Tell us about Merrell, how did it all start?
Merrell was founded in 1981 in the USA by shoemaker Randy Merrell and with the help of Clark Matis and John Schweizer, who then worked on Rossignol skidor. They decided to develop a new type of affordable hiking shoes that were developed to be lighter, more flexible and to withstand the tough stresses of hiking. With a focus on comfort, fit and quality, we want to inspire everyone to get out into nature and we want to make it possible for everyone to experience the trails outdoors.
What type of products do you sell and what market do you turn to?
We have a wide range of shoes in our line. Whether you are into hiking, walking, trail running or barefoot running, Merrell has the right shoes for all seasons. We turn to those who want to buy affordable leisure and outdoor shoes that have high performance, comfort and quality. We work with industry-leading technologies such as Gore-Tex, Vibram and Prima Loft to be able to offer the best possible product to our consumers.
What do you think is the most important thing in the meeting with the buyer?
When working with a brand with very technical specifications, it is a must to have the knowledge of the products you sell, so you can answer all the questions that a buyer may ask. Then it is good to keep track of what they bought in previous seasons and how the products they had in the range have worked for these seasons. That the seller then dares to push for what he thinks is good for the coming season, ie something he does not think the buyer should miss and perhaps go deeper in the number there.
How do you work with sustainability at Merrell?
Nature is important to us, it is our arena, where we live and breathe. That is why we obviously want to protect and preserve it. We support organizations that work non-profit with sustainability, such as “Håll Sverige Rent”. We are also constantly developing our products to meet the sustainable demands we ourselves as well as the market put on us. We use more recycled materials in our shoes and our goal is for our shoes to be completely in recycled materials in the near future. We are constantly looking for sustainable technical technologies, for example we use BLOOM in some of our products. We also manufacture shoes completely without dyes, which leads to less water and energy use in the production phase.
Furthermore, we believe in our products, that they last over time and we produce shoes that will withstand tough stresses. Of course, we see this as an important step in reducing consumption and a more sustainable future. In addition to this, we have set internal goals to reduce plastic use and reduce water consumption. Our overall goals are in line with the UN’s climate goals.
If you were to look into the future, what do you think the development looks like for the shoe industry?
We believe that consumers are looking for products that are versatile. Consumers place higher demands on shoe brands to deliver shoes that last longer, leave less of an impression on the climate and have more uses. The future for shoe brands that have high quality, technical solutions that listen to consumers looks bright, although it is important to be able to adapt quickly and help at all levels.