German label Timezone fêtes 25th anniversary with new owner, new strategies
This year marks the 25th anniversary of German label Timezone, and it is also one in which the label is undergoing profound changes. In early January, the denim and trousers specialist changed hands, as its founder and President Wolfgang Endler sold Escape Clothing GmbH, the owner of Timezone, to LEO Textil‐Holding GmbH, a company set up by Luxembourg investment fund LEO Holding. Endler also stepped down as CEO, replaced by Wolfgang Mosebach, who was an external consultant with Timezone for ten years.
Mosebach admitted that the last four years have been complicated for Timezone. Last year, it generated a revenue of €22 million, down nearly 8% compared to the previous fiscal year. “We had to deal with major organisational changes within the company. We analysed our weaknesses and our brand identity, and we introduced several expansion strategies to broaden our range, extending it beyond trousers and promoting the womenswear collection more vigorously. In the financial year 2018, we expect to reach a revenue of €25 million,” said the new CEO Wolfgang Mosebach. Mosebach told German media that Timezone invested €800,000 in 2017 to revamp the brand.
The label is distributed via 800 retailers in Germany and 400 in its other markets, chiefly in Europe, from Italy to France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. Currently, 65% of sales are generated by menswear and 35% by womenswear. The German label has now hired two stylists who are focusing exclusively on the womenswear collection, while previously the same design team worked on both the men’s and women’s collection. Caroline Hauck, a former denim designer at Esprit, is now in charge of the women’s collection. Powered by these new resources, Timezone’s womenswear collection has already attracted about 100 new clients in Germany.
Timezone’s other ambitions are to be more directional, more innovative and “never out of stock.” Currently, trousers account for 70% of the label’s revenue, with other product categories yielding the remaining 30%. Jeans are the leading item in the trousers category, accounting for 60% of its sales, followed by chinos with a share of 25-30%. Timezone is keen to extend the range by introducing more shirts, knitwear, jackets and accessories. It has also changed its sourcing policy, moving away from Asia as much as possible and sourcing from garment manufacturers in Turkey and Europe, especially Portugal. “This enabled us to improve product quality. It was an important milestone for us,” said Mosebach.
Timezone’s e-shop is currently available in German only, serving the German and Austrian markets, and the label is keen to develop international versions to further boost sales.
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