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Dubarry doubles UK sales and looks to expand US business

Country boot and clothing brand Dubarry of Ireland is ramping up its US business after it doubled its UK sales last year to €10.5m (£8.2m).  

The family-owned company has 120 stockists on the east coast of the US, including online platform Tuckernuck, and is looking to double sales in the country over the next three years by encouraging current stockists to buy deeper into the range, as well as attracting new wholesale accounts.  

The US market currently makes up 7.5% of total sales – which were €23m (£17.9m) in 2013, its most recent reporting period – and Dubarry wants to grow this to 15% by 2017.

Managing director Eamonn Fagan said: “We have taken our successful UK model of growth and applied it in the US. The brand has enjoyed very strong growth along the I-95 corridor stretching down the east coast of the US [which includes Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and Miami].”

However, he said the UK remains the “bread and butter” of the Irish business and its largest market, accounting for 45% of total sales.

“The foundation work and investment in building both brand and product awareness through direct interaction with the target market at equestrian shows and events over the last 15 years has created a very strong position for our brand,” Fagan explained. “We are now growing that base through a network of select stockists nationwide.”

Dubarry has 295 stockists in the UK and wants to grow the UK business “organically”, rather than risk flooding the market.

Following demand from Dubarry’s city-based stockists, including Harrods, the brand is diversifying its traditional outdoor Gore-Tex boots into styles suited to a more urban environment for autumn 15. The new styles will include Chelsea boots and wood effect soles.

The business, which operates in the UK, Ireland, Benelux, Scandinavia, the US, France and Germany, has more than 1,000 stockists across the globe.

Dubarry of Ireland was established in Galway in 1937 and is best known in its home market for its sailing boots and deck shoes. The brand has two flagships at 35 College Green in Dublin and at 34 Duke of York Square, Chelsea, in London.

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