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For the chemical element also known as quicksilver, see mercury (element).
Quiksilver, Inc.
Traded as NYSEZQK
Founded Torquay, Australia
(1969; 46 years ago (1969))
Founder Robert B. McKnight
Headquarters Huntington Beach, California, United States
Key people
Pierre Agnes, CEO[1]
Products Apparel, Sporting goods
Revenue Increase US$1.81 billion (2013) [2]
Increase US$82.3 million (2013) [2]
Number of employees
Website www.quiksilver.com

Quiksilver, Inc. is an American company based in Huntington Beach, California and one of the world's largest manufacturers of surfwear and other boardsport-related equipment.[3] Its logo, designed by company founder Alan Green and John Law in Torquay, Victoria, Australia, in 1969,[4] was inspired by Japanese painter Hokusai's woodcut The Great Wave off Kanagawa.[5] It consists of a large wave with a mountain on a red background.

The company also produces a line of apparel for young women, under the brands DC Shoes and Roxy. The Roxy logo consists of two copies of the Quiksilver logo, one reflected, forming a heart. Quiksilver has another line of apparel for women under the brand Quiksilver Women. As of 2013, the company had lost money for six years straight but was initiating a turnaround plan.[6]


The Quiksilver name first appeared in the United States thanks to the entrepreneurial efforts of two inveterate surfers, Robert B. McKnight and Jeffrey Hakman. Hakman was the more accomplished surfer of the two, having won several international surfing championships, but McKnight shared an equal passion for the sport and its attendant lifestyle. Born and raised in Pasadena, California, McKnight graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in business in 1976, the year he decided to move to Oahu, Hawaii, and spend his days surfing on the island's world-renowned north shore. While on Oahu McKnight renewed his friendship with Hakman and together the two surfing addicts discussed their desire to start a business that could finance their days on the beach. They decided to try to get the licensing rights for Quiksilver, a seven-year-old company based in Torquay, Australia, where it was founded by two surfers, Alan Greene and John Law.

For McKnight and Hakman, obtaining the licensing rights to Quiksilver represented a perfect opportunity to turn their favorite pastime into a vocation. The company's boardshorts and swimsuits, which were tight-fitting and outfitted with velcro straps, were quickly becoming the rage among surfers in Australia, turning the Quiksilver brand name into a highly coveted, trendy label. McKnight and Hakman hoped to achieve commensurate success with the Quiksilver name in the United States, but neither of the two aspiring entrepreneurs thought of creating a beach wear apparel empire, particularly McKnight, whose business intentions were modest. Reflecting on his entry into the business world, McKnight explained, "I thought I could make a few shorts and stay near the beach and party." Despite his less than grandiose plans, McKnight soon found himself guiding the fortunes of a rapidly growing, flourishing enterprise. "I never thought the business would fail," McKnight remembered, "I just didn't expect it to get so big so quickly."

McKnight and Hakman's surprising success with the Quiksilver brand name began in April 1976, when Hakman entered a surfing competition in Australia. Hakman won the event, and as luck would have it, he met Greene and Law and sat up all night with Quiksilver's owners eating, drinking champagne, and discussing the possibility of securing the U.S. licensing rights to the Quiksilver name. After plates of food and bottles of champagne, Greene and Law agreed to sell Quiksilver's U.S. rights to McKnight and Hakman on one condition, a unique proviso that became the first obstacle the two Americans had to hurdle in order to launch themselves into business. The duty of fulfilling Greene and Law's demand fell solely to Hakman; McKnight, back in Hawaii, could be of no assistance. Greene and Law informed Hakman that they would agree to the proposal provided Hakman ate the large paper doily under his plate, which Hakman promptly did. After swallowing the plate-sized piece of paper, Hakman shook hands with Greene and Law and placed a call to Oahu to tell McKnight of the good news.

McKnight, who spearheaded the business end of the venture, offered the specifics of the proposal to Greene and Law. McKnight and Hakman invested no money, but agreed to pay a royalty of 1 percent of sales for three years, which jumped to 3 percent after three years, and an additional 1 percent of sales to support international promotions. Next, McKnight hurried to secure the capital required to launch the business. He returned to California and asked his father, who was a sporting goods importer, to lend him $20,000 to finance a production run of Quiksilver apparel. McKnight's father agreed, and a few months after Hakman's all-nighter with Quiksilver's Australian owners, the two young Americans were ready to start production for their new company, Quiksilver U.S.A.

