Archive for February, 2011
We receive a lot of emails and letters from our customers, either thanking us or berating us for the quality and performance of our products. Several weeks back, we received this one:
Just wanted to send a quick note to thank you for the good quality of the shoes you are selling. I am almost finished with my 15-month around the world trip, have been camping almost every day, from the mountain tops in Peru to the Ethiopian desert, through Africa, the Americas, Asia and the middle east, and the shoes are still holding up great.
“Around the world” was a little different … as was the web address included at the bottom of the email – so we checked it out and discovered Nicholas Rapp, a former Associated Press art director who just traveled around the world in a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser (and, apparently, Timberland shoes).
“Having driven 37,000 miles on four continents, I can also say that in my experience, the worst drivers’ trophy should be awarded to Bangladesh, where rules of the road are nonexistent and cars bump each other like it’s a carnival game.”
“I was also struck by how high-tech Seoul is … what a contrast with other places I had been through. It occurred to me that while half the planet’s population lives in a virtual reality, the other half can’t get enough to eat.”
And at the end of his journey:
“Finally I got through customs in Los Angeles, flashed my colorful passport to the officers and expected to see friends who’d promised to meet me — but no one was there. After asking someone what day it was, I realized my mistake. It was Saturday. I’d told them I was arriving Sunday. I’d forgotten I would cross the international dateline somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and go back in time a day.”
Our thanks to Nick for taking Timberland with him on his adventure … and our best wishes as he starts the next one (job hunting!).
Last fall, Timberland joined forces with London-based menswear designer Martine Rose and Wallpaper* magazine to create an exclusive partnership celebrating design, innovation and Timberland’s heritage.
Hear for yourself about Martine’s work, her design inspirations, and how she’s helped to reinterpret Timberland’s DNA in the form of a limited edition bomber jacket. (We think it’s brilliant!)
What do you get when you put a ton of high-tech outdoor gear, dogs, beer, fashion shows, bicycle-powered blenders and outdoor-loving people from all over together? Some call it Outdoor Retailer, I call it utopia.
So I got my wish. After going on my first business trip to New York, I got the opportunity to go out West when the timing of my Utah ski vacation collided with the Sundance Film Festival. Since I’ve never been, I made a point to stop by Outdoor Retailer before heading to the Timberland Retreat in Park City.
I had heard about the size of the OR show and the beauty of Utah’s snow-covered mountains, but seeing both for the first time blew me away. Three things shocked me from the moment I stepped off the plane:
1. The Mountains: My jaw hit the cab floor when I laid my eyes on the most amazing, majestic looking mountains I’d ever seen surrounding Salt Lake City. The taxi driver must have thought I was crazy as I babbled on about how beautiful they were and how fantastic the skiing must be while practically bouncing out of my seat with excitement. What he didn’t know was that I was a first-time visitor from New Hampshire who arrived in Utah with visions of the Green and White Mountain ranges as a reference point.
2. The Booths at the OR Show: While feeling like a kid in a candy store (brand new ski tech around every corner), I couldn’t get over the number of brands present and the sheer size of the booths. Some booths, including Timberland’s, had enormous columns and panels climbing to the convention center ceiling.
3. The Business of the Outdoor Industry: OR was very different from the consumer shows and expos I’ve been to where vendors show and sell their products directly to consumers. At OR, there were private meeting rooms in most of the booths where buyers and merchandisers from outdoor stores were reviewing the new products and placing orders for the fall 2011 season. There were also a lot editors from media outlets checking out the new products and trends for next fall.
While walking around the convention center, one of the coolest things I noticed was the abundance of recycled and eco-conscious elements on the show floor. The Timberland booth featured bike-powered blenders to make smoothies. One brand showcased their footwear on reused cardboard cylinders and another vendor constructed their entire booth from cardboard tubes and other packing waste left over from the initial setup day. In addition to displaying their sweet new gear, some brands even had signage about environmental causes to which they donate a percentage of their profits. It was clear (and relieving) to see that like Timberland, lots of outdoor companies are into protecting the outdoors. How eco-awesome is that?
Overall, post-Utah I can still say that I’m living the corporate dream. And with partial thanks to my first OR experience, it’s official – I work in most exciting industry on the planet!
Oh, and the skiing wasn’t so bad either…
If you’ve just about had it with the cold and the snow and the ice … and did I mention the cold? … sit back and enjoy this video featuring Timberland Trend & Color Designer Layla sharing what’s new and decidedly Not Winter in color and style.
Between the refreshing colors and the strappy sandals, it’s almost like taking a mid-winter trip to the tropics. Almost.
From our email archives, another frequently asked question about the cost of our products:
How come your prices in (name a region of the world) are more expensive than they are in (name another region of the world)? Why can’t I buy the same Timberland product for the same price anywhere?
Price Conscious Customer
Fair question. Here’s what we learned:
As a company that operates around the world, we have to respond to a wide range of external and internal factors that do create complexities in pricing our products. In some countries, items such as VAT, transport costs and duty have to be factored in to our retail prices – all of which can contribute to a higher price in one location and a lower price in another. Exchange rates also contribute to price variations from country to country. Market demand is also a key factor in determining cost. In addition, retailers are completely free to set their own prices to the consumer.
Taking all of these factors into account, it’s not uncommon to find that companies (like Timberland) offer products for different prices in different countries.
So a pair of Earthkeeper boots in New York might be more or less expensive than the same pair of boots in, say, Paris … which got us wondering: What’s the biggest price difference you’ve seen on any given product from one region to another?