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Feb 22, 2019

Bringing passion and energy to the outdoor market

Andrew Hunter, MD of Outwear, talks to Mark Hayhurst about the brand and their plans for the future

Can you tell us the history of the company?

Before Outwear was established, the owners of our company ran the distribution of the brands from our sister company, Wm Clark and Son (a business that was founded in 1924). As the growth of Pfanner, Protos and Woolpower increased within their company, the decision was taken to create a new company that would be totally focussed on brand distribution. Outwear Ltd was therefore created in 2017 and proudly launched into business on February 1, 2018. Our team bring passion and energy to every aspect of the company.

How is your company developing and growing?

During our first year of business we have seen tremendous development of the company with lots of exciting opportunities and challenges. We have attended a variety of trade shows across a range of sectors and enjoyed meeting fans of our brands and familiar faces. We have continued to add new stockists and engage with new sectors.

Have there been any recent developments that have changed your company’s profile?

Since commencing the distribution of Woolpowers’ full range we have had the opportunity to engage more with the outdoor market and have found this to be a successful venture with strong interest in the brand.

What inspires you and how do you develop your relationships with suppliers and customers?

We love speaking to the customers that make use of our products whether this be at a show, events or over the phone. From these conversations we hear about their challenges and this helps us to identify solutions from our brands or other brands. We are always keen to consider new opportunities and identify the best products for our customers.

What can we expect from your company in the next 12 months?

In terms of our brands we will be increasing the Woolpower range with their new “Skilled Socks” and their recently launched “Pine Green” colour will also be extended to more products. With Protos we expect to see more markets engaging with their innovative 4 user Bluetooth communication system. We also have some exciting partnership opportunities with more high-quality brands.

To what do you attribute your success?

We attribute our success so far to the relationships that we have developed with our customers, suppliers and team. Our team at Outwear are skilled and motivated to provide fantastic service to our customers. We enjoy developing long-term partnerships with both the brands that we distribute and the retailers that we supply.

What advice would you offer to retailers?

Retailers today have been facing many challenges for some time and I am sure that most have spent a lot of time developing their businesses, so any advice I have will probably not be mind-blowing. I would suggest that retailers focus on what makes them unique and try to share that story with their customers. Don’t copy everyone else, be different. I have certainly noticed a lot of thriving businesses that have become specialists in a sector, an activity or a service.

What services and support do you offer retailers?

Our main differentiator is that we ensure our brands are only stocked by an exclusive number of retailers. This helps to keep competition manageable, real margins attractive and allow real relationships with the brand to develop. We have provide a modern B2B website for ordering and a helpful support team to answer any questions. Outwear are happy to assist retailers at any of their events and will visit you regularly to provide training, share product news and listen to feedback. We are still a small company so are able to adapt quickly to the needs of our retailers.

What are you currently working on? New launches, etc?

Woolpower’s Pine Green colour is a big development for the brand. Woolpower aim to produce garments that last and also do not change their range each season. So to change their green colour for the first time was a major decision. Our Protos 4 user Bluetooth communication system was designed for safety applications but it is exciting looking at new opportunities in other sectors.

How can a new customer open an account?

We are always keen to speak with potential new stockists. The best way to start the conversation is to give us a call on 01576 490 100 or drop an email to sales@outwearltd.co.uk

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