Real workers don't leave home without first donning their Carhartts. The clothing company makes rugged overalls, flame-resistant workwear, outerwear, sweatshirts, sportswear, and pants favored by farmers and other hard-working people. Its products have even appeared in such films as The Perfect Storm and The Horse Whisperer. Most of Carhartt's items, sold to men, women, and children, are made in US factories; the rest are produced in Canada and Europe. Besides its own shops, Carhartt's apparel is carried by major chains, including Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, and international retailers in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. The family of founder Hamilton Carhartt owns the firm, which was founded in 1889.
Based in Michigan, Carhartt enjoys a global reach. The company boasts plants and mills in the US, Canada, and Europe. Major chains and international retailers located in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia carry its products.
As part of its business, Carhartt operates 17 manufacturing facilities and three mills located in North America and Europe.
The company extends the reach of its business and boosts its brand through partnerships with other companies. Through an exclusive multiyear licensing agreement inked in 2013 with 5 Horizons Group, 5 Horizons designs, makes, and distributes work bags, packs, and gear across Carhartt’s existing distribution channels within the US and Canada. Carhartt also collaborated with Covercraft, a vehicle seat cover protection manufacturer, in 2013 to deliver Carhartt duck seat protection for pickups, SUVs, vans, and over-the-road work trucks. Another 2013 agreement, with Pyramex Safety Products, makes possible the Carhartt Safety Eyewear range, which features seven distinct styles. These multiple deals follow Carhartt's 2012 partnership with Chrysler through which it makes a line of limited-edition “Imported From Detroit” work wear. It makes camo apparel through a partnership with Realtree.
Working to broaden its appeal beyond its blue-collar target customer, Carhartt in 2011 opened its first urban retail location as it entered the fashion market and cashed in on its cult following. The boutique store, which spans 3,000 sq. ft., is located in Chicago and represents a first in Carhartt's long history. The company test-marketed having a retail presence a couple years ago when Carhartt licensed its name for two retail stores in Oregon and Utah and turned a profit there. Subsequently, it bought back the licensed stores and opened the Chicago location.
As part of Carhartt's retail strategy, the apparel company is expanding prudently, looking for underpenetrated markets, such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Boston.
To expand the scope of its workwear, Carhartt has added flame-resistant women's apparel to its products portfolio. The flame-resistant collection is cut for the female form and complements the company's other offerings for women, including jackets, jeans, sweats, and accessories.
Sales and Marketing
Looking to give its Quick Duck outerwear traction, Carhartt in fall 2013 launched an advertising campaign.
Carhartt's core customers include carpenters, plumbers, ranchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and construction workers. Carhartt's high-end workwear became popular in the 1990s and has earned a following. The clothing company works to maintain its longtime customer base by producing high-quality apparel and footwear while others in the industry have opted to cut corners to boost their bottom line.
The company sells its products through major chain retailers the likes of Cabela's, Gempler's Dungarees, Work N Gear, Northwest Outlet, Rural King, SuperCasuals, and Boot Barn, as well as online.
Carhartt is privately owned and managed by the descendants of the founding Carhartt family.