At Kathmandu, everything we do is about inspiring adventure and encouraging freedom. Freedom to explore, regardless of the destination. Freedom to enjoy travel and the outdoors under any conditions. Freedom to discover the wider world around us.
When Kathmandu opened its first store in 1987, we were a small specialist outdoor retailer, manufacturing many of our own products. We drew inspiration from our customers: people who saw themselves as travellers, not tourists; people who saw the outdoors as an invitation, rather than something to fear or conquer. We wanted to encourage our customers to get out and explore what the world has to offer - to Live the Dream - and designed products to keep them comfortable and safe, whether they are intrepid explorers or backyard enthusiasts.
Our focus on design intensified in the 1990s and that remains the heart of our business today. Our aim is to develop sustainable design solutions that fit real life needs, and we've become a leader in designing products that are original, engineered to perform and technically ingenious. We did this by asking questions, every step of the way, and by trialling our own gear in conditions and climates all over the world, as well as in our own diverse backyards. To this day, 95% of sales are Kathmandu-branded products, using materials and designs sourced or specified by our talented in-house design team.
Since its inception, Kathmandu has grown from strength to strength: enthusiasm for our innovative products grew, as did our retail business. We now have 132 stores in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K., and our Summit Club loyalty programme currently has over half a million active members who love the outdoors as much as we do. We're listed on the ASX and NZX and our business platform - including staff, IT infrastructure and distribution capacity - has grown steadily.
Throughout its journey, Kathmandu has never lost sight of its origins and our core values remain the same: integrity, openness and directness, passion and determination, resourcefulness, love of travel and adventure. We continue to focus on creating quality products that make the outdoors more accessible to adventurers of every description.
Our growth has provided us with new opportunities, including developing our team, minimising our environmental footprint and continuing to engage through our community initiatives - for example partnerships with the Red Cross, Outward Bound New Zealand and the Australian Himalayan Foundation, among others. We feel it is important to give back to our communities and to support worthy causes important to our people and customers.
And we think things are only going to get better. It's been an exciting journey so far, and the itinerary for the future is wide open - there's no telling what we'll be up to next, and we're always looking for talented, inspired people to join us. Our team is as busy as ever, continuing the work that began in 1987: designing and developing sustainable products, running a sustainable business and inspiring adventure - because what is life, if not an adventure?
Kathmandu. Live the dream.