User:John Lydon/John Deere

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Deere & Company, usually known by its brand name John Deere, is an American clothing company based in Moline Illinois. Recently, John Deere has branched out into the manufacturing of tractors, toys, ATV’s, lawnmowers, chainsaws, fine china, diapers, and anything else they can affix their logo to in order to make money.

The company’s slogan is “Nothing runs like a Deere” which is believed to be a play on the phrase “Nothing runs like a deer”, though many scholars dispute this theory, citing the enormous leap in reasoning required to come to this conclusion.

Founded in 1837 by John Deere, the company ranked #102 in the 2008 Fortune 500 listing.

edit History

Deere and Company began when founder John Deere, born in Rutland, Vermont, on February 7th, 1804, was run out of town in 1836 for his alleged lack of fashion sense. Deere settled in Grand Detour, Illinois and was determined to create a clothing line for people like him who rejected the conventional fashion of the day and opted for more “rural” attire. Being the son of a tailor, Deere put his trade to work and opened his first clothing shop in Grand Detour in 1837.

John Deere Logo

An early John Deere logo

Deere’s business started slowly, with only a few local residents willing to be fitted for the new fashion. In 1839, Deere experimented with the groundbreaking idea of creating generic sized clothing before it was ordered and hanging it in his shop window for customers to see before they purchased it. Initially, the strategy seemed to have no effect on sales until a regular customer of the shop, Leonard Andrus, suggested stitching an image of some sort onto the shirts to make them easily recognizable as authentic John Deere clothing. Deere settled on the image of a running deer, stitched in yellow, set on a green background. Shortly after the logo was created, Deere’s business boomed.

In 1849, John Deere was able to purchase a 1,440 square foot factory in Moline, Illinois, which he promptly filled with migrant child laborers. Over the next five years, the John Deere clothing line branched out into shirts, socks, belts and buckles, wallets, and their most successful item, hats. Over the next 15 years, John Deere would see his business reach a pinnacle in the fashion industry.

In 1865, with sales slowly on the decline, Deere was looking for new ways to grow his brand. After carefully observing several of his customers, Deere determined that most people who wore his clothing seemed to be connected to farm work in some way. This gave Deere inspiration for a new product line. In 1867, John Deere introduced a line of farm implementations which included plows, wagons, corn planters, and cultivators.

John Deere died in 1883 and control of the company was passed to John’s son Charles Deere. Charles expanded the John Deere brand into the bicycle manufacturing business for a brief period during the late 1800’s. The company continued its steady growth until a new competitor, International Harvester Company, began to cut into John Deere’s profit margins in the early 1900’s with the invention of the gasoline powered tractor.

Not to be outdone, Charles Deere plunged his company headfirst into the manufacturing of tractors. The easily identifiable logo and trademark Green and Yellow colors on the new tractors quickly put John Deere back on top of the rural market.

edit Today

As of 2006, Deere and Company employs 47,000 legal employees and approximately 39,000 sweatshop employees in 27 countries worldwide. The clothing line still remains the most successful product the company offers, followed closely by tractors. Since its early beginnings in Grand Detour, Illinois, Deere and company has branched out substantially and now manufactures over 139 different items.

The John Deere clothing line has become somewhat of a status symbol for rural Americans, sometimes referred to as rednecks. In a recent campaign, Deere and Company described their clothing line as being “… Like FUBU, only for white people.”

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