Kathmandu (company)

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Traded asNZX: KMD
Founded1987 in Christchurch, New Zealand; 32 years ago
FoundersJan Cameron and John Pawson
New Zealand
Area served
New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Germany
Key people
Xavier Simonet (Chief Executive Officer), Reuben Casey (Chief Operating and Financial Officer), David Kirk (Chairman of the Board)
ProductsOutdoor and travel apparel, gear and accessories
RevenueNZ$445.35 million
NZ$34 million
Number of employees
One of the flagship stores in Auckland

Kathmandu Holdings Limited is a transnational chain of retail stores, selling travel and adventure outdoor apparel and equipment. Kathmandu is a leading retailer of clothing and equipment for travel and adventure in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. It has 163 stores as at the end of July 2017; 47 in New Zealand, 115 in Australia and 1 in the United Kingdom[1].

Kathmandu was founded by John Pawson[2][3][4] and Jan Cameron in 1987 following their sale of the ALP Sports Clothing label. The company set up its first retail outlets in Australia whilst manufacturing most of its original clothing range in New Zealand. Bernard Wicht, owner of Alpine Accoutrements, had been the main manufacturer for ALP Sports but continued to manufacture for Kathmandu and also partnered with Penny Hazard to set up the Bivouac chain of stores in New Zealand. In 1992 Kathmandu, having established a strong operation in Australia (with stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra) re-entered the New Zealand retail marketplace, purchasing Alps Sports from its receivers and brought Bernard Wicht in as the third shareholder joining the two existing shareholders John Pawson and Jan Cameron.

The company was in 2006 fully acquired by an Australasian private equity company for NZ$275 million, after Cameron had previously sold the other half of her business. Wicht was the owner of both the Fairydown and Macpac brands until 2015.[5]

Kathmandu was listed on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges in November 2009.[6] From 2017, Kathmandu is the naming right sponsor for the Coast to Coast race in New Zealand.[7][8]

Kathmandu announced the purchase of Oboz Footwear in March 2018.[9] Oboz is an outdoor footwear brand based in Montana, U.S.A[10], which shares similar values of sustainability and product innovation with Kathmandu, as indicated by Oboz's support of charities like Trees for the Future and Small Woods, which both advocate for sustainable forestry.[11][12]

In February 2019, launched a new content series in partnership with National Geographic, Eco Traveller. The series explores eco-friendly travel and sustainable tourism. Eco Traveller is hosted by Nick Saxon from National Geographic.[13]


  1. ^ "Kathmandu Stores". Kathmandu Investor Centre. 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  2. ^ "Man killed on mountain co-founder of Kathmandu". The Southland Times. 29 November 2008.
  3. ^ Haggart, Matthew (4 December 2008). "Funeral for Kathmandu founder". Otago Daily Times.
  4. ^ Shepheard, Nicola (30 November 2008). "Tragedy ends 'a great day'". The New Zealand Herald.
  5. ^ Dann, Liam (15 September 2006). "Kathmandu clothing founder quits business for $275m". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  6. ^ Slade, Maria (11 November 2009). "Aussies Kathmandu, Kiwis Kathmandon't". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  7. ^ Smith, Tony (13 April 2016). "Coast to Coast race gets major new backer after apparel company signs a three-year naming rights deal". The Press. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Kathmandu Coast to Coast". Kathmandu. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  9. ^ Reed, Emily (2018-03-21). "So Aussie Retailer Kathmandu Is Buying Oboz. What's Next?". Outside Online. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  10. ^ "Oboz - Our Story". Oboz Footwear. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  11. ^ "Hawthorn Project". Small Woods. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Oboz". trees.org. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Nat Geo & Kathmandu Launch Global Series On Eco-Tourism". B&T. 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2019-02-07.

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