The Australian conglomerate Cotton On will be expanding its reach in the U.S. through an exclusive deal with Amazon for its Cotton On Kids label.
Starting in July, the collection of children’s wear will be sold Stateside through the e-tailer. The sportswear is available in sizes from newborns to nine-year-olds. Cotton On Kids is one of the fastest-growing labels for the company, according to chief executive officer Peter Johnson, who visited New York this week. He and head of U.S. operations Mark Pan mapped out some of Cotton On’s growth plans Wednesday.
Cotton On aims to increase e-commerce sales to 15 percent of its overall business within the next three years. The 25-year-old company has seven brands and 1,400 stores worldwide including 100 franchised ones through a partner in the Middle East. As of now, Cotton On’s brands are distributed in 18 countries through 20,000 employees. One of the most recent hires was Anthony Gardner, the head of U.S. marketing and e-commerce strategy.
There are six Cotton On Kids stores in the U.S. Teaming up with Amazon should be comparable to the amount of new business generated by opening one or two new stores, said Johnson, who declined to give a specific projected volume figure. In addition to the increased sales, the Amazon deal will bolster brand awareness and provide analytics about underserved regions in the U.S. where consumers are responding to the children’s wear.
To try to keep up with the anticipated further growth, Pan is scouting an East Coast location for a second distribution center in the U.S. The company has one in Los Angeles. In the U.S., Cotton On has 121 stores in 13 states and the goal is to double overall sales in the next three years. This year, the company will open 25 stores in the U.S.
With seven brands in various stages of growth, Cotton On continues to look at new markets for expansion, Johnson said. Cotton On connected with Amazon after Amazon Asia representatives inquired about potentially working together in that region of the world. That led to a conversation about the U.S. arm and eventually an exclusive deal with Cotton On Kids, Johnson said.