Randa has big plans for its belt business.
The New York-based accessories brand has opened a Belt Lab at its Chicago showroom where it will create new product and work with brands and retailers to improve presentation, pricing and logistics.
Randa produces belts for eight of the top 10 brands in the world including Levi’s, Dockers, Tommy Hilfiger, Columbia Sportswear, Dickies and Kenneth Cole. Last year, it shipped more than 30 million belts that were produced at its Guatemala-based Tata Belt Manufacturing, as well as in facilities in Toronto; Mexico City; London; Como, Italy; Johannesburg; Melbourne, Australia, and Shanghai.
“Our company has created the Belt Lab to use our expertise and leadership as leverage to take advantage of the growing men’s accessories business,” said Terry Tackett, president of belts and furnishings for Randa.
The company is projecting belt sales will increase 30 percent as a result of the opening of this facility.
The Belt Lab will also explore opportunities for cross merchandising with apparel and other accessories in hopes of increasing sales.
David J. Katz, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer for Randa, said the average male shopper in North America buys a belt every two years and has 2.7 belts in his closet. Randa’s goal is to increase his purchasing to every 18 months.
“If successful,” Katz said, “our efforts will result in a 30 percent growth for the overall belt marketplace.”