Lehigh business-to-business (including direct sales and through our CustomFit® websites), 3 consumer e-commerce websites, and our stores which include our outlet store, mobile and contract stores. Lehigh Outfitters also manufactures product under two brands, Lehigh (protective footwear) and SlipGrips (slip resistant footwear).
We sell our product lines on our websites at www.rockyboots.com, www.georgiaboot.com, www.durangoboot.com, www.lehighoutfitters.com, www.lehighsafetyshoes.com, www.slipgrips.com and 4eursole.com. We believe that our internet presence allows us to showcase the breadth and depth of our product lines in each of our target markets and enables us to educate our consumers about the unique technical features of our products. We also sell directly to our business customers directly through our Custom Fit websites that are tailored to the specific needs of our customers. Our customers’ employees order directly through their employers’ established Custom Fit website and the footwear is delivered directly to the consumer via a common freight carrier. Our customers include large, national companies such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Pepsi, Holiday Retirement, Schneider, Hagemeyer, Saint Gobain, Holland America Cruise Lines, and Waste Management.
We operate the Rocky outlet store in Nelsonville, Ohio. Our outlet store primarily sells first quality or discontinued products in addition to a limited amount of factory damaged goods. Related products from other manufacturers are also sold in the store. Our outlet store allows us to showcase the breadth of our product lines as well as to cost-effectively sell slow-moving inventory. Our outlet store also provides an opportunity to interact with consumers to better understand their needs.
Digital, Mobile and Retail Stores
Lehigh has successfully converted our customer base from the unprofitable mobile model to purchasing via our CustomFit® websites and direct delivery. Additionally, we have ongoing contracts to service the New York City Transit Authority and Puget Sound Naval Base with mobile and retail stores.
While we are focused on continuing to build our wholesale and retail business, we also actively bid on footwear contracts with the U.S. military, which requires products to be made in the U.S. Our manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, allow us to competitively bid for such contracts. We have received an order to fulfill a contract to the U.S. Military to produce “Hot Weather” combat boots. The first year of the contract includes a minimum purchase amount of $3.0 million and a maximum of $15.0 million. Shipment of the boots began in the first quarter of 2013. The contract includes an option for four additional years with the same terms.
All of our footwear for the U.S. military is currently branded Rocky. We believe that many U.S. service men and women are active outdoor enthusiasts and may be employed in many of the work and duty markets that we target with our brands. As a result, we believe our sales to the U.S. military serve as an opportunity to reach our target demographic with high quality branded products.