After a strong debut here two years ago, Superdry is planning a retail rollout in the U.S.
This story first appeared in the May 5, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The U.K.-based apparel brand, which operates 110 stores worldwide, granted a license in 2009 to SDUSA, a division of Sunrise Brands LLC. Since that time, it has opened six stores in the States: a flagship in New York’s NoHo area, as well as units in Paramus, N.J., Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco. There’s also an outlet in Woodbury Common, in Central Valley, N.Y.
Superdry will add a store in Santa Clara, Calif., at the Valley Fair mall later this month as well as a unit at the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan in June. A store in the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minn., is slated for a July opening.
According to Michael Martens, president of Superdry USA, the company is planning to open 10 to 12 stores a year for the next four years, depending upon availability of space. “Finding the right property is key,” he said.
The brand has performed well since it made its debut in the U.S. That, coupled with its popularity in Europe, prompted the retail expansion in America and dictates where the stores will be located. The company seeks spots that draw a mix of international tourists and domestic customers, he said, or “places that play to our two strengths.”
Martens said Superdry would like to open additional stores in the Los Angeles market and is also looking at Boston, Chicago and Miami. The average store measures around 2,000 square feet of selling space, although the NoHo store is 6,000 square feet.
Superdry, which sells 50 percent men’s and 50 percent women’s wear, blends British tailoring with vintage Americana style and hand-drawn Japanese-inspired graphics. Signature styles include T-shirts with hand-drawn graphics; buffalo sweaters; plaid shirts; jackets with contrasting colored hoods; surplus-inspired outerwear; leathers, and sweaters. With the T-shirts, each graphic is used on only one style and offered in only one color per season.
The T-shirts mimic Fifties garage culture, Martens said, and feature tin-tab hangtags that replicate the graphic on the shirt. These have become collectibles, he said. The T-shirts retail for around $30, and the vast majority of the line sells for under $100.
Superdry also has a wholesale component, and about 40 percent of its sales will come from that distribution channel by the end of the year, Martens said. The line is sold in Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s and 150 specialty stores, including Ron Herman. “We want to keep a good balance,” Martens said. “We don’t want to flood the market. We’re looking for responsible growth.” And with a lot of “high-volume stores” opening here later this year, the percentage attributed to retail will be larger. Ultimately, he said, he expects a “50-50 split.”
Martens said the company has worked to get its name known in the U.S. by getting involved at events such as the Sundance Film Festival that “resonate with our customer.” The company rented a bar in Park City, Utah, and hired an up-and-coming band, drawing celebrities such as Penn Badgley, Adrian Grenier and Danny Masterson.
When the Seaport store opens, Martens said Superdry may host a softball or kickball game rather than throw a traditional party.
“We want to get our product on the right people,” he said, noting that university students receive a 10 percent discount. “We target the college student to the young professional. That’s our core.”
Founded in 2003 by James Holder and Julian Dunkerton, Superdry Clothing launched in Cheltenham, England, as Laundry Athletics before opening its first store under the Superdry name in Covent Garden, London, in December 2004. It is sold in more than 30 countries.