Creative director of two-store London-based premium independent Wolf & Badger, Henry Graham, discusses the reasons behind the acquisition of online accessories marketplace Boticca.
Why did Wolf & Badger think the acquisition of Boticca would complement the business?
We felt that their mix of accessory and jewellery brands would sit well with the designers we carry and that there was very little crossover, despite the price points and design aesthetic being similar to the Wolf & Badger product offer. We also liked that the locations of their designers were well spread geographically as they work with brands in several countries where we have no clients. They have more presence in continental Europe than us, while we have a stronger hold in the UK.
Why is now the right time?
We are doing so many similar things and have a shared vision with Boticca’s management for the future of retail. We had been talking for a long time about collaboration opportunities and felt that a combined group would be worth so much more to the brands we carry and our customers than double the constituent parts.
What was the level of investment in Boticca?
We are not prepared to discuss the financial consideration of the merger. We can say that both of the businesses have had significant investment over previous years and that as a combined entity it will be a valuable multichannel asset.
How does the merger work?
Boticca has been integrated into the Wolf & Badger brand. The management of the business is run by myself and my brother George Graham, chief executive. Between us we oversee all elements of the combined group. Kiyan Foroughi [Boticca founder] will remain as an adviser to the business.
How will the Bottica site sit under the Wolf & Badger branding?
The Boticca site is now Wolf & Badger (www.wolfandbadger.com). We will only continue to operate the Wolf & Badger brand.
Although the market for luxury fashion, jewellery, accessories and homeware is massive, we feel that we will create the best value proposition for customers and designers by being a single entity. This way we have economies of scale, wider reach and many other synergies that come with combining two successful businesses.
Will you continue to represent the same level of accessories designers, currently over 300?
We already carry over 500 brands ourselves across clothing and accessories and we will integrate a number of Boticca brands to the website and in store over the coming weeks, such as Turkish leather handbag brand Manu Atelier.
How many staff from Boticca will remain in the business?
We have employed a number of Boticca staff who will be based in our offices in Mayfair and strengthening our team.
Will you be integrating any Boticca branded areas in store?
No, we believe that the best strategy lies in a single recognisable brand.
Do you have any news yet on when and where you’re planning to open in the US?
A big part of our international expansion strategy is to become the dominant global player in discovering the best new luxury brands, wherever you are in the world. We have been working on finding the right location and will announce some further news on this soon. Watch this space.