Appreciated by the working class and the sophomore class, Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing makes Dickies-brand khaki pants, bib overalls, jeans, women's and children's apparel, and Workrite fire-resistant uniforms. It also makes apparel and footwear for work and outdoor use under the Kodiak and Terra names. Its work clothes, originally tailored for the blue-collar set, are in fashion with young people, who account for a growing portion of sales. Its products are sold worldwide by major retailers (such as Sears and Cabela's) directly to businesses, in its own Work Authority stores, and online. The company was founded in 1922 by C.N. Williamson and E.E. Dickie as U.S. Bib Overall. It is owned by the Williamson family.
Texas-based Dickies' workwear is sold in all 50 US states and worldwide in more than 100 countries through affiliates in Canada, Mexico, Europe, China, Japan, and the Middle East.
The company operates six of its own retail stores in Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas. It also has a growing school uniform business. The company's Workrite Uniform division is a leading supplier of flame-resistant uniforms. In 2013 Workrite launched Workrite Canada, including local sales representation, inventory, and a distribution center.
Dickies goes to work to get its name out. Through partnerships with other companies, the workwear company peddles a variety of lines, such as bags, belts, socks, headwear, junior girls' clothing, footwear, and kidswear.
In recent years Dickies has concentrated on expanding its products portfolio through licensing agreements and acquisitions. Looking to attract customers in a growing niche of the apparel market, Dickies enlisted the help of Strategic Partners to design, produce, and distribute Dickies-branded apparel and footwear specific to the medical industry. A deal with Magla Products, which specializes in hand-safety gear and related cleaning items, allows Dickies to sell work gloves and compete head-to-head with über gloves maker Wells Lamont.
Dickies is also letting some exclusive licensing deals expire as a way to control costs. The company gained control over the manufacture and distribution of its namesake footwear in 2011 when it let its exclusive license with Rocky Brands, inked in 2005, expire at the end of 2010. As a result, Dickies brought its footwear business in-house, with production, marketing, and distribution of its shoes in the US now under the guise of Kodiak Group Holdings, a Canadian company Dickies purchased in 2008 that makes apparel and footwear. Dickies also ended its 29-year relationship with International Legwear Group, which made licensed legwear products.
On the international front, in 2013 Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing launched Dickies.mx, an online Spanish language site for Mexico. Mexico is an important market for the company with huge growth potential.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In June 2013 Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing acquired Cleburne, Texas-based Walls Industries, expanding its workwear line and strengthening its position as a dominant player in the global oil and gas market. Walls, whose brands that include Walls, Big Smith, 10X, Liberty, and Duxbak, makes outerwear and flame retardant apparel, among other products,
The brand first gained international attention in the late 1950s, when Texas oilmen brought Dickies workwear to oil fields in the Middle East.