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The Dr.  Martens Shoes for London IPO: NPR

The Dr. Martens Shoes for London IPO: NPR

In-store overview of Dr. Martens in central London in 2010. The company sells more than 11 million pairs annually in more than 60 countries.

Gareth Catermall / Getty Images


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Gareth Catermall / Getty Images

In-store overview of Dr. Martens in central London in 2010. The company sells more than 11 million pairs annually in more than 60 countries.

Gareth Catermall / Getty Images

Owner Dr Martins, the popular British shoe brand, is planning an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, according to a document on Monday.

The private equity owner Permira is expected to sell at least 25% of the business. The brand, which has evolved into a symbol of rebellious youth culture, continued to thrive during the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Martens sells over 11 million pairs annually in over 60 countries.

The shoe, which became a symbol of the 1960s counterculture style, was created in 1945 by a former German soldier, Dr. Klaus Mertens. As per the company’s official date, He designed a prototype with an air-cushioned sole to help heal his broken foot. Production began on a larger scale two years later, and because of the comfort it enjoyed, the company says, the shoe was initially popular with “older women”.

In 1960, the English Griggs family, who were a shoe manufacturer, bought exclusive licensing rights to the shoe and began selling it to mail companies and factory workers.

The image of the work shoe began to change when skinheads decided to play sports in the 1960s. Soon after, The Who’s Pete Townshend began wearing them to emphasize working-class pride – and Doc Marten was well on his way to becoming a cultural icon.

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In the decades that followed, various youthful tribes have embraced the shoe, including villains and early goths as well as school girls, American musicians, and celebrities including Drew Barrymore, Miley Cyrus, and Gigi Hadid.

However, in the early 2000s, sales declined so much that the company was forced to close factories to avoid bankruptcy.

In 2014, Permira bought the brand for about $ 400 million. Sales jumped from $ 220 million that year to more than $ 900 million in the year ending in March 2020.

There were some concerns about the quality. In Britain The Guardian newspaper Some readers in 2019 complained about soles and slippers sewing, indicating that the problems were a result of moving manufacturing overseas to China. But Permera insists that the quality standards have not changed since the original owner, R. Griggs, moved production of the shoe from England to China more than a decade and a half ago.