LONDON — Cath Kidston Group Ltd., the lifestyle brand famous for its retro feel, kitschy prints and products ranging from ironing board covers to iPad ones, has named Michael Engelhaupt as its first head of Latin America.
He will be based in Panama City, Panama and spearhead the British brand’s expansion into Latin America. It currently has no stores in the region.
Engelhaupt joins from Under Armour International, where he was head of franchise international, based in Panama.
Kenny Wilson, chief executive officer of Cath Kidston, called the appointment “significant and exciting,” and named Engelhaupt’s appointment as a key development in the company’s globalization strategy.
“The Cath Kidston footprint keeps growing — we are opening our first stores in India this autumn and more stores are being opened in Japan and the Middle East. And in the U.K. this year, we are driving positive like-for-like sales reflecting the strength and success of our affordable, fun, British, vintage-inspired products,” Wilson said.
Engelhaupt had worked at Under Armour since March 2014 and was responsible for leading the international franchise business, setting strategy and implementation of franchise business models for the brand’s market entry and growth.
He focused on China, Japan and Latin America and led the opening of stores in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and China.
Engelhaupt previously worked for Adidas for 10 years in roles including franchise senior manager Latin America, based in Panama, and global retail trainer, based in Germany.
Engelhaupt said: “I have worked in retail my entire career and been based in Panama since 2008. Having someone on the ground with the relationships and contacts is so important to making entry into a new market a success. This is a big project, and I am delighted to be starting work.”
The London-based Cath Kidston has stores in 18 markets including the U.K., Japan, China, the Far East and the Middle East.
Later this year, it will open its first two stores in New Delhi. They will open at the Ambience Mall Gurgaon and Select CityWalk Saket in early autumn. Store openings in Mumbai will follow, with a first store there planned to open in Grand Galleria, High Street Phoenix.
The stores will be franchises and Cath Kidston has formed an agreement with Planet Retail Holdings Pvt. Ltd. as its franchise partner. The group will start with three stores and plans to increase this number further over the next few years.
The brand sells a range of products from accessories women’s wear and children’s wear to soft home furnishings.