Timberland (company)

(Redirected from The Timberland Company)

Timberland LLC is an American manufacturer and retailer of outdoor footwear and apparel owned by VF Corporation. The company also sells accessories including watches, eyewear, and leather goods. Timberland's corporate headquarters are located in Stratham, New Hampshire.

FormerlyAbington Shoe Company
FounderNathan Swartz
Number of locations
260 (2017)[1]
ProductsFootwear and apparel
RevenueUS$1.8 billion (2022)[2]
ParentVF Corporation
Websitewww.timberland.com Edit this at Wikidata


In 1918, Nathan Swartz, a shoemaker from Ukraine, started his shoe making career.[3][4] Nearby, the Abington Shoe Company was founded in 1933 in South Boston. Swartz bought half-interest in the company in 1952, and he and his sons eventually acquired the remaining shares.[5] Through the 1960s the company specialized in making private-label boots and shoes for other brands. In 1969, Abington moved to Newmarket, New Hampshire[6] and focused on producing waterproof boots made with injection molding, capable of withstanding the winters of the region.[3]

The Timberland boot was introduced in 1973.[7] Its popularity grew, prompting the Swartzes to discontinue manufacturing for others and concentrate on expanding their own brand.[8] The Abington Shoe Company was renamed The Timberland Company and incorporated in 1978.[3][9]

Jeffrey Swartz, grandson of founder Nathan Swartz, joined the company in 1986.[10] The following year the family took the company public.[11][12] Herman Swartz led the company until he retired in 1986. He was succeeded as CEO by his brother Sidney, who retired in 1998. Jeffrey Swartz succeeded him to become Chief Executive Officer of the company. In June 2011, Timberland signed a definitive takeover agreement with VF Corporation at $43 per share or approximately $2 billion.[13]


The company is primarily known for its footwear. Notable examples:

  • The "Yellow Boot" is the company's best-known model, now considered iconic.[7]
  • Timberland PRO industrial boots
  • Footwear made with recycled, organic, and renewable materials.


Timberland has worked with numerous footwear and fashion brands to create one-off models; brands include Supreme, Tommy Hilfiger, Jimmy Choo, Off-White,[14] Beeline, and OVO.[15] In late 2021, Supreme and Timberland collaborated with the MLB team New York Yankees to produce a Yankees-logoed boot.[16]

Cultural impactEdit

As Timberland boots grew in popularity through the 1980s and 1990s, they were taken up by musicians, hip-hop artists, and other cultural figures, gaining the nickname, "the Air Jordans of boots"[17] and becoming "the required footwear of the inner-urban set".[18] Prominent artists who featured them in songs or music videos included Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., and Jay-Z.[9][19]


In a 1993 New York Times article about "outdoor" clothing brands' cross-over appeal to Black and Hispanic inner-city youth, Jeffrey Swartz downplayed the importance of the urban youth market in Timberland's success, saying that the company concentrated its advertising on its core customers, "honest working people", adding that the urban market was not "sustainable".[18] Though Swartz denied any plan to distance his company's name from young Black and Hispanic consumers to maintain its image, his comments led to a backlash among some Black artists who publicly dropped the brand.[20] In an editorial in The Amsterdam News, Swartz denied the charges of racism[21] and met with Black cultural leaders to explain Timberland's position. The company began more publicly to embrace the urban youth market.[9][22] In the end, the controversy had little effect on sales.[23]

Volunteerism, philanthropy and sustainabilityEdit

The company's Path of Service program, first established in 1992, allows employees to take up to a week per year of paid leave to engage in local volunteer projects.[24]

In 2001, Timberland began partnering with international NGOs to plant trees to reverse desertification of farmland and promote the cultivation of vegetables. Its partnership with Japanese NGO Green Network has focused on planting trees in the Horqin Desert of western China. As of 2019, the ongoing partnership had planted 2 million trees.[25]

Beginning in 2010, Timberland entered into an agroforestry partnership with Haiti's Smallholder Farmers Alliance to increase farm acreage and crop yields through reforestation and improved farm methods. By 2015 the program had assisted some 3,200 farmers.[26] In 2016, Timberland extended the partnership in Haiti with a goal of creating a new supply chain for sustainable cotton. The first products with Haiti-sourced cotton came on the market in May 2021.[27]

In 2022, Timberland introduced the Timberloop product take back program, which gives customers the opportunity to return used footwear or clothing to be recycled or refurbished for resale. On Earth Day 2022, Timberland launched the Timberloop Trekker, a boot designed to be fully disassembled and recycled at the end of its life.[28] In 2023, Timberland will continue to increase the use of regenerative natural materials.[29]


