The words of Georges Salomon 'I am fascinated by what I am going to do tomorrow' sum up the brand spirit pretty well. Created in 1947 in the heart of the French Alps, Salomon is distributed in 160 countries around the world. Focused on innovation, they make reliable products designed for mountain lovers. Originally based in a small workshop making woodsaws and ski edges in Annecy, France, Salomon has quickly become a leader in ski bindings before expanding its range action to make everything you could possibly need for skiing.
When his woodsaw and ski edge workshop opened in Annecy, France, in 1947, Georges Salomon had no idea of the adventure he just began. The man was clever and resourceful and in 1948 he developed new machines for building ski edges in industrial quantities. At the very same time, the company named Salomon launches the first ever cable ski binding.
The brand starts growing and the small workshop in the old town of Annecy gets too small. Salomon makes its first move to open an actual factory. The company stays in Annecy.
In 1957, ideas and innovations keep pouring out of engineers’ brains. If some of them never saw day light, some others made it to the mass market like the Skade which was a new release system or “Le Lift” which was basically the first Salomon ski binding as we know it in our modern world, replacing the old leather bindings. In 1961, the Le Lift changes name and becomes the Emile Allais like the ski champion who is riding it.
The company keeps growing and selling at a larger scale. The factory is too small again and Salomon moves one more time, again in Annecy.
1966 is a big year for Salomon and for the ski industry in general. The brand releases a brand new ski binding featuring for the first time ever an automatic heel release system. Skiing gets safer and that’s a big step forward for the masses. These revolutionary bindings are used at the Portillo World Cup, Chile.
This industry-first binding pushes Salomon’s development to the next level and they start opening branches here and there all over Europe, including Swiss, Austria, Germany and Italy.
Salomon becomes the leading manufacturer of ski bindings and sells over a million units a year. We’re in 1972.
Now mastering the art of crafting ski bindings, Salomon hits the boot market and begins making its own ski boots and Salomon ski poles. A few years later, in 1979, the brand gets rewarded of its hard work and releases the first Salomon ski boot with a rear entry system.
Salomon is a big name in the alpine skiing world but the company is giving a close look at the cross-country ski industry as well. In 1979-1980, Salomon hits the french and swedish markets to sell a new ski system featuring a boot and a binding. We know it sounds like normal life now but back in the day, it was a change.
1985: Another big change. Salomon moves again in its brand new headquarters located near Annecy. At that time, the company revenue is higher than 250 million euros (a little over £220M) and it keeps increasing.
5 years laters, the brand releases its first Salomon ski: the S9000, a sporty performer loved by the crowds. Business is better than ever for the company and in the 10 past years, we’re speaking about 10 millions ski boots sold and 5 millions XC boots.
Salomon skis obtain their official and final approval by the mass market in 1992 after running at the Albertville Winter Olympics.
The 1990’s also bring a wind of change on the brand. It begins to diversify its products and works on other sports from the outdoor industry. They release a pair of light hiking shoes for instance.
Being number 1 at skiing wasn’t enough for the group though and in 1997, Salomon targets the snowboard industry by releasing an entire range of snowboards, snowboard bindings and snowboard boots.
During the 2000’s, Salomon continues in the outdoor industry. The group releases complete ranges of shoes designed for all kinds of use: hiking, trails, running. They establish a partnership with Kilian Jornet who won the 170km UTMB race in just 20 hours. This is a serious boost for the brand exposure.
Leading trends and innovations, Salomon does it again in 2011, bringing another revolution to the ski boot market. Ever heard of the Quest Boots? Well, check them out, they are the first boots to feature a ski/walk system allowing skiers to walk more naturally with their own ski boots. When technology serves comfort, you can’t say no can you?
The brand receives numerous rewards like the Best Overall Ski Manufacturer in 2013 at the World Snow Awards ceremony, or the Best goggles manufacturer the previous year, or again the Best Women’s Snowboard… It seems like there is no ending to Salomon success story and we wish them all the best for the upcoming years!