McKnight and Hakman debuted their first line of apparel in the summer of 1976. They bought some fabric on credit and manufactured 600 pairs of boardshorts, featuring six separate designs, for their first season. The two entrepreneurs then took their boardshorts, which were priced higher but were more colorful than similar merchandise produced by established rivals Ocean Pacific and Hang Ten, and peddled them to three surf shops in Southern California. With their product distributed, all McKnight and Hakman could do was wait and see if they had made a prudent move. In nine days, the 600 pairs of boardshorts were nowhere to be found on the shelves and racks of the three surf shops, having sold out with encouraging speed.

Quiksilver has developed from a 1970s boardshort company into a multinational apparel and accessory company grounded in the philosophy of youth. Our mission is to become the leading global youth apparel company; to maintain our core focus and roots while bringing our lifestyle message of boardriding, independence, creativity and innovation to this global community. Individual expression, an adventurous spirit, authenticity and a passionate approach are all part of young people's mindset and are the essence of our brands. Combine this with the aesthetic appeal of beaches and mountains, and a connection is established that transcends borders and continents. Include thirty-plus years of quality, innovation and style, and you have Quiksilver.

Several years after their remarkably successful inaugural year of business, McKnight and Hakman found themselves surrounded by a wealth of new competitors, as start-up after start-up entered the active beach wear industry. The influx of new competition created a contentious marketing environment for such companies as Quiksilver, but McKnight and Hakman kept their operation lean, eschewing debt, and remained tightly focused on producing the type of merchandise that first launched them toward success. Describing this period in the company's history, McKnight noted, "While everyone else was making swimwear, we were setting the standard for surfwear," an approach that would hold Quiksilver in good stead in the decades ahead. "We've been successful," McKnight went on to explain, "because our philosophy has always been to bring the image off the beach and into the stores. Since we were all surfers, we knew what kids wanted."

McKnight's commitment to his business strategy successfully carried Quiksilver through its fledgling years, creating a firmly established company by the beginning of the 1980s. The 1980s witnessed a host of sweeping changes that reshaped Quiksilver as it maneuvered through its corporate adolescence, beginning in 1981 when Hakman exited the business, leaving on amicable terms with McKnight to return to Australia and surf. Four years later, a turning point in Quiksilver's history occurred when McKnight took Quiksilver to the next plateau of the retail apparel business and began distributing Quiksilver merchandise to department stores.

The foray into the retail mainstream began gradually and conservatively, manifesting two defining characteristics of Quiksilver's development during its first decade. The move into department stores marked the beginning of the company's evolution into a more sophisticated enterprise. As the 1980s progressed, Quiksilver became more than a business whose chief objective was to finance McKnight's surfing and partying at the beach. A full-fledged corporation was in the making, propelling Quiksilver's growth forward at a substantially faster pace and engendering the attendant pitfalls of rapid growth.

Following McKnight's decision to expand Quiksilver, the company celebrated the conclusion of its first decade of business by completing its initial public offering (IPO) of stock in December 1986, when annual sales were up to $19 million and the stock market was receptive to small-sized companies such as Quiksilver. McKnight and his minority partners sold 50 percent of the company to the public, raising $16 million to bolster Quiksilver's financial foundation as it developed its department store business. With the proceeds gained from the public offering, McKnight bought the Quiksilver trademark for the United States and Mexico, paid off all the company's short- and long-term debts, and expanded Quiksilver's line of production runs in preparation for greater department store business. From 1986 the company operated under the name Quiksilver, Inc.

As Quiksilver intensified its involvement with department stores, eventually distributing its merchandise to retailers such as Macy's, Marshall Fields, Dayton Hudson, and the Dillard Group, McKnight decided to a bring in someone with greater experience in dealing with department stores. In July 1987, McKnight hired John C. Warner, who at the time was senior vice-president and general merchandising manager of Macy's Department Stores' Denver operation. Initially, Warner was hired as head of sales, but he quickly proved to be a tremendous asset and seven months after joining the company was named chairman and chief executive officer of Quiksilver.

With Warner occupying the two top managerial posts and McKnight serving as president, Quiksilver moved headlong into fostering the growth of its department store business. Sales in 1987 amounted to $30 million and shot up the following year to $48.3 million, while earnings rose to $3.7 million. Sales to department stores made up 40 percent of Quiksilver's $48.3 million in sales in 1988, and offered tangible evidence that the company had made commendable progress into the retail mainstream. The company's range of merchandise had expanded substantially as well, growing well beyond the original line of six styles of boardshorts. Once the sole source of revenue for the company, boardshorts by the late 1980s accounted for only 18 percent of total annual sales, while the balance was derived from a host of different apparel items. T-shirts accounted for 15 percent of total sales, shirts 11 percent, pants 12 percent, fleece wear 9 percent, walking shorts 27 percent, jackets 4 percent, and surfing accessories another 4 percent.

