European Outdoor Coat Brand Wellensteyn to Enter Canadian Market and Open Stores [Interview]

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European-based outdoor coat maker Wellensteyn has plans to launch the brand in Canada in the New Year. 

Tony Flanz, President of Montreal-based Think Retail, which consults and represents international, national, and regional retail chains and is representing the European brand, said the company hopes to open its first store in Canada in 2023 with British Columbia and Ontario markets of interest.

He said the iconic outdoor coat company caters to fashion and function.

György Gonda, CEO of Wellensteyn, said the brand has the largest portfolio in jackets and is the leading jacket brand in the premium segment in Europe.

Wellensteyn in Osnabrück, Germany (Image: Wellensteyn)

Gonda said Wellensteyn’s success is based on a quality product with a lower price point than many competitors in its category. The brand also sells T-shirts, hats, hoodies and sweatshirts.

Tony Flanz

“The Wellensteyn brand dates back to 1940s Germany when Adolf Wuttke, a welding rod dealer who made instruments used to help explore the depths of the North Sea, set out to create the best quality outerwear for men,” said Flanz in a blog on his company’s website.

“Initially targeted to those working in the shipyards and on the water, the parkas were made with unique waxed sailcloth designed to stand up to the elements, while keeping workers safe and warm.  

“The family business, eventually taken over by Adolph’s grandson, Thomas, in the ‘90s evolved, moving beyond workwear and protective clothing to build a strong brand that offers a vast array of stylish gear.”

Wellensteyn at Designer Outlet Parndorf (Image: Mcarthur Glen)

He said the Wellensteyn collection today is available to men and women around the globe, embodying the same dedication to quality, with an elevated focus on style. 

“Its destination retail locations are a magnet for European shoppers, making it a marquee tenant. Now the company, which is available in North America through select retail partners, is ready to bring its globally recognized and growing brand to Canada,” added Flanz.

“Think Retail is thrilled to work with the trendsetting team at Wellensteyn on its exciting Canadian debut. The focus is on B.C. and Ontario, with a preference for outlet malls, however high streets and super regional malls will be considered. Ideal size is 1,500 to 2,000 square feet. This is a high-profile brand that would make an ideal co-tenant, drawing in shoppers who appreciate Wellensteyn’s combination of history and innovation.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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