Dutch boardwear brand Protest this week opened a UK store at Royal Quays, the outlet centre for Newcastle in the North of England.
Since its official re-launch in the UK in June 2009, Protest has attempted to establish itself as a key name in the lifestyle market, with reaction to the design-led surf and snow brand reportedly ‘consistently positive.’
Protest’s number of stockists has grown from 55 to more than 160, including Cotswold Outdoor, Ellis Brigham, Snow & Rock, Debenhams, Littlewoods, Two Seasons and Surfdome.
The 1,551 sq ft outlet store sits alongside the likes of Trespass, Nike and Mountain Warehouse.
The decision to open the outlet store is driven by the need to free stock in a controlled way, whilst staying true to the brand’s wholesale philosophy of not discounting.
Protest UK country manager Paul Wilkinson said: “We are very much focussed on the wholesale business and are one of the few brands who don’t sell through discount retailers to clear stock. As the brand grows and therefore the product range continues to grow, we need a controlled channel for dispersing excess stock.
“The investment in the store marks another important milestone in the development of the Protest brand… Royal Quays is an excellent location and will assist us in raising awareness of the brand in the North of the UK.
Royal Quays’ centre manager Judith Ramshaw said: “We are really pleased to be chosen by Protest for their first store in the UK.
“It’s a very strong vote of confidence in the strategy we have been developing for some time now. For the past couple of years we have been helping new and established retailers with flexible rents, payment periods and short leases. The result is that we are fully let and thriving, not only with well-known outlet stores, but also with a unique collection of quality retailers you won’t find in many other places. Protest is a strong addition to an already impressive list.”
According to Protest HQ in Warmond, the opening of the first store in UK is to emphasize the growing importance of the contribution of the UK business within the international turnover of the brand, which originated in Holland.
Commercial director Hans van Breukelen. said: “To open this outlet store fits perfectly in the plan to firmly grow consumer awareness of the brand. It also enables us to clear samples and stock in a controlled way without harming the fine relationships we are carefully building with some of the top sporting retail partners within UK.
“The design and quality of a Protest outlet mirrors the same high standards as our Protest Stores and ‘shop in shop’ concepts and will further strengthen the brand image with the end consumer.”