Corporate information[edit]

Quiksilver purchased Skis Rossignol for $560 million in 2005, but sold Rossignol on 12 November 2008 for $37.5 million (30 million euros) in cash and a $12.5 million note (10 million euro).[8] It owned golf-equipment maker Cleveland Golf up until 31 October 2007, when it sold the company to a Japanese sporting goods company.[9] In 2009 Moody's included Quiksilver on its Bottom Rung list of companies most likely to default on its debt.[10] Quiksilver also owns DC Shoes, a skateboard shoe brand.

Co-founder and CEO of Quiksilver Bob McKnight stepped down as CEO on 11 January 2013. McKnight then acted as Executive Chairman, until retiring in October 2014.[11] Andy Mooney, who was formerly chairman of Disney Consumer Products, served as CEO from 2013 to 2015.[12] The current CEO is Pierre Agnes.[1]

Quiksilver today[edit]

Quiksilver operates 834[13] stand-alone stores in major cities across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. There are two types of Quiksilver operated stores which are known as either "Boardriders Club" or "Factory" stores. Their products are also sold in many other outlets across the world such as PacSun, the Fells Point Surf Company or the Ron Jon Surf Shop. In addition, the company operates a number of separate Roxy and Quiksilver Youth stores.


Main article: Roxy (clothing)

In 1990, Quiksilver launched its sister brand for young women, Roxy. The brand is aimed at those who enjoy coastal and mountain-based sports and lifestyles. It was differentiated from the main Quiksilver line "for fear it would damage the men's brand", according to Randy Hild, the company's senior vice president of marketing. Roxy was chosen because it sounded like a punk band or club (likely Roxy Music and The Roxy respectively), and is also the name of the daughters of both CEO Bob McKnight and founder Alan Green.[14][15] About 30% of Quiksilver's sales come from the Roxy line.[16]

Since inception, Roxy has grown to be the largest action sport fashion apparel company for young women. In addition to apparel, it now also produces accessories, homewares, hard goods (snow and surf), wetsuits, footwear, books and perfumes. It has sub-brands for its children's ranges, named Roxy Girl and Teenie Wahine.

In the Spring of 2013, the "DVF loves Roxy" collection was released as a one-time limited edition collaboration line of swim and beach wear as well as accessories.[17]

Quiksilver milestones[edit]

2009: Quiksilver announced a financial restructuring plan that includes an agreement with Rhone Group, an international private equity firm, for a 5-year senior secured term loan of approximately $150 million and new $200 million Line of Credit in the Americas from Bank of America and GE Capital.[18]

2008: Quiksilver launches its first ever women's contemporary line Quiksilver Womens (QSW) under the leadership of avant-garde fashionista Tyler Simmons. - "The beach is in your blood but we're not defined by it" lead as the line's creative launching pad. - The line left Quiksilver headquarters in 2010 under the direction of POP studios in Venice Beach, CA. - Though originally profitable the line was discontinued in 2013 due to market conditions.[19]

2006: Quiksilver released the 320-page, full color book The Mountain & the Wave, The Quiksilver Story.[20] - Dane's movie "First Chapter" won for Best Male Performance in a Video and, Video of the Year at the Surfer Poll Awards. Kelly also took out yet another first in the Reader Poll. - Quiksilver announces opening of new Mountain Center in Park City, Utah.

2005: Quiksilver Foundation is established - Danny Way jumped the Great Wall - Kelly Slater wins record breaking 7th World Title

2004: Quiksilver acquires DC Shoe Company - QSE partners with Airstream - “The Quiksilver Crossing” comes to America

2003: Quiksilver continues involvement with environment, education and science with projects “Quikscience Challenge” and “Adopt-A-Village” - Roxy teams up with MTV to launch Surf Girls TV show - Q.S. Entertainment teams up with Fox TV to launch 54321 TV Show - Quiksilver announces joint venture for retail expansion into Mainland China with partners Glorious Sun

2002: Quiksilver Inc. and Quiksilver Asia Pacific merge to form global operating entity - Quiksilver designs revolutionary new wetsuit. “The Cell” is for all degrees of surfing. Revolutionary design, increased flexibility, lighter in weight, total freedom!" according to Quiksilver.

2000: Quiksilver, Inc. established the Quiksilver trademarks world wide with the acquisition of all of the shares in Quiksilver International - QS forms alliance with Tony Hawk to create signature apparel line, “Hawk” is launched - First Roxy store opens. first Roxy surf camp established

1999: The “Quiksilver Crossing” is launched. The greatest surf adventure ever with a strong environment focus - Josh Ashworth redefines golfwear at Quiksilver with “Fidra” - Quiksilver Inc. moves to Huntington Beach

1997: Quiksilver.com - Kelly Slater highest money earner in ASP history 1996 - Quiksilver acquires Mervin Manufacturing, Inc. a manufacturer and wholesaler of snowboards and snowboard bindings, thus the brands Lib Technologies, Gnu Snowboards and Bent Metal.

