Kenneth Cole Productions is pumping up efforts to expand globally. The men’s and women’s apparel and accessories firm has increased its footprint in markets such as India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Mexico and China.
On Monday, it will open a flagship on Queen Street West in Toronto, representing the first Canadian freestanding store to sell Kenneth Cole New York men’s and women’s footwear, clothing and accessories. The brand is already carried in Hudson’s Bay Co. stores across Canada and independent boutiques.
The 1,800-square-foot boutique, which is one level, is an evolution of the global rollout of its new store concept, taking the company’s New York City headquarters and bringing it to life in a retail environment. The store features urban materials such as raw steel, exposed brick, wired glass and concrete, all of which reflect materials predominately found in urban environments.
The store follows an expanded agreement signed in October, 2016 with Haggar Canada Co. to manufacture, market and distribute men’s and women’s apparel and distribute men’s and women’s footwear. Haggar is financing the new Kenneth Cole freestanding store.
This week, Kenneth Cole signed a multiyear licensing agreement with Brandzstorm India Marketing for men’s and women’s apparel, handbags, small leather goods, travel gear and footwear.
Brandztorm will design, manufacture, distribute and retail Kenneth Cole products in India and other countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It will also launch Kenneth Cole products through leading multibrand boutiques, shop-in-shops, major department stores and e-commerce portals. The company plans to open two flagship boutiques in the first year of operation. The design, production and distribution for Kenneth Cole products in India will begin during holiday 2018.
Through its multiyear licensing agreement with Salco Group for Australia and New Zealand, Salco began selling Kenneth Cole products this month through multibrand boutiques, shop-in-shops, major department stores and e-commerce portals. Salco is designing, manufacturing, distributing and retailing Kenneth Cole products in Australia and New Zealand.
In addition, through Kenneth Cole’s agreement with GBG Europe Footwear and Accessories Ltd., a United Kingdom corporation, that it signed in March, GBG Europe will distribute men’s and women’s footwear and manufacture and distribute women’s handbags in countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Beginning in the fall, Kenneth Cole footwear will be distributed in select cities, including London, Paris, Milan and Berlin. GBG Europe has also opened a Kenneth Cole showroom in London, where it sells men’s and women’s footwear under the Kenneth Cole New York and Reaction Kenneth Cole labels, as well as women’s handbags under the Kenneth Cole New York label.
In May 2016, Kenneth Cole signed a long-term license and distribution deal with Sitoy Retailing Co. Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company, Sitoy plans to open eight stores in mainland China by the end of the year. It already opened a Kenneth Cole store in Hong Kong in 2016 and five additional stores in key cities including Shanghai and Beijing. Besides Kenneth Cole brick-and-mortar stores and department store shop-in-shops, Kenneth Cole and Sitoy will launch the first Kenneth Cole-branded web sites outside the U.S. Beginning in August, Hong Kong and China customers will be able to shop on KennethCole.cn and Kennethcole.hk.
Finally, this month, Kenneth Cole entered into a new license for the Mexico and Latin America regions with Euro Neck, SA DE CV, a Mexican corporation in Polanco in Mexico City. The multiyear agreement provides for a license for Euro Neck to distribute Kenneth Cole-branded products in wholesale and retail channels. Europe Neck has a venture with MC Sunrise Investment, a Panama corporation based in Panama City, which will distribute the brand across the Latin America region.
“Kenneth Cole’s partnerships mark the continuation of our strategic global initiatives,” said Marc Schneider, chief executive officer of Kenneth Cole Productions. “We are confident that each of our partners will contribute to the brand’s growth in all categories of our business and help us to firmly establish footprints in key markets across the globe.”