  1. ^ Danziger, Pamela N. (September 22, 2017). "Timberland Blazes A New Trail In Retail". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 17, 2022. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Rhodes, Lucien (February 8, 1982). "Sole Success". Inc.com. Mansueto Ventures, Inc.
  4. ^ "Russian Heritage Museum: Nathan Swartz". Russian Heritage Museum. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  5. ^ Pederson, Jay P. (June 25, 2003). International Directory of Company Histories. Vol. 54. Detroit, Michigan: St. James Press. ISBN 978-1-55862-484-9. OL 8607109M – via Funding Universe.
  6. ^ Parker, Garrett (December 17, 2018). "20 Things you Didn't Know About the Timberland Company". MoneyInc. CafeMedia.
  7. ^ a b Warnett, Gary (November 16, 2016). "How The Timberland Boot Became A Cultural Icon". Mr. Porter. Mr. Porter.
  8. ^ Rhodes, Lucien. "Sole Success". Inc.com. Mansueto Ventures. p. 9. Out of a total production that year of 600,000 pairs of footwear, 500,000 bore the Timberland trademark
  9. ^ a b c Webb, Alysha (December 20, 2020). "How hip hop's love of the iconic yellow workboot helped make Timberland a billion-dollar company". CNBC.com. CNBC LLC.
  10. ^ "Swartz Speaks About Timberland Sale". Footwear News. Penske Media Corporation. June 20, 2011.
  11. ^ "Timberland Gives Details of Offering". Manchester Union Leader. June 4, 1987. p. 46.
  12. ^ Prince, Eetta (March 16, 2012). "Meet the Jewish billionaire who studies Torah every morning - Week's End". Haaretz.com. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  13. ^ de la Merced, Michael J (June 13, 2011). "VF Corporation to Buy Timberland". The New York Times. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  14. ^ Gall, Julia (September 9, 2020). "Jimmy Choo and Timberland's Sparkly Collab Is Finally Here". MarieClaire.com. Hachette. Retrieved August 1, 2022. you may recall the Off-White, Opening Ceremony, and Supreme iterations
  15. ^ DeStefano, Mike; Takanashi, Lei. "The 10 Best Timberland Collaborations of All Time". Complex.com. Complex Media, Inc. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  16. ^ Deng, Victor (December 27, 2021). "Supreme and Timberland Tap New York Yankees For New Boot Collab". Footwear News. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  17. ^ Nelson, George (April 26, 2005). Hip-Hop America. Penguin. p. 161. ISBN 9780143035152. Tims, as they were nicknamed were for several years the Air Jordans of boots
  18. ^ a b Marriott, Michel (November 7, 1993). "Out of the Woods". The New York Times. Section 9. p. 1. Retrieved June 10, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  19. ^ Fasanella, Allie (April 25, 2022). "Doja Cat Closes Out Coachella in African Dystopian Fairy Bodysuit & Custom Timberland Boots". FootwearNews.com. Penske Media Corp. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  20. ^ Nelson 2005, p. 161.
  21. ^ Swartz, Jeffery (January 15, 1994). "The New York Times again: racism sells--don't buy it". Amnews Corp. ProQuest 390469708. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  22. ^ Burns, Chris (July 22, 2020). "The Stark Contrast of Timberland's Quiet Support and Public Perception". Arch-usa.com. Arch-Usa.
  23. ^ Walker, Rob (2009). Buying In: What We Buy and Who We Are (Random House trade pbk. ed.). New York: Random House. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-81297409-6.
  24. ^ Pereira, Joseph (September 9, 2003). "Career Journal: Doing Good and Doing Well at Timberland". Wall Street Journal Dow Jones. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  25. ^ Bell, Jennie (September 2, 2015). "Timberland Plants 2 Millionth Tree In China". FN.com. Penske Media Corp. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  26. ^ Bell, Jennie (October 6, 2015). "Timberland Debuts 'Kombit' Documentary About Haiti". FN.com. Penske Media Corp.
  27. ^ Lee, Giacomo (May 10, 2021). "Timberland launches first products made with Haitian cotton". JustStyle.com. GlobalData plc. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  28. ^ Wightman-Stone, Danielle (April 22, 2022). "Timberland unveils first full circular shoe and expands take-back programme". FashionUnited.uk. Fashion United Group. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  29. ^ Zwieglinska, Zofia (December 20, 2022). "Inside VF Corp's plans for The North Face, Supreme and a circular economy". Glossy. Retrieved December 21, 2022.

External linksEdit