Authentic Brands Group (ABG) – owner of labels including Camuto Group, Juicy Couture, Aeropostale and Nautica – is to acquire US skate, swim and snowboarding lifestyle brand Volcom from French luxury group Kering.
Volcom is a modern lifestyle brand for men, women, and children offering apparel, outerwear, footwear, and accessories, with nearly 100 retail stores globally and distribution in 60 countries – and ABG says the move will boost the value of its portfolio to more than US$9.3bn in annual retail sales.
Similar to the operating structure created when it acquired Aéropostale, ABG has taken a minority stake in Liberated Brands, the newly-formed operating company for Volcom. Liberated Brands CEO, Todd Hymel, and Volcom’s current management team have taken the majority stake in Liberated Brands and will maintain the Volcom operations based in the US, France, Australia and Japan with continued oversight of the brand’s product development, athlete marketing and its retail and wholesale businesses worldwide.
ABG adds it will focus on increasing brand awareness and business development for Volcom while leveraging Liberated Brands’ specialised retail and wholesale operations as a platform for international expansion of complementary ABG-owned brands.
“For nearly three decades the Volcom family has created one of the most iconic brands in the skate, surf and snow markets. During the last few years, the brand has been consistently gaining traction with broader audiences around the world while staying true to its core,” says Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO of ABG. “We could not be happier to finally get to work with this team.”
Hymel adds: “ABG has built an impressive portfolio by being a powerhouse in brand development and marketing. Jamie and his team share our vision and excitement for Volcom’s long-term growth, and we are excited to be a part of this next chapter for the brand.”
The initial focus for Volcom will be on developing strategies that reinforce the brand’s current positioning. ABG and Liberated Brands will continue to invest in and build upon the brand’s core men’s and snow businesses as well as fuel the momentum of its women’s and kid’s categories in North America and key international markets. Leveraging both companies’ in-house marketing expertise, ABG aims to expand the Volcom “brand narrative” by launching targeted digital campaigns and key influencer partnerships that reach and engage new millennial and Gen Z audiences.
“Volcom is one of the world’s most sought-after lifestyle brands by board sports enthusiasts,” says Nick Woodhouse, president and CMO of ABG. “Liberated Brands’ operational expertise combined with ABG’s brand building know-how and a global network of best-in-class partners, make an unstoppable combination. We look forward to joining forces to take this brand to new heights.”
The terms of the deal, which follows ABG’s acquisition of the Camuto Group in a US$375m deal together with US footwear and accessories retailer DSW Group in November, were not disclosed.