Dutch ethical young fashion brand Kuyichi is to open up to 10 franchise stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland alongside a series of company-owned stores as part of a long-term brand-building exercise.
The menswear and womenswear brand, which has 500 wholesale stockists in Europe, will use the retail roll-out to increase awareness among shoppers in the UK.
Kuyichi’s first standalone store will open in the Seven Dials area of London’s Covent Garden in the first half of next year. It recently opened a shop made entirely from sustainable materials in its home market in the Netherlands in Lelystad.
Hill is scouting the market for potential franchise partners to open up to eight franchise stores in the UK within the next two years.
Kuyichi UK sales and marketing director Anthony Hill said: “Franchising should help get our name out there.”
Kuyichi has 30 wholesale stockists in the UK including multiples, etailers and indies. Its account base includes young fashion website Asos and young fashion indie JZD in Clapham, south London.
Wholesale prices range from £19 to £70 and Hill said the brand was positioned to compete against denim brand Diesel and young fashion multiple All Saints.
However, Hill said he had no plans to grow the wholesale part of the business in the UK.
Kuyichi was founded in 2001 to focus on the production of ethical denim. The company originally began producing organic cotton in Peru in 2000. Its sales now stand at about ¤10m (£9m) a year and its collections feature all product categories from knitwear to shirts, and T-shirts to outerwear.