Leading outdoor company Merrell is celebrating 40 years in business worldwide with a range of innovative campaigns rolling out internationally to encourage more people into the greater outdoors.
New Zealand has six Merrell stores owned and operated by Canterbury based Nevada Sport which also own Queenstown store Let’s Get Outside.
Merrell NZ and Nevada Sport brand director Heidi Cochran says the 40-year celebrations are timely given global changes happening worldwide.
“Merrell want the next generation to experience the simple power of being outside and to make the outdoors a more inclusive place. With more people spending time indoors and behind screens due to societal changes and the Covid-19 pandemic, Merrell is working to inspire people around the world to feel the benefits of getting outside.”
Nevada Sport is the longest standing distributor of Merrell worldwide distributing to over 200 stores throughout New Zealand. The relationship began when founders Hamish and Jenny Cochran started importing telemark skis and Merrell telemark boots into New Zealand 1984.
“At Nevada Sport we are very proud of this early connection and the long-standing relationship we have developed with Merrell which has grown significantly over the years,” says Heidi. “ It wasn’t until 1993 when New Zealand lifted its footwear protection licensing laws that we were able start importing Merrell hiking boots and today we sell the brand’s performance and lifestyle ranges of clothing and footwear across all our stores.”
As part of the celebrations Merrell has launched an award programme known as “40 under 40” honouring trailblazers building inclusive, sustainable outdoor spaces alongside a Merrell Future 40 project committed to trail protection worldwide.
“Merrell stores and representatives are being encouraged to partner with local parks and recreation services globally as part of this programme. Nevada Sport has reached out to the Department of Conservation and we are working to further our partnership with them and the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust to facilitate trail maintenance and local conservation projects.”
Several new product launches will be made throughout the year both online and instore.
“Merrell has taken some of their best-in-class performance shoes and styled them in new ways that inspire people to embrace the outdoors in their everyday lives from work to play,” says Heidi.
“The Moab and the Jungle Moc are two of the most iconic shoes and as part of the birthday celebrations we are excited to have the exclusive Moab Mid 2 WPF in the new funfetti colourway. This is a niche, fun product that is unisex and available in all women’s and men’s sizings.”
Heidi says New Zealanders have consistently embraced the Merrell brand for its solid product range and accompanying good price.
“ Brands go through an evolution and Merrell was founded to build great products. They wanted to build the very best hiking boot — and they did. Over the years the company has evolved into a global business selling some of the best outdoor performance-based apparel, accessories and footwear which is ideal for our New Zealand lifestyle.”