Sakroots cofounder and chief executive officer Mark Talucci said the onetime primarily handbag label is now looking to become a “global lifestyle brand.”
Talucci is aiming for 25 percent to 30 percent annual growth for the brand with an eye toward international markets including Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Canada and the Middle East. Talucci said the company has grown by that same increment in the last two years, with annual sales of just under $100 million.
Talucci said Sakroots’ new products aim to “focus on the global messages of peace, nature, sustainability, healthiness in terms of taking care of the planet but also taking care of each other — it’s focused toward a younger customer.”
That mantra is to be articulated with many new product offerings. “The company has historically been more of a handbag company, but now we want to cater to the consumer’s lifestyle — travel is a large part of that, in order for her to express gratitude for the world. We’ve created a full travel collection, stationery paper products that promote discovery through art, a full footwear collection that focuses on outdoor. We also have a line of jewelry and are doing a collection of outdoor accessories that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts,” Talucci said.
The label has isolated what it considers its three totem lifestyle consumer markets. “There is a lot of back-to-school, collegiate lifestyle but also the festival lifestyle is important to our customer so we’ve made festival kits and festival accessories.
“The other is technology, the Millennial generation is very into social media so we are doing a lot of tech accessories,” the ceo said.
While Sakroots has traditionally sold its product in department stores, it is now looking to enter more specialty boutiques and is planning a greater presence at niche trade shows.
“The market strategy is changing to pursue retailers that cater to these lifestyles,” Talucci said. As such, Sakroots will occupy booths at “surf expos, outdoor channels, collegiate shows, and luggage and travel shows.”
While full details were not available, Talucci said Sakroots will launch a wearable tech division in the last quarter of 2016.
“Its about building RFID, and battery technology into backpacks, wristlets, coolers. Building Bluetooth speakers into handbags, backpacks and coolers. The last one is combining battery and Bluetooth because there is a lot of battery drain with Bluetooth functionality,” Talucci said.
The brand will create a page on its Web site where consumers can build their own technology-laden accessories. “One of the most exciting things we are doing is a do-it-yourself accessory where the consumer will have the choice to build a clip-on accessory that is like a key chain with a power bank, there are a lot of options where you can add your initials, your birth signs,” he said.
Talucci conceded that Sakroots’ expansion is sudden but was optimistic. “Some things will stick better than others. I would tell you our travel collections are performing at retail, our paper products and are some of our bestsellers and our rain collection boots and booties are blowing out.”
The label’s e-commerce sales, he said, have shown signs of strategy success. “Handbags are only 20 percent of total sales now,” he said, with the remaining sales near-equally split between the travel, giftable accessory and footwear categories.
With so many new products Talucci said he is intent on finding Sakroots a minority investor in 2016. “The company is still completely private, but we are definitely after a 25-year history and a lot of discussion, pursuing investment…the need for investment is very clear…I have a personal goal of getting that done in 2016,” he said.
In the meantime, the firm “is pumping in a lot of our earnings back into the business.”