Montreal contemporary brand Rudsak is turning its attention Stateside with this month’s launch of U.S. e-commerce, now setting the stage for the company’s bricks-and-mortar expansion.
Rudsak has built a business around classics with an edge and a brand rooted in the black leather moto jacket. However, since its founding in 1994, the assortment has expanded to now also include outerwear, apparel and accessories for men and women.
Rudsak, which currently operates 32 stores coast to coast in Canada and is in about 200 doors globally, has been growing at a rapid clip in more recent years. The privately held company began a ramp up in Canadian stores, opening four doors annually starting in 2012. That was the same year it initially launched e-commerce in Canada, with sales online now growing more than 200 percent each year since that time.
Rudsak executive vice president and chief financial officer Lambros Piscopos said the company has identified New York as the first market in the U.S. to see a Rudsak store, which is expected within the next 12 months.
“We’ve been around for almost 24 years now,” Piscopos said. “We’ve had a very steady and somewhat cautious rollout. Up until 2010, we had nine stores across Canada….We added 23 stores in the past seven years. We’ve talked about international for a long time. We just feel that we’re set up for it at this point. We think that we’re a growth story.”
The company’s starting off in New York first, given the healthy amount of traffic coming to its online site from New York and New Jersey, in addition to the fact that the weather there makes sense for Rudsak’s outerwear offering.
“The beauty with launching our e-commerce site first is to really be able to target, have information and have detail on where our clients are because we can obviously track people that are coming to our site,” Piscopos said.
The cfo said longer-term, Rudsak could open anywhere from 10 to 30 stores in the northern portion of the United States, but much of that will depend on the demand the company sees and interest from the market for its spring and summer lines.
The company, whose customer base skews roughly 65 percent female, is also considering other global markets for growth in places such as London and Scandinavia.