By  on May 31, 2006

LONDON — J. Lindeberg, the edgy ready-to-wear brand that favors rock 'n' roll crooners like Juliette Lewis and The Kills for its ad campaigns, is ready to tackle the U.S. market head-on.

The company plans to buy back its U.S. distribution from Triluxe, its North American distributor and business partner, and to roll out retail stores across the country.

J. Lindeberg said in a statement it would establish a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary with headquarters in New York in a bid to drive the growing American business.

Currently, the company's annual wholesale volume in the U.S. is $10 million.

"The U.S. market is the number-one priority for us during the coming five years," said Arnt Jakobsen, chief executive of the company, in a statement. "Scandinavia is a maturing market, and the U.K. is fully established. We are ready to concentrate our efforts on developing the U.S.A."

He added the company would be looking to hire a U.S. manager, forge closer relationships with key retailers and find potential retail partners. "That will enable us to move even more aggressively with our plans for a fully segmented distribution, retail expansion and strategic communication of the J. Lindeberg lifestyle," he said.

At the moment, the plan is to refurbish the brand's New York and Los Angeles stand-alone stores, and roll out new units. The first JL store will open in Dallas in September. JL is the casual component of the line.

Johan Lindeberg, the brand's founder and creative director, said the aim is to package the women's and men's rtw, denim, casual, ski and golf lines as a "new generation lifestyle brand" in the U.S.

The brand, which was launched in 1996 in New York and Stockholm, has 10 flagships worldwide and wholesale distribution in more than 25 countries.

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