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Flagship heralds Freddy’s UK launch

Italian sportswear brand Freddy has poached Timberland’s European commercial director Mike Thomas to spearhead its launch into the UK retail and wholesale market.
The brand, which has total sales of €55 million (£43m), has signed a UK flagship and head office space in the heart of London’s Covent Garden. The store will open on Neal Street in May in the former Foot Locker unit, with showrooms above.

Thompson, who has joined Freddy as international vice president, said: “I have been brought on board to launch in the UK and expand into new markets.”

Thompson is in the process of interviewing a potential UK sales team, who will start wholesaling the collection in June.

The Freddy collection is split 80% womenswear and 20% menswear. The brand offers a mainline range and a premium line called The Club.
Thompson said Freddy would sit alongside the likes of Puma, with retail prices from €29 to €79 (£23 to £63).

Thompson added that he would target key sportswear chains such as JD Sports, as well as independent retailers.

Freddy was founded in Chiavari, near Genoa in Italy, in 1976 by Carlo Freddi. Initially it sold dance shoes and gym shoes before adding sportswear.
The brand’s global sales are growing at a rate of 9% a year.

Freddy brand is also pushing for expansion in the Far East. It has signed a licence and distribution deal with Japanese partner Itochu, which will see the brand open 20 Freddy stores in Japan in the next three years.

In 2007 Freddy became the Official Supplier for the Italian Olympic team at Beijing 2008.

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