By Maria Cristina Pavarini

Woolrich will soon expand globally, according to recent agreements signed between WP Work In Progress, who founded the Woolrich Europe company in Bologna, and the US Woolrich mother company.

Woolrich Europe will manage the European, Japanese and Korean markets, and Woolrich USA will focus on the US and Canadian markets until 2020. The two companies will manage the Chinese market together according to a joint venture that will last until the same year.

By end 2016, or beginning 2017, the two parts will found a new joint venture company that will open the first two monobrand stores in China by September 2018, as explained by Andrea Cané, creative director, WP Work in Progress, and Josh Rich, Executive Vice President of Woolrich, and representative of the Rich family’s 8th generation. They aim to start from Beijing and Shanghai and continue with other openings.

Woolrich Europe expects to open 54 new monobrand stores in addition to the 15 already existing ones and reach a total of 69 stores by 2020. They expect to register a yearly growth of 10%-12% in sales between Europe and Japan.

As part of their expansion strategy in Japan Woolrich Europe has just launched a new capsule collection, designed by Japanese designer Shinsuke Kojima, aiming to combine the brand's typical American taste with pure Japanese manufacturing tradition. Inspiration for this collection comes from Woolrich archives from the 1900s-1980s and offers iconic pieces from the military and outdoor inspiration though revisited according to modern needs and details. All items are produced in Japan employing top materials including Supima cotton, wool flannels, brushed twisted cotton twill, indigo denim and chambray, and Shetland wools in neutral blue, grey, green and sand hues.
It will be sold in Japan, through the worldwide Woolrich stores and e-commerce website.

In the American market Woolrich USA is also strongly focused on redefining its image as outerwear apparel brand despite many US consumers still associate Woolrich with high-quality woolen blankets and fabrics. In 2015 the US and Canadian markets registered USD61.1 million sales and expect to reach USD132 million sales with a 14.1% compounded average growth rate by 2020.

At present Woolrich US has opened two monobrand stores – one in new York and one in Boston – and expects to open 13 altogether between USA and Canada according to the agreement with WP Work in Progress.
Woolrich capsule
Woolrich capsule