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«We are preparing for our key sales season, autumn/winter, and we are optimistic, especially considering that as of 1 September we have already delivered 70% of the orders for the autumn winter 2023/24 collection. We are confident that, after the +22% growth recorded in 2022, we will close the year with an increase in revenues of between 10 and 15%.” Speaking is Stefano Saccone, CEO of Woolrich, an American brand which, after being relaunched in Europe thanks to the Bolognese WP Lavori in Corso, since 2018 has been 80% owned by the Luxembourg fund L-Gam. Driving the accounts of the first half of 2023, which after a strong start was influenced by a “more challenging” spring and closed with + 12% compared to the same period of the previous year, are in particular two channels that recorded an increase in sales higher than the overall figure: the e-commerce channel (+27%) and wholesale (+15% on the 1st half of 2022).
Fifty new spaces to expand wholesale
The wholesale channel – and therefore multi-brand retailers – are the subject of a series of investments in Europe which continues to be Woolrich’s main reference market: «We are strengthening the presence of our brand in the wholesale channel through the opening of around 50 spaces dedicated and personalized, such as corners and pop-ups, at the best European department stores and in independent shops. Furthermore, we are organizing various activities and events within the stores”, explains Saccone. which tells how the Japanese market is among the markets that are growing the most and how China and the USA are among the next stages in the internationalization process: «The business in Japan, managed through a joint venture with Goldwin, is continuing to grow with success, and at the same time, we are exploring new opportunities, including entering the Chinese market. In the United States, our core business is geared towards a direct-to-consumer business, with an increasing emphasis on e-commerce.”
20% of the business from the digital channel
The digital one, as already mentioned, is an important driver for Woolrich’s accounts: «Since 2019, we have tripled our turnover, this channel continues to record a notable double-digit growth rate to date and we expect to conclude a year with around 20% of our global revenues generated by our e-commerce”, explains the manager.
However, at the same time, the company continues to invest in single-brand stores: «At the end of October, our Japanese partner will open the first store dedicated to the Outdoor Label collection (designed in Japan) worldwide. In the meantime, we are continuing to look for new locations in Europe in order to expand our presence, further integrating our fleet of 30 stores in the EMEA area.”