Considering today’s challenging market conditions, a way to sustain business growth for many companies is to add a new channel of distribution.

Case in point: Yak Pak. The New York-based accessories firm, which is also the licensee for Levi’s and Dickies handbags, launched Dickies music bags earlier this year, featuring guitar bags, drumstick bags, guitar straps and pick pockets for guitar picks, all in fun colors like magenta and patterns like a black-and-white check.

“We thought, how do we take the brand and bring it into a new product category and a new channel of distribution without cannibalizing our existing market?” explained Stephen Holt, president and founder of Yak Pak.

The music bags shipped to Sam Ash and Hot Topic stores in July, and Holt said they have been “enormously” well received. For the first six months, sales projections are at about $1 million.

“As you grow your business, you have to be creative about how you expand into different channels,” Holt noted. “[Brands often] start in department stores and work their way downward or vice versa with alternative or bridge brands. We are trying to explore similar but differentiated distribution channels, so that the stores target a similar consumer but are noncompeting.”

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