YETI files initial public offering

The premium cooler manufacturer cites rapid growth and loyal customers as reasons for its new filing.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Woman adjusts strap on soft-side YETI Cooler

YETI introduces an expanded line of Hopper soft coolers in 2017 to combat competitors being allowed to liquidate the disputed inventory at low prices.

YETI Coolers is taking to Wall Street for the second time. The Texas-based maker of luxury coolers filed an IPO last week, just seven months after it withdrew its first filing with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Despite facing a number of challenges this year—backlash from the NRA and criticism for cleaning up distribution after rapid expansion—YETI has managed to bounce back.

The brand is hoping to raise up to $100 million in its initial public offering—the same goal it had for its July 2016 IPO that was withdrawn this March due to market conditions.

However, the cooler category is surging right now, and new brands have entered the market, including some who have been sued by YETI over trademark infringement lawsuits. Founded in 2006 by brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders, YETI is still seen as the first luxury option.

According to the letter to the SEC, the “YETI Nation” has grown by 1.4 million new customers since 2013—0.5 million in 2017 and 0.2 million in the first six months of 2018.

“Our loyal customers act as brand advocates,” YETI wrote in its prospectus. “While we have continued to invest in and remain true to our heritage hunting and fishing communities, our customer base evolved from 69% hunters to 38% during that same time period as our appeal broadened beyond those heritage communities.”

YETI’s reach has not only expanded from outdoorists to a larger mainstream audience, but also to more women and younger customers. From 2015 to 2018, the customer base evolved from 9 percent female to 34 percent, and from 64 percent aged 45 and younger to 70 percent.

The $400 coolers have popped up everywhere: in Costco, hardware stores, as well as specialty outdoor retailers—who credit themselves with giving footing to the brand’s success. But in February, YETI sent notices of termination to some of those retailers as part of its clean-up strategy. The retailers weren’t thrilled, and neither was the NRA when YETI notified the foundation that it was eliminating outdated discounting programs. Some YETI customers went so far as to blow up their coolers.

While this most recent IPO cites failure to effectively manage growth as a risk, YETI also has plans to expand internationally and into new markets with new products.

Highlights from IPO:

> YETI cut ties with 1,100 underperforming retailers.

> DTC (YETI.com, YETIcustomshop.com, YETI Authorized on Amazon) represents YETI’s fastest growing sales channel, with net sales increasing from $14.1 million in 2013 to $194.4 million in 2017.

> In 2017, YETI opened its flagship store in Austin, Texas. It also entered Canada and Australia.

> This year, YETI entered the Japanese market.

Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, which YETI is a member of, said that the brand deserves a lot of credit for managing its “rocket ship” growth, plus the expectations that come with that. He said, “YETI has been doing an amazing job recalibrating their expectations for the brand, and responsibility cleaning up some of the decisions that stretched the brand on their way to the last IPO.”

If YETI ends up on Nasdaq, you’ll be able to find the brand under its four-letter symbol: “YETI.”

Related

YETI bucket

YETI ends plans to go public and slashes specialty retailers

After nearly two years of pushing to go public, Yeti Holdings Inc. has decided against it. A legal filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday reveals that CEO Matthew Reintjes made the decision as a result of “market conditions” and asked that materials ...read more

Man in puffy onesie walking a dog

The end of elite

Walmart was going to disrupt the outdoors. It was late August, 2018, a year and a half after the retail leviathan purchased the online outdoor retailer Moosejaw for a reported $51 million. Walmart was ready to put its investment to work. Walmart, as everyone knows, is the ...read more

Walmart everyday low price sign in toy aisle

Why brands quickly changed their minds about selling on Walmart.com

It’s safe to say American shoppers don’t go to Walmart looking for top-of-the line backpacks, winter expedition apparel, and mountaineering gear. But the big box discounter challenged that assumption with the launch of a premium outdoor store last week. “When’s the last time you ...read more

Farm to Feet seamless toe wool socks

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance adds four new vendors

Farm to Feet, KAVU, Rab, and Sierra Designs have joined Grassroots Outdoor Alliance's national vendor network, the group announced today. “Within Rab, we talk about surrounding ourselves with kindred spirits – those who relish the experience of a gritty and memorable mountain ...read more

ibex-store-july-17

Ibex pulls out of brick & mortar retail to focus on direct sales

On July 5, Ibex CEO Ted Manning announced to company employees that fall 2017 will be the last season the merino wool outdoor clothing company sells product through wholesale channels. Ibex shifts completely to a direct-to-consumer model in spring 2018. “We’re pivoting toward ...read more

product shot of YETI Hopper M30 cooler

Hot New Product of the Week: YETI Hopper

Hot New Products are written by the company and edited for space and clarity. They do not express the opinions of SNEWS or its editors. Pitched by YETI: We've added another cooler to our soft-sided collection, the Hopper M30. This new cooler features a leak-resistant HydroShield ...read more

YETI-loadout_seafoam-june-17

YETI branches out

The brand that built its reputation on keeping cool in extreme heat is branching out, while still maintaining its reputation for supreme burliness. The fall 2017 product launch at YETI’s flagship store this week in Austin, Texas, marked the brand's entry into new categories, as ...read more

YETI

YETI tussles with NRA

YETI Coolers says that a scornful letter from a gun industry official is entirely inaccurate. Marion P. Hammer, USF executive director and NRA past president, in a letter to USF and NRA members on Friday, said that after years of providing "hot items" for sportsmen, YETI cut ...read more

Customer looking at Big Agnes sleeping bag in retail store

Special Series: The Outdoor Brand Playbook, Part 3

Successfully producing outdoor gear used to be such a simple endeavor: Make great product, then sell it through retail partners, or directly through a catalog or your own store. These days, the formula has become a lot more complicated. With the option to distribute through a ...read more