Duluth Lore

Duluth Lore


THERE’S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY

Tough. Functional. Comfortable. Since 1989, we’ve been on the job – building innovative gear for can-do guys and highly capable women. With our Midwest catalog and online roots, and a national network of over 50 stores, the Duluth Trading experience is a colorful one.



THE EARLY YEARS

Before there was ever an Angry Beaver, there was a Bucket Boss®. This invention was literally a new category of tool organizers, created by three enterprising tradesmen in Duluth who incorporated in 1989. The first catalog under the Duluth Trading name was mailed in 1993, focusing on tool bags and organizers. Later, the company changed hands and moved to a new home in Belleville, Wisconsin.

1987 – Bucket Boss® (a trademark of Pull’r Holding Company)
1992 – First Portable Products Catalog
1993 – Headquarters on a barge in Duluth
1993 – First Duluth Trading Company Catalog
2000 – Under new management

THE EARLY YEARS

Before there was ever an Angry Beaver, there was a Bucket Boss®. This invention was literally a new category of tool organizers, created by three enterprising tradesmen in Duluth who incorporated in 1989. The first catalog under the Duluth Trading name was mailed in 1993, focusing on tool bags and organizers. Later, the company changed hands and moved to a new home in Belleville, Wisconsin.

1987 – Bucket Boss® (a trademark of Pull’r Holding Company)
1992 – First Portable Products Catalog
1993 – Headquarters on a barge in Duluth
1993 – First Duluth Trading Company Catalog
2000 – Under new management



THE CATALOG YEARS

In 2002, Duluth Trading created a successful line of shirts called Longtail T® Shirts, which were 3” longer and marketed as the Solution to Plumber’s Butt. The focus shifted to innovative, problem-solving workwear, as well as humorous, cheeky advertising that leveraged the company’s illustrated catalogs. Three years later, in 2005, the first women's catalog was released by popular request.

2001 – Duluth Trading Company purchased by Gempler’s
2002 – Longtail T® Shirt debuts
2003 – Fire Hose® Workwear debuts
2003 – Gempler’s is sold and Duluth Holdings Inc. is born
2005 – First Duluth Women’s Catalog
2008 – Readjusting in a time of recession

THE CATALOG YEARS

In 2002, Duluth Trading created a successful line of shirts called Longtail T® Shirts, which were 3” longer and marketed as the Solution to Plumber’s Butt. The focus shifted to innovative, problem-solving workwear, as well as humorous, cheeky advertising that leveraged the company’s illustrated catalogs. Three years later, in 2005, the first women's catalog was released by popular request.

2001 – Duluth Trading Company purchased by Gempler’s
2002 – Longtail T® Shirt debuts
2003 – Fire Hose® Workwear debuts
2003 – Gempler’s is sold and Duluth Holdings Inc. is born
2005 – First Duluth Women’s Catalog
2008 – Readjusting in a time of recession

EXPLORING RETAIL

In 2010, the first Duluth Trading retail store opened in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, where Duluth Holdings is now headquartered. In 2011, the company’s first TV ad was regionally tested. This animated spot developed by ad agency Planet Propaganda featured the company’s unofficial mascot discovering, to his dismay, that Fire Hose® Work Pants are “Tougher Than an Angry Beaver’s Teeth.”

2009 – First Duluth Woman model
2009 – Men’s denim pants dubbed Ballroom® Jeans
2010 – Buck Naked™ Underwear debuts
2010 – First Men’s TV ad with the Angry Beaver
2010 – First retail store opens

EXPLORING RETAIL

In 2010, the first Duluth Trading retail store opened in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, where Duluth Holdings is now headquartered. In 2011, the company’s first TV ad was regionally tested. This animated spot developed by ad agency Planet Propaganda featured the company’s unofficial mascot discovering, to his dismay, that Fire Hose® Work Pants are “Tougher Than an Angry Beaver’s Teeth.”

2009 – First Duluth Woman model
2009 – Men’s denim pants dubbed Ballroom® Jeans
2010 – Buck Naked™ Underwear debuts
2010 – First Men’s TV ad with the Angry Beaver
2010 – First retail store opens



BUILDING THE BRAND

The “Store Like No Other” retail concept was expanded to 6 locations. Customers across the Midwest came to see, touch and try on Duluth goods in person. At the same time, more and more quirky animated creatures graced the airwaves and helped drive sales. The Women’s business found its footing, the Alaskan Hardgear® brand was acquired, and Duluth Holdings, Inc. made its initial public offering.

2011 – First Duluth Women model contest
2012 – DuluthFlex® clothing debuts
2014 – Women’s No-Yank® Tank debuts
2014 – STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® partnership
2014 – Alaskan Hardgear® brand is acquired
2015 – Six more retail stores open
2015 – Duluth Trading Co. goes public

BUILDING THE BRAND

The “Store Like No Other” retail concept was expanded to 6 locations. Customers across the Midwest came to see, touch and try on Duluth goods in person. At the same time, more and more quirky animated creatures graced the airwaves and helped drive sales. The Women’s business found its footing, the Alaskan Hardgear® brand was acquired, and Duluth Holdings, Inc. made its initial public offering.

2011 – First Duluth Women model contest
2012 – DuluthFlex® clothing debuts
2014 – Women’s No-Yank® Tank debuts
2014 – STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® partnership
2014 – Alaskan Hardgear® brand is acquired
2015 – Six more retail stores open
2015 – Duluth Trading Co. goes public

AN OMNICHANNEL BRAND

The first live-action Women’s TV ads touted the No-Yank® Tank to end the war on tug. The company expanded its dialogue with customers through greater social media presence. Store count steadily marched toward 50 stores coast to coast.

2016 – Socks Education campaign debuts
2017 – Men’s Bullpen® Underwear
2017 – Official USA Luge Off-Sled Outfitter
2017 – First Alaskan Hardgear® catalog
2018 – Buy Online, Pick Up In Store
2018 – Women’s Plus Sizes

AN OMNICHANNEL BRAND

The first live-action Women’s TV ads touted the No-Yank® Tank to end the war on tug. The company expanded its dialogue with customers through greater social media presence. Store count steadily marched toward 50 stores coast to coast.

2016 – Socks Education campaign debuts
2017 – Men’s Bullpen® Underwear
2017 – Official USA Luge Off-Sled Outfitter
2017 – First Alaskan Hardgear® catalog
2018 – Buy Online, Pick Up In Store
2018 – Women’s Plus Sizes



CONTINUED GROWTH

Duluth Trading continues as an omnichannel lifestyle brand dedicated to serving hardworking men and women wherever they wish to shop.

2019 – 50th store opens in Spokane Valley, WA

CONTINUED GROWTH

Duluth Trading continues as an omnichannel lifestyle brand dedicated to serving hardworking men and women wherever they wish to shop.

2019 – 50th store opens in Spokane Valley, WA