Ahnu, a young brand for outdoor footwear, has been acquired by Deckers Outdoor Corporation, the parent company of Teva and a few other brands. Its founder and president, Jim Van Dine, will remain with the company.
Van Dine was once an executive of Deckers, but served as president of Keen shortly before he launched Ahnu in 2007. That year, sales were at $ 3.6 million; in 2008, the first full fiscal year, sales were slightly below $8 million. Sales operations have been limited to the U.S. and Canada.
The founder told THE COMPASS at the OR show in Salt Lake City that the brand continues to stand alone as far as product development, sales and marketing are concerned. Instead, Ahnu will take advantage of Deckers’ muscle in terms of back office solutions, sourcing etc. Van Dine will continue to be the chief of the brand.
He sees a clear difference from the offer of Teva: Ahnu is less technical than the Teva brand, and more casual-oriented, but still functional. Additionally, Ahnu especially targets women. At OR, Van Dine could not say whether the Ahnu brand could become more international thanks to Teva or other Deckers operations, but he is determined to bring the brand out of America. The chief executive explains that this still needs to be figured out in the aftermath of the acquisition.
The brand name Ahnu goes back to a Celtic goddess of the same name in charge of health and wellness. The idea to name the footwear after that goddess came from Van Dine’s daughter, who was interested in the mythology of the Celts at that time. Ahnu is also the root of the name Danube, the big European river.