Woolrich’s new strategic plans include further global expansion

Woolrich’s new strategic plans include further global expansion

America's oldest outdoor clothing company Woolrich Inc is merging with Woolrich Europe, its licensee for Europe and Asia, to form a new holding company called Woolrich International to drive the brand's worldwide growth.

The new holding company will be based in London and controlled by WP Lavori in Corso, the Italian firm that controls Woolrich Europe and produces and distributes the Woolrich collections in Europe and Asia. It will be responsible for leading the Woolrich brand in North America and worldwide.

The London base will oversee offices in New York, Woolrich in Pennsylvania, and Bologna and Milan in Italy.

The new entity will employ 300 people globally and expects to close 2016 with annual sales of $190m.

Looking forward, annual sales are seen increasing by 125 a year from 2017 to 2020, when it will have a projected annual turnover of $300m and employ 500 people.

This expansion is supported by a capital expenditure plan of about $50m, aimed to reach over 60 points of sale. The firm currently has a network of 25 stores worldwide, and is stocked in 45 countries.

There are also plans to list Woolrich International in four years' time through an international IPO.

Cristina Calori, chairman and CEO of WP Lavori in Corso and Woolrich Europe, will lead the merged organisation as chairman of Woolrich International.

And Woolrich Europe creative director Andrea Canè will become global creative director responsible for all Woolrich collections.

Nicholas Brayton, seventh generation descendent of John Rich, who founded the company in 1830, will continue as president of Woolrich Inc, leading the North American business.

While WP Lavori in Corso will control and consolidate the new entity, the Rich family will continue to own a significant stake.