The North Face is an American outdoor product company. It began as a San Francisco-based climbing equipment retail store, founded in 1966 by Douglas Tompkins and his then-wife, Susie Tompkins. Two years later it was acquired by Kenneth "Hap" Klopp. The products range from outerwear, fleece, coats, shirts and footwear, to equipment such as backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags. In addition to selling through department stores and outdoor retailers, The North Face operates over 55 retail and 20 outlet locations in the United States, retail and outlet locations in Canada,19 locations in the United Kingdom and many others worldwide. Moreover, the company sponsors professional athletes from the worlds of running, climbing, skiing and snowboarding.