Starting with watches in 2011, the Shinola brand has expanded into leather goods, bicycles, jewelry and stationery, as well as opening its first hotel in downtown Detroit, amid growing pains.
Tom Kartsotis, founder of Shinola, said, “Together with IMG, we hope to expand our product offering across categories that further reflect and capture our brand ethos while delivering for our consumers.”
“The brand has clearly touched a cultural nerve that places it in a highly desirable pace of consumer affection and loyalty,” added Bruno Maglione, IMG’s president of licensing. “It has achieved, in only a few years, a deep consumer engagement, the likes of which most brands will have taken an entire brand life cycle to achieve, if they ever do so at all.”
Shinola and IMG will be going after products in furniture, decor, lighting, textiles, housewares, fixtures and finishes, office furniture and organization, and travel (luggage and accessories), among other categories.
IMG manages licensing for brands and personalities including Dolly Parton, “Queer Eye,” Cosmopolitan, Superdry, Laura Ashley, Esquire, Royal Ascot, Karen Millen, Fortnite, Jeep, “The Simpsons,” Pepsi and National Geographic, among others.
As reported last month, Shinola launched a new Detrola collection of colorful, limited-edition watches to go after a younger, fashion-forward customer. The watches are priced $100 less than the label’s opening price point.
The Detrola launch came on the heels of store closures, layoffs and other cost-cutting measures at the company’s Detroit headquarters.
In an interview this summer, chief executive officer Tom Lewand said, “We are like any other company, transitioning from start-up phase to something more mature and scalable and it’s reflective of that. Any smart company in this retail environment is looking at how customers interact with the brand and product, and evaluating how to improve that in the most impactful and sophisticated way possible.” He noted that Shinola’s e-commerce site was experiencing double-digit sales increases and the in-store and wholesale businesses were seeing marked growth.
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