EXCLUSIVE: Wolford pursues UK expansion

Intimate apparel company Wolford is looking to expand its retail presence on the UK high street via direct distribution and franchise partnerships.

While it already operates a series of own brand outlets, the company currently has just one franchise partner in the UK, based in London.

New UK chief executive Ermes Stefanutto told Lingerie Insight that this is something which he is keen to change in his bid to grow the company.

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He said: “You have somebody running the store and ideally you don’t need to monitor them too much. You know they will make the most of because it is their own business.”

The Wolford UK chief executive is keen to meet anyone interested in working with company. The qualities that he is looking for in potential franchise partners include strong positioning – in terms of finances, geographical location and standard of clientele – and passion and commitment to the brand. Preference is likely to be given to existing retailers of Wolford products.

“You can have a product that sells itself but you have to do it with passion,” Stefanutto said. “Because, we have the product. We have the product and we have the marketing.”

The new chief executive has no fixed plans in terms of the number of franchise partners he wants to sign on over the next few years and, whether an outlet is run by Wolford or a retail partner, will be largely dependent on the opportunities that present themselves to him in the upcoming months.

Stefanutto added: “Call me. Knock on the door… Or leave a message. I will be the person to contact. My general approach is that my office door is open. So, as much as I can, I will welcome everybody.”

Read more about new Wolford UK chief executive Ermes Stefanutto and his plans for the company in the December issue of Lingerie Insight.

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