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Thomas Pink sees wholesale launch as route to European expansion

Shirtmaker Thomas Pink is moving into wholesale for autumn 15 and will make its trade show debut at Pitti Uomo in Florence on January 13-16, then will exhibit at Premium in Berlin on January 19-21.

It highlights the company’s continued expansion into mainland Europe, where it has three stores including a Paris flagship on Rue François 1er and one concession. Key wholesale target markets include Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Scandinavia.

Thomas Pink, which was set up in London in 1984 but has been part of French luxury goods group LVMH since 1999, will soft launch into the wholesale market for spring 15 through department store La Rinascente in Milan, and will go into department stores KaDeWe in Berlin and Oberpollinger in Munich in the second quarter of 2015. It is seeking another stockist in Germany and one in Vienna, Austria.

After that it will roll out its autumn 15 collection to about 15 other department stores and premium menswear independents in total, including some in Scandinavia.

Mark Nevill, international franchise and wholesale director, told Drapers the time was right to expand into Europe as Thomas Pink had seen increasing demand from these markets online and at its four stores in Heathrow terminals 2 to 5, particularly from German shoppers.

“In Germany there are a lot of people with the money and inclination to spend money on a brand like Thomas Pink. They like and admire British brands,” he explained.

The company declined to provide wholesale prices. Retail prices for shirts start from £69.

The brand is hoping Pitti Uomo and Premium will act as a launch pad, he added. “Pitti has been a global shop window for brands and Premium has become the key fair for menswear brands in terms of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia.”

Thomas Pink will also present its autumn 15 range at London Collections: Men on January 10 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on The Mall.

Nevill said the business, which had a turnover of £34.4m in the year to December 31, 2013 and is headed up by chief executive Jonathan Heilbron , would look at wholesaling in the UK, but to a lesser extent. “We have a strong retail and concessions business here but there’s an opportunity to look at some of the leading indies.”

Nevill said Thomas Pink is finalising plans to start wholesaling to key accounts in the UK for autumn 15. Priority areas are London, Leeds, Bath and Oxford.
Thomas Pink has 74 owned stores and concessions, including 16 stores and 29 concessions in the UK, three stores and one concession in mainland Europe and 18 stores and seven concessions in the US, as well as 53 franchise stores and concessions in the rest of the world.

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