1996: Quiksilver creates “Winter Sports Division”.

1995: Quiksilver sets the ultimate in standard in professional surfing events by staging the inaugural “Quiksilver Pro” at G-Land Indonesia

1994: Lisa Anderson signs with Roxy and becomes women’s ASP world champion - Roxy introduces first girls boardshort

1993: Roxy launches “Double Heart” logo - Quiksilver acquires “Raisins” swimwear

1991: QS “Boys” begins. “Silver Edition” division begins with “QUE” - Quiksilver Inc. acquires Quiksilver Europe, moves towards creating one global company

1989: 20 year anniversary of Quiksilver brand

1988: Quiksilver and Tom Carroll create surfing history when the twice world champion signs an exclusive contract for $1 million, the most lucrative deal in the sport

1987: Jack Johnson signs with Quiksilver[citation needed]

1986: Quiksilver Inc. in the United States goes public

1984: 1st “Quiksilver in memory of Eddie Aikau” Big Wave contest held at Sunset Beach, HI, won by Denton Miyamura

1981: Quiksilver commissions Los Angeles designer Ray Smith to update the mountain and wave logo

1980: Quiksilver introduces “Echo Beach” boardshorts featuring radical print design with polka dots harlequins, stars and checks

1978: Quiksilver sponsors its first team riders, Rabbit Bartholomew and Bruce Raymond. Rabbit goes on to win the world title

1976: Jeff Hackman is granted the Quiksilver license. Jeff Hackman and Bob McNight team up to start Quiksilver USA in Newport Beach. Start selling boardshorts out of the back of a green VW bus

1974: U.S. manufacturing (Quiksilver) first exports boardshorts to the Lightning Bolt shop in Hawaii

1970: Quiksilver boardshorts with a swan logo make their first appearance in Australian surf shops. Soon replaced by the first “Mountain and Wave" logo

1969: At the Rip Curl factory in Torquay, Australia, Alan Green starts working on prototypes for a new kind of board short, using aspects of wetsuit technology, such as snaps and Velcro flies

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Connelly, Laylan (March 27, 2015). "Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver replaces CEO with longtime company insider". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  2. ^ a b http://ir.quiksilver.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=110264&p=irol-reportsannual
  3. ^ http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/MarketInsight/Leisure/Global-Boardsports-Market/NI5631
  4. ^ "Quiksilver - About Us". 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  5. ^ (In French) L'Express (13 July 2000). "Surf La planche à billet". Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  6. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/17/business/la-fi-stock-spotlight-quiksilver-20130617
  7. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Quiksilver_Inc.aspx#1-1G2:3483700081-full
  8. ^ Associated Press (13 November 2008). "Quiksilver closes on sale of Rossignol ski unit". MSN Money. Retrieved 2008-11-13. 
  9. ^ "Quiksilver Sells Cleveland Golf Unit". 31 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  10. ^ McCracken, Jeffrey (10 March 2009). "Moody's Aims to Be Ahead on Defaults". The Wall Street Journal. p. C1. 
  11. ^ http://business.transworld.net/news/quiksilver-executive-chairman-bob-mcknight-to-retire/#JAECP58yCEQ6M7dm.97
  12. ^ Connelly, Laylan (3 January 2013). "Quiksilver co-founder and longtime CEO steps down". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Hamanaka, Kari (13 June 2011). "Quiksilver Comeback: New Stores Planned". Orange County Business Journal 34 (24): 65.  Of these 834 stores, 540 are owned by the company and the rest operate under licensing agreements.
  14. ^ Bellantonio, Jennifer (16 September 2002). "Image makers". Orange County Business Journal. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  15. ^ Calhoun, Carina (12 July 2010). "Q&A". Orange County Business Journal 33 (28): 7. 
  16. ^ Gomez, Alicia (16 August 2010). "Beyond Roxy: Quiksilver Does Junior Line". Orange County Business Journal 33 (33): 3, 31. 
  17. ^ Bradstreet, Kailee (11 March 2013). "Roxy Celebrates Launch Of ‘DVF Loves Roxy’ Collection". Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  18. ^ http://business.transworld.net/15771/news/quiksilver-announces-financial-restructuring-plan/
  19. ^ http://business.transworld.net/123285/features/quiksilver-and-dc-cut-athlete-teams-staff-brands/
  20. ^ 'The Mountain and The Wave: The Quiksilver Story", 7 June 2007, surfingmagazine.com

External links[edit]