[caption id="attachment_53117" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Mark Martin"][/caption]
SANTA ROSA -- Marmot Mountain LLC is on track to meet its goal of doubling sales and the number of its new branded stores worldwide, and that has the 38-year-old maker of premium outdoor gear for serious expeditions and sports apparel for technical and everyday use preparing its headquarters and local production facility for a trek to a high-profile Rohnert Park location twice the size this summer.
Marmot (www.marmot.com), part of the Outdoor Solutions division of Rye, N.Y.-based consumer products giant Jarden Corp., has been waiting to expand for three years until leases on its southwest Santa Rosa buildings expired. The company needs to expand to accommodate new employees and infrastructure such as a new product photography studio and a one-third larger production facility for high-end mountaineering and extreme-weather products, according to President Mark Martin.
[caption id="attachment_53118" align="alignleft" width="315" caption="Display from Marmot's San Francisco store"][/caption]
The company has 124 employees now in Santa Rosa and wants to hire 40 more over the next three years in sales and marketing, operations and ecommerce. The addition of 124 employees, together with the relocation of Innovative Moldings to Sonoma Mountain Village is good news for Rohnert Park, which has battled high commercial space vacancies, most recently with the loss of 300 employees from State Farm Insurance.
Marmot also has 56 employees at a 200,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in Reno, Nev., and 36 more in sales and marketing subsidiaries in Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, where the European market administrative office is located.
Marmot is on track to double 2010 sales, according to Mr. Martin.
"We're in year three of a four-year plan," he said.
Marmot signed a 10-year lease with the Coyne family for 43,000 square feet in more than one-third of the landmark 139,000-square-foot former Next Level Communications office building at 5789 State Farm Dr. in Rohnert Park. The building has been mostly empty since Next Level relocated a few years ago.
[caption id="attachment_53145" align="alignleft" width="390" caption="Artist rendering of the Marmot sign on the former Next Level building in Rohnert Park"][/caption]
Marmot also leased 15,000 square feet of manufacturing and storage space -- more than one-third larger than the current Santa Rosa plant -- from Schulz Family Trust in an adjacent building at 6085 State Farm. Products making up 95 percent of sales are made in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Honduras, but the remainder are high-end mountaineering products made locally to ensure top quality in extreme-weather environments, according to Mr. Martin.
Marmot has benefited from years of investment in building foreign markets and a serendipitous spike in outdoor product sales as the global economy worsened in the past few years.
"There has been a huge increase in outdoor camping, and sales of tents, sleeping bags and stoves are at an all-time high," he said. "Whether it's the staycation trend or in times of trouble people look to the outdoors as a place of refuge, our brands go with you from a walk in the park after dinner to climbing the highest mountains in the world."
The line of products has grown from the early use of Gore-Tex breathable yet waterproof fabric on sleeping bags in the 1970s to include packs, skiwear, gloves, hats and a growing line of men's, women's and children's light-weight yet insulating and waterproof sportswear and everyday clothing.