Authentic Brands Group, the owner of the Juicy Couture brand, is in the planning stages for two new Juicy concept stores, one for intimates and sleepwear and the other for kids.
This story first appeared in the April 16, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
There’s also the possibility of a third Juicy concept for footwear.
Jamie Salter, ABG’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the idea for the concept stores originated from discussions with the overseas distribution partners for the Juicy brand.
“Our partners are asking us for this. There is a dearth of [retail stores] for those types of concepts, as well as an increased demand for those categories,” Salter said.
According to Nick Woodhouse, ABG’s president and creative marketing officer, “We hope to launch intimates and children’s in the fall of 2015, with the first locations either in the Middle East, continental Europe or Asia. We’re still in the talking stage.”
When those concepts launch, the product offerings will also be available on Juicy’s e-commerce site, according to Salter.
While shoppers in the U.S. will be able to purchase the new offerings online, exactly when North America will see freestanding Juicy intimates or kid’s stores will depend on the reception overseas. Salter, while confident that those categories eventually will see freestanding stores in the U.S., said the goal initially is to expand the international presence and fine tune the product line.
ABG has distribution agreements for Juicy in place with three overseas partners. MAF is the Middle Eastern partner, with 18 stores in the Middle East. According to Salter, there are plans to grow the Juicy chain to between 50 and 60 stores over the next five years. “We are currently in negotiations with MAF to expand their [distribution] territories,” the ceo said.
ImagineX Group handles the distribution network for most of Asia, where there are 89 points of sale. ABG also is in negotiations with ImagineX for a long-term partnership.
The Folli Follie Group is the newest distribution partner, handling the exclusive wholesale and retail distribution rights for the Juicy brand across Europe via a long-term agreement. There are currently 24 stores, including outlets, across continental Europe. A 25th store, on a Greek island, is set to open over the next few months.
“The goal is to expand the chain, between full-price, outlet, flagship and shops-in-shop concepts, to over 100 locations [across Europe] over the next five years. Obviously we will focus on certain countries first and build those out one at a time,” Salter said. He expects that the wholesale doors at department stores across Europe will expand at a faster rate, due to real estate issues such as site location and time for build-outs.
ABG is in discussion with other potential partners for distribution in Japan, Africa, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand and certain countries in Latin America.
Global Brands Group, the wholesale branded business of Li & Fung Ltd., handles the manufacturing of apparel for most categories. GBG also has the license for accessories and handbags. GBG distributes the products to ABG’s Juicy partners on a global basis.