- Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez |
Cougar, a quintessentially Canadian wintry boots brand, is finalising its assault to the neighbouring – and profitable – U.S. market.
“We’re really excited about doing a restart of our distribution and about being much more aligned with the channels and where you would find the brand,” said in a recent interview with ‘Footwear News’ Steve Sedlbauer, president and owner of the Burlington, Ontario-based company.
To bolster its presence first and revenue later on, Cougar has hired industry veteran Christina Gaddy as its VP for the U.S. division last month. She started her career at Dillard’s department stores before moving over to the brand side, with the likes of Caleres, Rockport and Merrell in her portfolio.
To date, Cougar is has a global presence through 300 selling points around the world, including a handful of well-known independent stores in New York and Utah. Aiming at its U.S. expansion, Cougar has recently began working with Nordstrom.com.
To this point, Gaddy explains that the brand’s distribution is heavily concentrated on independents, speciality retailers and the family channel, which offers large room for growth.
“We’re definitely going after some key segmentations — premium e-commerce, key department stores, expanding on the speciality retailer segment,” Gaddy said. “That also encompasses the independents, from boutiques to family shoe stores to outdoor speciality.”
The Sedlbauer family started the company as a boot manufacturer in 1948 and in the 1970s expanded with other footwear products.