It’s a sales pitch that has yielded big profits. The North Face reported annual revenue of $2.3bn last year, with 200 stores around the world. Patagonia is smaller, but growing more rapidly. The company had sales of $800m in 2016, twice as much as in 2010, and has 29 standalone stores in the US, 23 in Japan, and others in locations such as Chamonix, the French ski resort.

Well done to The Guardian, thinking that revenues equal profits.

12 thoughts on “Sigh”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    I don’t get why they look down on the dreams of North Face customers. Sure, they are not going to get their puffy jacket any more dirty than their 4×4. But a dream is a dream and the dream of being outdoors experiencing nature is not a bad one.

    Compare with the Guardian’s dream of socialism.

    Of course it would be best if they went duck shooting or something.

  2. Every single fucking BBC reporter you ever see anywhere, including the Maldives in July, is wearing North Face.

  3. TNF is owned by VF, with who I do a fair bit of work (I’m trying to help them ensure your shoes don’t fall to pieces half way up a mountain) who seem to own about half the apparel brands in existence. Looking at the VF website they don’t seem to report by brand but by type (e.g. Outdoor, jeanswear… etc) so God knows where The Guardian got their info from.

  4. North Face is good stuff, but tends to be a bit overpriced nowadays. Patagonia is not a new company by any means, but was always smaller, more niche, and not as well marketed. There are a few other brands coming up behind them: Mountain Hardware, Rab, Arc’teryx as well as others equally established: Berghaus, Mountain Equipment. The advances in material technologies have been wondrous, as is the competition between the various rival companies. The stuff commands a high price though, and my advice would be to keep your eye on the sales they have online or in the shops and buy this gear on an opportunistic basis.

  5. @Tim Newman
    Absolutely – I bought a magnificent North Face parka at the end of an unusually mild February some nine years ago for less then a quarter the advertised price. Does an excellent job when the winters are more typical.

  6. Arc’teryx Is near me and when they have their factory shop sale there’s a pretty long queue to even get in, but savings are good

  7. Tim N, I bought my first Rab sleeping bag in 1991; how long long does it take to become ‘established’ in your view?

  8. Tim N, I bought my first Rab sleeping bag in 1991; how long long does it take to become ‘established’ in your view?

    With this gear, quite a while. It often stays as a niche brand and only sometimes becomes internationally recognised. Rab sure as hell weren’t competing with North Face overseas in 1991. Arc’teryx was founded in 1989, I bet you’d never seen anyone wearing one in a city centre until a lot more recently than that.

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