True Religion Apparel has tapped a new disciple to spread its message in the U.K.
The Vernon, Calif.-based premium denim manufacturer has reached an agreement with London's Four Marketing to become its new U.K. distributor, effective with the fall season.
"Four Marketing is the kind of business partner we seek to represent our brand as we take a methodical approach to growing our customer reach in the U.K., Europe and other key international markets," Jeffrey Lubell, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Michael Buckley, president of True Religion, said he believes the U.K. could become one of the company's largest markets outside the U.S.
"We believe this new distributor agreement significantly advances our goal of realizing the potential of and demand for True Religion products in this market, starting first in London and extending throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland," said Buckley in a statement.
True Religion's previous distributor for the U.K. was Area 142.
Four Marketing has an extensive track record in the U.K., handling distribution responsibilities for brands such as Evisu, McQ by Alexander McQueen, Raf by Raf Simons and Superfine. The company plans to move True Religion into more than 250 retail doors throughout the market, including Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Selfridges.
While the brand has managed to make significant inroads in some international markets, mainly Japan, it has yet to make an impact elsewhere. According to the company's annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, sales in Asia, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa totaled $21.5 million in 2006, or about 15 percent of the company's $139 million in revenues for the year.
The firm has been moving aggressively to expand its offerings beyond premium denim and to open a chain of company-owned stores in the U.S. In the process of pushing growth, the company has invested heavily in new design and executive talent. There has also been a significant amount of activity in the company's executive ranks.
On March 8, True Religion appointed former Nordstrom vice president and corporate controller Peter Collins as chief financial officer, replacing Charles Lesser. Days later, it was revealed that Kymberly Gold Lubell, a vice president with the company and Jeffrey's wife, would be leaving. Gold Lubell told WWD in an interview that she is leaving to launch a high-end jewelry line and also confirmed the couple planned to separate.
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