AMG Group, the former distributor of Ugg Australia, has signed a joint venture with rival sheepskin boot brand Australia Luxe Collective to distribute the brand in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The agreement marks the first joint venture for AMG Group and the first brand it has signed a deal with since its distribution agreement with Ugg Australia was terminated in February last year. It handed back the responsibility and management of the brand to Ugg owner Deckers at the end of December.
AMG Group, which also manages footwear brands such as Zandra Rhodes Footwear and Five by Rio Ferdinand, will make a play for some of the 250 wholesale accounts held by rival Ugg as part of its plans to add to Australia Luxe Collective’s 40-strong UK account base. Its stockists include department store Harvey Nichols, designer mini-chain Flannels and footwear and accessories independent Attic Boutique in Reigate, Surrey.
AMG Group managing director Stephen Newlands said: “Our distribution won’t be as wide as Ugg Australia but we’ll definitely target some of the boutiques that sell Ugg. We’d like to grow to about 100.”
AMG, which will open a London showroom for Australia Luxe Collective before the end of the first quarter of the year, said the brand’s wholesale price points were about 10% to 15% higher than Ugg, with wholesale prices ranging from £59 to £212.
As part of the deal, both of the companies have formed a new company called Australia Luxe UK, in which they will both hold equal stakes. AMG Group will oversee the sales and marketing of the brand, while Australia Luxe Collective will manage the design and sourcing.
Australia Luxe Collective, founded by husband and wife team Stuart Rush and Nicole Durand in 2006, has been sold in the UK for the past four years by sales, marketing and PR agency Out+About. AMG Group will retain the agency to handle sales in the South and is in the process of appointing other agencies to handle sales in the rest of the country.