Jack Wills, the British fashion and lifestyle brand, is launching a targeted wholesale expansion strategy with the appointment of Greg Roberts as wholesale director. Roberts joins from SuperGroup plc where he has been head of international business development since May 2011, responsible for globalising the SuperDry brand through franchise and licence agreements.
The role of wholesale director at Jack Wills is a newly created appointment and marks the first time that Jack Wills has embarked on a specific wholesale expansion strategy to grow the Jack Wills Wholesale business at home in the UK and internationally.
Roberts will join in November and report directly to Peter Williams, founder and CEO of Jack Wills. He will be focused on three core areas:
- Building Jack Wills’ existing Wholesale business in the U.K. with complimentary retailers
- Launching Jack Wills’ Wholesale business in Europe, with a focus on Northern Europe and Scandinavia
- Launching Jack Wills’ Wholesale business internationally beyond Europe to build on the significant brand presence Jack Wills already has in North America and the Middle East, and making further expansion across Asia.
Commenting on the appointment, William said: “This is a very exciting moment and the beginning of a significant new chapter in the life of Jack Wills. We currently have a wholesale business with a small number of retailers in the UK. By hiring Greg, we can now begin a targeted and sophisticated strategy to build the Wholesale business at home in the UK and in important markets overseas. This will significantly grow our sales and international footprint, and increase the awareness and presence of the brand globally.
“We have never before had the resource, investment or scale to do this and it has been the missing piece of the jigsaw. In order to build on our growth and success to date and take us to the next level we need to meaningfully develop this side of the business to properly grow our sales, profit and margin. Greg is one of the best in the industry and I am absolutely delighted that he will be joining us to take on responsibility for making this new project a huge success.”
Roberts added: “A business like Jack Wills, which has such a clear brand proposition and where the founder is running the business, is a rare find in retail and this was one of the major reasons why I was so attracted to joining the business. Having a strong story behind a brand and its history is crucial when talking to third parties and potential partners in the UK and overseas and Jack Wills’ story is not only interesting but easy to communicate globally. There are some great building blocks in place from which to develop the Wholesale strategy, including building on the fantastic brand awareness and presence which Jack Wills has in key markets like the US. I am looking forward to getting started and showing meaningful results as we unveil new relationships in the UK and overseas”.
The appointment of Roberts comes after Jack Wills appointed Claire Waugh as chief marketing officer from Burberry and Mike Doyle joined as chief financial officer from Good Hair Day (ghd). The appointment of Roberts also follows Jack Wills’ 2016 financial results where it reported sales growth of 4% to £142.4m (2016: £137.4m) with Group EBITDA increasing to £12m at constant exchange rates.