Wolf & Badger, the London-based multi-brand retailer and champion of independent brands, is to make its first move into the US early next year having signed a lease on a store in New York’s Soho district.
The 2,500sq ft space is located on 95 Grand Street and was formerly occupied by the Burch sisters’ Trademark boutique.
Opening in February the store will house a curated selection of independent US brands, as well as introducing a number of European brands to the US market for the first time. The selection will include men’s and women’s apparel, jewellery and accessories.
Wolf & Badger co-founder and creative director Henry Graham said he believed the store brought something new to the US market. “This is a tremendous opportunity to finally bring our concept of super-curated, high quality independent designer brands to the wider US market,” he said.
“There’s nothing like what we do in US and since New York is a key destination for fashion, we are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome its discerning residents to our store to discover something new and different,” he added.
His brother George, who is CEO and co-founder of the business, revealed that while the business currently transacted 90% of sales online, bricks and mortar stores were still important.
“We understand the desire of our customer base to be able to experience and engage with us and the brands we represent in a real-world environment. Online can never replicate the tangible or social elements that our stores offer in abundance,” he said.
Around one fifth of Wolf & Badger sales currently come from the US via its www.wolfandbadger.com platform, so the move represented a “natural step” for the business however it does mark a shift away from its prior focus on Europe. Last year it strengthened its European presence further with a merger with online marketplace Boticca.com that brought a significant following for the brand in the French and German markets.
“With Brexit looming and the UK entering a period of uncertainty, we are extremely pleased to be entering the US market and facilitating independent brands to seamlessly reach a wider customer base around the world, ensuring continued opportunity for independent labels even if the European market starts to close up,” said George Graham.
Wolf & Badger was founded in February 2010 and has stores in Mayfair and Notting Hill. It works with a curated selection of 600 independent brands across, men’s and women’s apparel, jewellery, accessories, homeware, kids clothing and beauty products.