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Published
Jan 8, 2017
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Woolrich eyes Canadian expansion

Published
Jan 8, 2017

Luxury outdoor apparel brand Woolrich is setting its eyes on Canada with the opening of its first Canadian retail boutiques.
 
“Canada is a cold country and the outerwear business is great,” Andrea Cané, Global Creative Director of Woolrich International, told Fashion Network. “People need high quality garments, and we can offer sophisticated urban outerwear perfectly performing in the outdoors.” ‎
 
The company is eyeing the Canadian city of Toronto, Ontario to open its first retail location either later this year, or latest in 2018.

At the moment, they are targeting Yorkdale shopping center in Toronto, Canada’s most productive mall, but they are also considering other retail options such as partnering with Sporting Life and other major department stores to build shop-in-shop locations. The retail model could also potentially be rolled out in other retailers like Holt Renfrew or Harry Rosen.

Woolrich plans Canadian expansion. - Woolrich

 
Vancouver and Montreal are also interesting cities that Woolrich is looking into to open more retail locations come 2018 and 2019. The average size of Woolrich stores is around 2000 square feet. Woolrich stores are developed and formatted by Mr. Katayama from Wonderwall, a Japanese retail design firm. Canadian shoppers can expect to find the Woolrich John Rich & Bros line in up-coming retail locations, which includes the brand’s signature outerwear options as well as knitwear and accessories.
 
Still, in Canada, Woolrich will face competition from other luxury outerwear brands like Canada Goose and Moose Knuckle.

“We’re competing in the outerwear arena worldwide, also with other brands. Our feeling is that Canada Goose is more sporty than us, Woolrich products are more urban sophisticated and able to perform in the cold weather, so we are sure that Canada has space for our products as well,” Cané explains.
 
Woolrich Inc. and Woolrich Europe recently merged with the aim to develop the Woolrich John Rich & Bros brand internationally and to build a uniform global brand image. As a result of the merger, Cané says the North American market will naturally become a priority.
 
“Related to the merger, we developed a four-year business plan for North America, that foresees a development in all the channels, wholesale, retail and e-commerce, both in USA and Canada, and a marketing investment plan to support this development.”
 
Established in 1830, Woolrich is the oldest American outdoor clothing brand. W.P. Lavori in Corso established in 1832 is the exclusive worldwide distributor for the Woolrich John Rich & Bros brand.

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