Oboz posted strong sales growth in parent KMD Brands Ltd.’s recently ended quarter as the shoe brand plans to expand its reach both geographically and via digital channels.
The hiking boot brand’s sales grew 120.3% in its fiscal third quarter ended April 23, according to KMD, which acquired Oboz in 2018.
For the first nine months of the current fiscal year, Oboz’s sales are up 122.7%. Sales last year were negatively impacted by severe supply chain problems which have been resolved and contributed to the outsized growth this year, according to the company.
“We are pleased to report that Rip Curl, Kathmandu, and Oboz have achieved another quarter of year-on-year sales growth,” KMD Brands CEO and Managing Director Michael Daly said in a statement.
Oboz is still a relatively small brand by revenue and is mostly distributed in North America. Oboz’s total sales for the 12 months through January reached NZ$88 million ($54.6 million), according to an investor presentation KMD gave Thursday in New Zealand.
When KMD acquired Oboz in 2018, Oboz had annual revenue of approximately $30 million, according to press reports at the time.
Under KMD’s ownership, Oboz is aiming for $100 million in annual revenue. KMD outlined how Oboz plans to reach that goal in the investor presentation, which we detail below.
Adding Large Wholesale Accounts
When it comes to the wholesale channel, Oboz is focused on adding new retail accounts, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, evo, Shoe Mill and Murdoch’s.
In addition, the brand is selling to e-commerce retailers such as Amazon, Zappos and Backcountry, according to the presentation.
Oboz’s Online Sales Grow
In 2019, Oboz only sold in the wholesale channel. Now, it also sells directly online, and e-commerce sales have grown to 4% of the overall sales mix. The brand is targeting online sales to reach 10% of total sales in the future.
The Oboz Product Strategy
KMD sees several opportunities to grow Oboz, including expanding products in the hike, fast trail, camp, and town areas.
Specifically, Oboz plans to:
- Increase focus on women’s product.
- Build out its fast and light category to capture market share.
- Expand the camp category, which includes sandals for lounging around the campsite and light hiking.
- Define its “town” category, which appears to be more casual-style footwear.
Oboz is also dedicating more effort to its Katabatic shoe line. The light, breathable trail shoes were a big seller at Colorado specialty retailer Jax when The Daily recently visited.
Oboz also sees expansion opportunities in the trail running, work wear, and safety areas.
To this point, Oboz, based in Bozeman, Montana, has mostly operated in North America. The brand plans to relaunch in Australia and New Zealand next year and launch in Europe in spring of 2024.
Overall KMD Digital Focus
While direct online sales for KMD Brands overall have come down from their COVID highs – currently online sales account for 14.1% of the total sales mix versus a high of 16.5% in the prior fiscal year – they remain significantly above pre-COVID levels.
In fact, direct online sales company-wide are now 66% higher than they were in 2019, according to the presentation, even though consumers have returned to brick-and-mortar shopping.
In the investor presentation, KMD also noted that Oboz’s e-commerce site launched in 2021 and has significant runway for growth.
In the future, Oboz is planning to have 100% Leather Working Group certified leather uppers by 2023. Oboz products will also be made up of 100% PFAS/PFC-free non-wicking treatments and waterproof membranes by 2025.
It also plans to innovate in the use of bio-based materials, using a minimum of 22% bio-based certified content in upper materials and midsoles by 2030.
Bart Schaneman can be reached at email@example.com.