US outerwear brand Woolrich grows 12% in Europe, launches outdoor line with Goldwin
Woolrich Europe posted a strong performance in 2017, with revenue up 12% to €139 million, and kept up the momentum in the first quarter 2018. Boosted by these results, the US outerwear brand has ambitious plans for the rest of the year, and is set to strengthen in both brick-and-mortar and online retail, with double-digit growth forecast in both channels.
Further retail expansion is on the cards for Woolrich in leading Alpine mountain resorts: in August, the label will open a 150 m2 store in Kitzbühel, Austria, adding to those already operational in the Italian ski resorts of Cortina and Courmayeur.
In October, Woolrich will then open an ‘experiential’ flagship store in Rome. The 200 m2 store is centrally located in via del Babuino, its interiors designed by the Wonderwall architect studio of Japanese designer Masamichi Katayama. Woolrich has opened a first experiential store in Milan to resounding success: sales in April were nearly 30% above target.
In the USA, Woolrich is planning to relocate and enlarge its store in Soho, New York, and is working on a series of special projects for the New York Fashion Week next September.
“We put a lot of effort into focusing on the brand’s heritage, implementing a new strategy based on Woolrich’s ‘American Soul’,” said Andrea Canè, Global Creative Director of Woolrich International. “Our brand stands for nearly 200 years of US history. The strategy is underpinned by Woolrich’s values, and touches on all of the brand’s elements, from product development to communication to the retail experience. It will begin with the Autumn/Winter 2018 ad campaign, the first to feature an international brand ambassador.”
As for new products, at the Pitti Uomo 94 show the brand will present the new Woolrich Outdoor line, developed with Japanese tech sportswear company Goldwin Inc. Last October, Goldwin Inc. acquired a minority stake in Woolrich International, the company created at the end of 2016 by the merger of Woolrich Inc. and Woolrich Europe, owned by Italian fashion company WP Lavori in Corso. The new line will be available for the Autumn/Winter 2018 on the Japanese market and at Woolrich stores, and it will be distributed wholesale in Europe and North America in the Spring/Summer 2019.
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