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Dolcis to regain its footing via wholesale

Footwear brand Dolcis will be relaunched for spring 13 on a wholesale-only basis.

The Jacobson Group, which bought the intellectual property rights to Dolcis last week from Barratts Priceless, will start off wholesaling the brand as a first step.

Jacobson Group managing director Tony Evans told Drapers:  “We might consider branded footwear concessions in the future but we are going to start off with wholesale and grow the brand that way.”

The Jacobson Group will review the Dolcis brand, using market research to establish its target market and pricing structure. It will begin with small production runs, allowing it to get the product right.

Evans would not be drawn on potential wholesale stockists but said the group would explore online opportunities, as well as considering young fashion clothing retailers that may also stock footwear.

Dolcis will be pitched at a “competitive affordable level”, priced slightly higher than multiples’ own brands, but below a premium brand. It is too early to reveal a definite pricing structure, Evans said.

Dolcis’s heritage –the brand celebrates its 150th anniversary next year – is expected to help raise awareness of the relaunch. However, ensuring the product is right for its target market is the most important factor, Evans added.

“We know from other brands we’ve relaunched that it’s much easier to launch a heritage brand than a brand new label,” he said. 

Dolcis will initially focus on women’s young fashion footwear, but could add men’s and kids’ styles in later seasons.

“I’m not ruling out other categories in the future but we need to be careful not to try and do too much all at once,” said Evans. “The core heritage of the brand has always been in women’s footwear so we need to start with that.”

The Jacobson Group, which also owns footwear brands including Gola Classics, Frank Wright and Ravel, acquired the rights to Dolcis after Barratts Priceless collapsed into administration just before Christmas.

Dolcis was founded as a retail business by John Upson in 1863 on a stall in Woolwich market.

In 1998 the business was bought by Alexon Group, which in 2006 sold it to entrepreneur John Kinnaird.

On January 1, 2008, Dolcis fell into administration, but the following month it was bought by Barratts owner Stylo. The stores were rebranded as Barratts and the Dolcis name was retained as an in-house label and a wholesale label.

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