WeSC has realigned its executive team, promoting Joseph Janus to group chief executive officer on the heels of the streetwear brand’s U.S. growth as it turns to scaling in Europe.
WeSC, which stands for We are the Superlative Conspiracy, previously had Janus in the ceo role for WeSC America based out of the New York office. Janus succeeds Tony Westler in his new role.
The change is a reflection of a few factors, beginning with the U.S. business now representing more than 40 percent of the Swedish company’s overall sales, up from about 20 percent two years ago.
“We made a decision to elevate our product three years ago,” Janus said. “WeSC started off as a skateboard clothing brand and we’ve been really focused the last three years on making it a Swedish lifestyle brand.”
That began with the build-out of full collections versus launching T-shirts and hoodies each season, which has helped it get into new doors. The strategy has recently been applied in Sweden with a contemporary offering that’s helped get the brand into doors such as Nordiska Kompaniet. Retailers such as Galeries Lafayette is another example of where Janus would like the brand to go.
“Those are the elevated accounts I want to see and there’s a number of those in every country out there,” he said. “Changing the perception of how we position the brand is step one. Our designs are there. Our quality is there…. Now it’s more about coming up with the sales and distribution strategy in all the countries that we service.”
WeSC will also continue the momentum in the U.S. where it will see its presence across all Bloomingdale’s stores in the spring. The company is also in the midst of improving its e-commerce business, with a new site expected to launch next year aimed at improving usability, incorporating social media and making it more competitive in the e-commerce landscape. The company
U all orders out of Stockholm but that will change once separate sites for Europe and the U.S. launch. That will allow for U.S. orders to be fulfilled Stateside, which should help accelerate shipping speeds.
WeSC stores will also be part of the plan moving forward. The company opened two units in Stockholm this year and is eyeing Brooklyn for a second door in New York.
“I think the key to doing [store growth] is slow,” Janus said. “For me, it’s about identifying markets where we think there could be a better need for our flagships…. We primarily want to remain a wholesaler.”
Janus joined WeSC in 2014 after working at companies such as Guess and Calvin Klein and was charged with growing the Americas business.
The company also promoted Thomas Pouverel, who was working on a part-time consulting basis and is now full time overseeing marketing and the development of e-commerce.
“The thing that is really important to implement to the worldwide organization right now is the same thing that we’ve done in the U.S.,” Janus said. “We’ve elevated our product. We’ve elevated our brand positioning. We elevated our marketing and we elevated our distribution strategy. This is the model that I want to see implemented for all the important territories for WeSC. … I think the timing is right for this.”