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Q&A: Zoe Hoghton, UK country manager for Freddy

Italian sportswear brand Freddy expects the Olympics to be its most successful period. UK country manager Zoe Hoghton chats to Drapers about how things have been since the brand launched in the UK in 2008.

Q: How long has Freddy been in the UK for?

A: It’s been in the UK market for four years, when it launched with a store in Covent Garden. Two and a half years ago I came on board and we were tasked with setting up the wholesale business in the UK.

Q: How has the wholesale arm been growing?

A: It’s going really well. We started off with a strategy of identifying the customer we have, which is a 25 to 40 year old yummy mummy. Department store distribution is key to us, as is online as well as key indies. We have opened accounts with John Lewis, Fenwick and Harrods. The door count is now 100.

Q: What are you hoping to do with the stockist base going forward?

A: We’re definitely looking to grow it. Within the stockist base we’ve got we’re looking to grow the volume of orders. We’re a relatively young brand in the UK and so [to date] stockists have bought small amounts.

Q: How have things been for you in the online sphere?

A: Online we have had great success with Asos. We find we have the most success with online retailers because they can really style [our collection] beautifully and showcase it.

Q: How has trade been in your Covent Garden store?

A: It’s going very well. We’re expecting the Olympic period to be the most successful period of all time for us. Footfall is increasing already. It’s a really exciting time for London.

Q: What have you got in the pipeline?

A: We’re launching this season something called Pantattack. When customers buy pants [trousers] they get a free T-shirt or pair of shoes. We did the first launch for spring 12 and we had brilliant feedback from it so we’re stepping it up for autumn 12.

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