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Woolrich continues growth and plans retail expansion

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Jun 12, 2017

Woolrich International, which was created in November 2016 through the merger of Woolrich Europe and Woolrich Inc, is continuing to grow, reporting that it closed 2016 with a turnover of nearly 190 million dollars, up 9 percent on 2015.

Its 2016 performance was particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region, up 21 percent, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa region saw sales increase by 19 percent. In North America, its plan to reposition the brand and launch the Woolrich John Rich and Bros line in wholesale and e-commerce channels is underway, with a dedicated investment plan to support the effort.

“By merging with Woolrich Inc, our horizons have become global,” said Cristina Calori, president and chairman of Woolrich International. “We have a lot of projects on the drawing board and a plan involving retail outlets opening in major capital cities around the world. I’m evaluating new international partnerships to accelerate the development plan.”

Woolrich International to open new stores in Toronto, Düsseldorf and Milan

The outlook for 2017 is also looking “positive” said the brand, as it plans to support the company’s growth with an expansion of its retail network to 33 single-brand stores, with 9 new stores set to open by the end of the year, including Toronto, Düsseldorf, and its first flagship store in Milan.

The Milan flagship will span 7,500 square feet and will be located in the heart of the fashion quarter and will act as a “pilot project” for the brand’s new retail concept, which includes introducing collaborations with outside names and innovative development in terms omni-channel and digital outlets.

“The store in Milan will be a chance to experiment with a new retail model,” explains Andrea Canè, Woolrich global creative director. “The brick and mortar stores are and will continue to be important, but they have to evolve, offering not just products but also services and experiences.”

Canè added: “I like to think of the flagship store in Milan as a lounge, a comfortable place to spend time characterised by attention to the customer, and a hub of experimentation and cross-pollination.”

Woolrich continues to push e-commerce and develop footwear offering

The apparel brand, one of America’s oldest outdoor clothing companies, is also looking to develop its e-commerce channel, as it continues to grow in double digits in all markets, and it is looking to continue this trend by investing in what it calls a global “robust plan” in digital marketing and social media.

Another key area of expected growth for the brand is its footwear offering which launches with the spring/summer 2018 collection of “high-performance” outdoor shoes that have an “urban, contemporary design”. The aim of the range is to produce footwear that echoes the values of the brand’s apparel collections.

“We are confident about the development of the brand in all markets, in light of the trends of 2016 and the positive performance of the autumn/winter 2017-2018 marketing campaign,” added Paolo Corinaldesi, chief executive of Woolrich International. “We have a business plan for rather ambitious growth which includes significant investments and new projects.”

Images: courtesy of Woolrich International