Woolrich Looks to Open Canadian Stores

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American outdoor wear brand Woolrich plans to open 80 stores around the world over the next five years, and the company specifically says that Canada will be part of that expansion. 

Founded in 1830 in Pennsylvania, Woolrich is America’s oldest manufacturer of outdoor wear. The company was founded for the purpose of manufacturing fabric for the wives of hunters, loggers and trappers. Later, the company also outfitted clothing supplies to the American Civil War. 

Woolrich boasts annual sales of U.S. $250 million globally, with the vast majority of sales being wholesale. The company hopes to see retail sales increase from the single digits to about 24% by 2020 through an 80-unit store expansion. The aggressive expansion is being spearheaded by WP Lavori in Corso, the brand’s long-time partner. In June of 2012, Woolrich and WP Lavori expanded their 35-year licensing deal. Andrea Cane, creative director of WP Lavori, told Women’s Wear Daily that the two companies are initially investing $50 million into the Woolrich store rollout. 

Woolrich currently operates 17 stores worldwide, including two in the United States, 14 in Europe, and one in Tokyo. Its first American store opened in September of last year on Wooster Street in New York City’s Soho area, and earlier this month a Woolrich store opened on Boston’s upscale Newbury Street. 

The new Woolrich stores will focus on the company’s Woolrich John Rich & Bros. label, an elevated collection designed by WP Lavori. Of the 80 stores anticipated before the year 2020, 54 will be in Europe, five in Asia, and 11 in the United States and Canada. Toronto, Vancouver and other Canadian markets are all targets according to Woolrich, though its focus for 2016 will be on opening stores in Chicago, Antwerp, Dusseldorf, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Rome, Rotterdam and Seoul. Between 2017 and 2020, the company also intends to open stores in Florance, Frankfurt, Geneva, Paris and Vienna, as well as American cities Aspen, Denver, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, and midtown Manhattan. 


Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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